Archive for December 2010

“Brushes” Hybrids – Compensatory Unskill Levels – the Art of the iPhone

December 31, 2010

Here are a couple of the “paintings”I tried so unsucessfully to post over the last few days–more examples of iPhone “art”.

What is particularly interesting to an unskilled artist (i.e. me) is the way that one can use the technology of the iPhone and the “Brushes” painting app to compensate for various gaps in training, talent and circumstances.  Of course, becoming adept at the technology is itself a skill, but again, the application and equipment allow one latitude for circumvention.

One answer is a kind of “hybrid” art, which takes advantage of what you can do ( i.e. draw on paper or take a photograph) without pushing you too hard into what you can’t (i.e. make complicated figures on a 3.5 inch screen, or take out a full watercolor set in a crowded train car.)

My favorite hybrid method is to make a pencil drawing on paper, photograph it with the iPhone, transfer it to the “Brushes” app, and then embellish/paint in.

Here’s one I did on a train, from initial drawing to “final” Brushes version:

Bare Drawing

One (of a few) Brushes Versions

Another idea is to take an actual photograph, transfer it to the “brushes” app, and draw a little figure inside it.  (Yes, I know this is not such a new idea, but it felt revolutionary to me.)

Here was my first elephant in real landscape, an iPhone photograph of ice.

Elephant on Ice

This is kind of a fun technique as you can transfer the “brushes” drawing onto different surfaces, or, for example, different ice:

Elephant on Different Ice

The possibilities are endless.  (Now, if I could just draw something other than elephants….)

Going With The Icy Flow

December 31, 2010

Snowy and Not Very High Tech Cocoon

Back from a Northern outback, that is, a place that was very cold and had no true reliable internet access.

I am not really such an physically un-present person that I need, at all times, the cocoon of the virtual world.

But I am someone who does like to accomplish (sort of) what I start.   So once I tried posting  (and my apologies again for all the confusion), I tried for a while, even though catching enough “net” for transmission was like trying to carry a fistful of rain, to capture running water in a sieve.

But… but… but… when I finally went with the icy flow, gave in to the snowy non-electronic cocoon of the Northern here and now, all was just fine.

More than fine.


PS – I only tangentially participated in the construction of the above yet-unfinished igloo, i.e. I occasionally knocked some piece off when trying to help.

PPS – I did hand up a fair amount of snow to the more architecturally talented.

Another day without a true Internet connection , even with –especially with–the iPhone.

December 29, 2010

Another day without a true Internet connection , even with –especially with–the iPhone.

It is a frustrating device. The things it does well it does very well–things like making paintings and finding restaurants and identifying constellations. But the things that it does not do well are fortunately many of the tasks for which one gets a mobile phone/email device, i.e. a reliable connection to the electronic world from the middle of a nonelectronic. (Believe it or not, Steve, there are people who live, or at least travel, out of range of a wireless modem.)

Another problem–sending things before you are ready? All roads (or fingertips) seem to lead to send even when the phone is out of service. (Then, at some mysterious point–whoosh–send happens.)

Oh well, painting with your phone is pretty great and did you know that you can even paint on photographs? Taken on your phone!

The Apology That Came In From The Cold

December 29, 2010

Sorry for all the duplicate posts yesterday.

I am in a house in the mountains without Internet or phone service and an intermittent cell connection. Some speculate that the cell tower is encrusted with ice but frankly the service is poor here even in summer (when those same speculators conjecture that all the leaves interfere with the signal.)

At any rate, last night I tried all my blogging wiles to post a painting. These included reposting it at various pixel levels and marching up and down the nearest snowy hill with a headlamp strapped just below my hat.

(The cold has broken the car key in the ignition so driving to a place with better connectivity was not a true option even if I’d been willing to take a chance on icy roads.)

Unfortunately, I do not understand this gadget enough to know how to cancel all or some of the messages once they started their glacial (in all senses of the word) but non-pictorial way through the stratosphere. (The smart phone was just too smart for me.)


Have iPhone Will Keep Trying

December 28, 2010

Here’s painting done on train along the Hudson with the wonderful Brushes app. I’m now in the Catskill Mountains trying to post without Internet access. For a computer junkie, this is a bit like paddling up or downstream (in a storm). One more try.


December 28, 2010

iPhone paintings may be made in almost any circumstances I.e. along the Hudson in a train. Alas posting from a place with the barest satellite connection i.e. the mountains is not so easy.


December 28, 2010

Frustrated in the cold!


December 28, 2010


Along the Hudson with iPhone

December 28, 2010

On a train by the Hudson today with ice and iPhone. And now without wireless in mountains. Who knows what will come out?

Snow (Pearl)

December 27, 2010


(More iPhone art.  Brrrr….ushes App.)