Real materials versus computer software

Art, Fine Art, Soapbox

Salisbury Plain (from memory)

Salisbury Plain (from memory), ink and watercolour

August Bank Holiday I spent some time playing with ink and watercolours in my sketchbook. Doodles really. Playing with the medium. Simply enjoying myself. But the first time for absolutely ages.

I had to take advantage of a clear desk space in my wife’s studio – well away from my tiny home office which is dominated by the computer.

Some of the resultant pieces I’ve scanned from the sketchbook and a couple are uploaded to Flickr.

Looking at the Flickr set of my artworks I was struck by two pieces that I created with a computer art application (ArtRage). It’s a clever piece of software, similar to Painter but cheaper.

Midnight in Badalamenti

Midnight in Badalamenti, created in ArtRage

But those ArtRage pieces have no soul. Nothing feeds back to me from them. They are empty images. If only ‘Midnight in Badalamenti’ existed as a real acrylic or oil painting! It’s just an jpeg image in a world flooded with jpegs. There isn’t a real version I can hold.

I feel the same way about a lot of the work that I’ve done since the mid 90s using Adobe Illustrator. At first I used inked line work that I scanned and converted to vector. Pressures of lower and lower fees meant short-cutting this stage by using ‘brushes’ built into the software.

Nothing comes close to real ink, paint, colour on real paper, board, canvas.

I must find more time away from the computer. Computers have provided me with employment for the past 15 years but are now stopping me doing the very thing that gives me most enjoyment and creative nourishment.

Originally published on miketoons.blogspot.com.

 

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