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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oil painting on an iPad: Oxymoron or art?

"Throughout history a small number of artists have rejected both palette knives and brushes. A few used their fingers to spread the paint. Artists turned to such primal means for various reasons, including display of skill, experimental playfulness, or nose-thumbing at convention. The young Leonardo's use of his fingers can be linked to the properties of the newly available medium of oil painting. ... It should not surprise us that he played with the tackiness of the new oil medium, palpating the paint as he sought new effects." ~ Seeing Through Paintings by Andrea Kirsch and Rustin S. Levenson, p133/4. ~

It’s apparent that Kirsch and Levenson were not referencing Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” but perhaps the initial youngster-like steps he took to get to the height of his painting career.

The art of finger painting in and of itself was rediscovered and popularized by American educator, Ruth Faison Shaw in 1926 while in Rome, Italy teaching at the Shaw School. Since then, finger painting has become a major part of early art education, and used as a significant tool in psychiatric therapy.

Earlier this year, in April and May, when the Apple iPad was being launched, I was fascinated with the technology and penned two posts: "The iPad Chalenge: Cat, Dog or Man," and "The iPad Challenge: Part Deux."

Frankly, I was impressed with the multitude of inexpensive applications for this gadget, which seemed to be surfacing daily – everything from reading and games to writing and music.

I still don’t have an iPad, but I love to paint, and recently I discovered that there is an app called “Brushes”; it has all of the fun of finger painting but none of the mess, and it not only works on an iPad but is available for an iPhone and iPod touch.

In the hands of a fine portrait artist, David Jon Kassan, the Brushes app (at a mere $4.99) is more than child’s play. Take a look at the video below, which is a distillation of a three-hour live portrait painting session from Kassan’s Brooklyn Studio, which took place on Monday, June 21, 2010. The video has already been seen by over 900,000 people.

In case anybody wants to know (hint, hint) this is definitely going on my “wish list.”


BarryGillogly said...

I am totally blown away! Great tool for the artist in you.

arlee bird said...

This is definitely amazing and it is some kind of art. How do hang it in a gallery? It's not like a painting. Maybe more like a print?

Tossing It Out

Paula Slade said...

Barry - I totally agree! :)

Lee (arlee bird) - Excellent question. It probably is more like a print and there is some way of duplicating because on the "Brushes" page link they show two New Yorker magazine covers that were created. As for as a gallery... I think it's mostly online now through Flickr.