I met Jonathan Grauel on Twitter @jgrauel and fell in love with his wonderful images created on the iPad. He was kind enough to write a guest blog and be part of the iPad series. I am sure you will find it interesting and informative.
It is hard to talk about the impact of the iPad on my art without mentioning “the accident”. Up to a few years ago, my primary mediums were acrylics, oils and oil pastels. Digital art really wasn’t a part of my vocabulary. In 2008, an accident with a table saw left me without an index finger on my dominant hand, unable to bend my middle finger and with limited sensitivity in my thumb. I was scared that I might not be able to draw again. During my recovery, my wife and friends surprised me with an iPhone and I soon discovered a new joy in “finger painting.” When the iPad hit the scene I was excited to add it to my toolbox. Now years later my primary tool for creating is a finger that doesn’t bend. Go figure.
The iPad ultimate sketchbook for me. Since high school I’ve carried around a sketchbook wherever I go. With the iPad I have a full studio at my disposal. The non-precious nature of the digital mark removes barriers and hesitation that can happen when making art. I find it easier to overcome timidity in using shape and color combinations that previously had not been part of my vocabulary. It offers a new freedom to explore. The iPad gives me an inexpensive and infinitely renewable canvas that traditional painting does not. Though honestly I deal with my drawings on the iPad as if they can’t be undone. I use a great deal of layering and hardly ever click the eraser…. I layer and layer and layer. I feel that approach gives the work an authenticity like my traditional media. It’s surprising how my iPad replaced the sketchbook as a constant companion.
The iPad essentially expanded my concept of a sketchbook – to a portable studio. The move to use the iPhone and iPad as an art tool was very seamless. I simply continued the style and subject matter I have developing since art school. I find myself visually translating my environment and my experiences through the iPad.
Creating on the iPad allows me to be more prolific and now I am able to create finished works wherever. After I finish a piece, I can send a high quality file to my website, up to flickr, or post on my blog quickly and efficiently, no photo session, cropping and adjusting images needed to let the world know.
It’s hard to distinguish the difference from my traditional media work from my digital. I also love that it hasn’t replaced my desire to create with other media. When I return to the canvas I return with my muscles toned, my mind still flowing from the creation process. I return with the lessons I learn from the pad, the ideas that germinate in the digital drawings, the colors discovered and the layers and lines made find their way right onto the other surfaces as if the dialog hasn’t stopped. When I pick up the pad again, it’s like I’m collaborating with myself.
Digital “finger-painting” has created a new intimacy with my work. There is something so wonderful for me to make marks with my nad and nothing else, without sacrificing a range of lines sizes, colors and opacity. It is an exciting new horizon to explore and so much like playing.
The iPad has led to my artistic growth by making genuine and responsive collaboration possible. Never before could I have as easily interacted with an artist from another part of the world on a shared composition. The iPad promotes a the willingness to throw my mark out there and invite another person to contribute to the story.
- International Association of Mobile Digital Artist community : a group of artist from around the world gathering to grow together and further the media
- Wovennarratives : a full blown collaborative commitment to the creation of fine art through the process of progressive rounds of integrated mark making between Fabric Lenny and myself
- The Hoyland England Project : student line drawings scanned in and sent to myself and other artist to use in an original work
- Classroom marks : sharing in the classroom, students discovering the pad, making marks then I come in and build a village on top
- Livebirds : an exhibit to raise awareness and funds for an IGA business in Zimbabwe countering the power of aids. 18 digital and traditional media artist visually responded.
- Stylectrical Exhibit : digital artist working in pairs to create multiple collaborative works of art to be exhibited as part of a larger show of the history of design of electronic devices.
- Stars Doodle Challenge : student generated digital drawing that I built upon while exploring the concept of “star”"finger-painting” has created a new intimacy with my work. There is something so wonderful for me to make marks with my hand and nothing else, without sacrificing a range of line sizes, colors and opacity. It is an exciting new horizon to explore and so much like playing.
Jonathan among other things, has drawn on napkins while waiting on tables, learned about presentation as a frame shop employee, and shared his love for art as a high school instructor. Now he supports his artistic career doing web development for a company that specializes in portfolio sites for artists and photograpahers. Jonathan is a painter who paints. http://bluestudioonline.com