• awrigley7

A new string to the bow

Picasso had no qualms about extending what art is, and neither does David Hockney. So why do people still wonder if artwork done on the iPad "is art"?

I covered much of this question in a previous post (Art and the iPad), so I won't plough tired soil. Instead, this post is more of an illustration of the joys of extending what you can do in your studio.

Here is an image I created on the iPad, to study a dog whose portrait I was about to paint:

I got the image printed onto a 75 x 100 cm aluminium board by Photobox.co.uk (I am in the UK, but Photobox almost certainly has a website for your country. The US site is photobox.com, or, for example, New Zealand's is photobox.co.nz).

The image itself is shamelessly photorealist, although with a few concessions to creativity, AKA minor quirks... what ARE those blobs on the grass!!??

Never mind the blobs, what matters to this post is what happened next, at a workshop with Martin Kinnear. The idea was to see the effects of working over an old image but with new intent, taking the image as only a starting point, not a finished object, and seeing where a simple change of technique would lead. It was an oil painting workshop, so that is what was used, but I could have used acrylics, or collage, or elephant dung...

Martin suggested rubbing down the print with chalk dust, to allow the oils to grip the surface better. Then clearing away the chalk by rubbing the print down with a mixture of medium and solvent. We went slowly at first, but once we saw that only a small amount of colour was lifted, probably as a result of the abrasive effect of the chalk dust, I got stuck in. Minutes later, the surface was soon ready to paint.

And this is the result:

Is it better? Or worse? Who cares? The real question is, is it art?

The answer has nothing to do with iPads or oil paints. And it is all in the eye of the beholder. Ie, you.

If you want to buy one of my iPad paintings, check them out here:


I can get it printed for you, where ever you are in the world, so long as photobox has a website in your country.

If you want to see the oil painting I finally did of Kaiser, here he is. He was a lovely dog:

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