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In 2012 I fell in love with tablets. Lightweight enough to travel easily to organizing meetings (including those held in parks or tents) they also paired beautifully with projectors.At the time I was part of a group projecting political art onto buildings, an alternative style of street art. But I was still creating the art itself on a very expensive cumbersome setup. I was teaching ad hoc classes to people interested in graphics but the hardware was a barrier, both financially and physically. So toward the end of 2013 I began a 6 month experiment to see how far I could take art created on tablets.

It was an adjustment, I had to detach from years of expectations about what was possible and how to do things. But I was immediately impressed with just how much IS possible on a setup that cost a fraction of my other working environment. For the curious – I tried all the graphics Apps I could find, Artrage and SketchBook Pro were my favorites until I discovered ProCreate. While I did find that a ‘smart stylus’ (aka Bluetooth) was a must have, I also LOVE the ability to use my fingers. This one little tweak had long been missing from digital art, and tablet use gave it back to me.

I chose illustrating Twitter hashtag topics for my learning curve experiments. There were several reasons, but the one important to graphic artists is that I knew I wasn’t willing to give up the use of layers. Channels and masks (small sob) I could bear to live without, but not layers. Fortunately layers are very available in tablet art apps.

Looking back on these I can see the progression of comfort with the tools, the resulting pieces definitely got better over time. I’d estimate it took 4 months before I had anything I was pleased with (the Jonathan Ferrell portrait, 6th one below). But I got there and what a joy it is to paint digitally “en plain air”! Print quality is great at A4 and can be pushed up to A3+ without too much loss for most things. But the best part is knowing that the tools for creating digital fine art have become so much more accessible. This under $1000 setup can’t do everything I’m used to, but at a fifth of the cost it’s pretty amazing.

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  • Interdisciplinary Art
  • Technology
  • Laurel
  • Green
  • Ethics

In addition to bringing together practices from different disciplines (multidisciplinarity),


implies both analysis (taking things apart) and synthesis (bringing things together).

ART is about truth: finding it, expressing it, questioning it, creating it, changing it. At the deepest level I am an artist to create change in the world, and I understand that the best (perhaps only) way to create that change is to change ourselves. I believe art is something one is, as well as something one does.

Like many art forms, particularly those we refer to as craft,


began as function. The quilt that keeps us warm, the shaborri dyed silk we wear against our skin, these artistic explorations also serve us in ways that could be seen as having sheerly practical application. But while potters and weavers can create art that exists alone in a forest, falling without respect to the presence or absence of others, software seems to exist only when we engage with it.

Neolithic, Sumerian and Akkadian, and Greek artworks have deeply influenced my work. Art from these cultures maps a world view in which art and the Sacred are entwined. These depictions of divinity offer us a different perspective on the Sacred.

I embrace digital tools as a way of questioning what art is and what role art has, as our culture transforms into a technological one. It is the fertile ground of intersection that inspires me, the place where

ancient and new combine

to create meaning.

At the core of my engagement with technology is the belief that it affords us the opportunity to

change the dialogues of history,

by including voices that typically go unheard.

ethical systems

in an information society began with questions. They can be consolidated into a single question: Was this information intentionally and directly shared with me personally? I believe my ethical responsibilities, and my options when acting on the information, are contingent on the answer. Our application of publishing metaphors in a search for ethical structures (if it is published online it is information we have the right to act on) ignores both the reality of how we use online tools and the multiplicity of personal identity.