An Artist's Quest

Everything Old is New Again (and everything new is already old)

Peppers & Apples drawn using the Brushes 3 app

Peppers & Apples drawn using the Artrage app

Well I’m happy to announce that I have an article in the October/November issue of Quilting Arts Magazine!  My article is about using images that I drew on my iPad an putting them in a quilt form (go to 2/7/12 blog post to see bird quilt done this way).  I’ll share more about the Quilting Arts article next week but this week I’m here to kvetch a bit. Earlier this week I heard from the good folks at Quilting Arts that the magazine was to be mailed out to subscribers, the next day I got an email from two readers; both frustrated that they couldn’t find the Brushes app that I describe in the article.  Alarmed I start searching the web. Sure enough Brushes is no longer available as of September 18th! Yikes!  How can an app I down loaded last year be obsolete?  That is so 2011!  Well fortunately I quickly found that they had updated the app now call Brushes 3, for any of you interested iPad artist out there.  It is very similar with a few improvements in the color pallet and layers options. I immediately downloaded the app and started drawing.  I need to familiarize myself because I not only use it in my art but I teach classes in iPad drawing to so I have to be up to date.  I guess that is the point of my blog post today.  Technology Friend or Foe?  Both I’d say.  Technology allows us to do traditional things in all new ways like my iPad drawings printed on fabric then quilted as women have been quilting for centuries, thread and fabric, stitching and binding, creating comfort and beauty.  And then there is this rapid race to obsolescence.  Technology changing so fast that as soon as you are comfortable with it, it is upgraded, so that you can no longer use it they way you did just a year ago or even 6 months ago, it’s infuriating and exhilarating at the same time.  We cannot rest in our comfort zone, technology is always pushing us to stretch and learn and stay on top of the latest thing, uses we never even knew we needed or could imagine using become daily companions.  So in that vein I recently found a new app Artrage.  This app like Brushes 3 is a iPad drawing app, but what is interesting about this app is it simulates real tangible art materials like watercolors, oil paints and pens more closely than other apps I’ve used.  I have very strong memories of standing in a meadow at the age of 10 with my mother, a watercolorist, and painting landscapes side by side by side.  I remember her admonishing me for using a lot of the very expensive cerulean blue, my sky was so blue and bright I loved it!  This app sent me back to that sunny day in aYosemite meadow by my mother’s side but this time I could use as much blue as I wanted.  So while vexing technology can connect us anew ways to old ways, and I must say it’s a pleasure to try it all.

The drawing done here are both iPad drawings of the  pile of peppers and apples in my kitchen waiting for attention.  The first I did using the Brushes 3 app, the second with the Artrage app.  I like the results of the first better but I want to say that I have many hours of practice using the Brushes family of apps and the Artrage app is new to me, and as I always tell me students when you try something new “remember this is just a first day, don’t expect to get to second base….”  So I would say with this app I am still standing at the plate swinging the bat…. I need more time and practice to love what I’m doing just like any art medium.  I promise to give you more on Quilting Arts Magazine soon!

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2 responses

  1. Val

    I would love to learn digital artwork (I’m always just behind the curve on anything new) but my tablet is a Motorola Xoom and I don’t use it for artwork so I guess it is not compatible with the apps you have. Where do I even start on getting the equipment for this art form?
    I look forward to the new Quilting Arts. I should have a piece in an upcoming edition as it was selected for one of the challenges but I have forgotten which month it will be shown in.

    September 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

  2. Mary Anne

    Congratulations on the publication of your quilting article!

    Really enjoyed seeing the evolution of your “Peppers and Apples” piece.

    So far I have resisted digital art techniques in favor of following some different approaches in making art such as art journaling and watercolor – both new for me, a former sculptor. An interesting note is that my husband who makes no claims as an artist, has digitally created some beautiful landscapes! One never knows about the creative spirit.

    September 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

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