The time traveler’s screen.


When I wake up, if time allows, I try and do a quick drawing on a screen because, well. You know… Screens.

The top image above was drawn this morning between 5.11 and 5.38 because I just couldn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep after, either, but at least I got a scribble out of the time I suppose. The two pics below where added when I had ten mins or so between doing college paperwork 🙁

The newest screen in the arsenal of things to draw on is a PS Vita which someone kindly sold me for a ‘couldn’t say no’ price (or at least that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it. I’ve wanted to play Tearaway for yonks and my patience gland was all used up.

But the Vita comes with a touch screen and a quick search led to two apps – Colors! (which seems to have been announced, released and then disappeared) and Paint Park (which I’ve tried out before…) Paint Park Plus (as it now is) has a few extra brushes and colours available so I thought it’d be rude not to have a play.


(although I have used Paint Park before, having confiscated a PS Vita from a student in the past 🙂 )

The interesting thing for me, with this pic, is that it reminds me of a thought which often goes through my mind. Obviously Hockney has picked up screens with his typical panache and there are a wealth of amazing screen artists out there (Matthew Watkins, Ben Rabe, Stefan Marjoram, Roz Hall, Fabric Lenny, Lumilyon and so many more)… But how would the old masters, or some of the most famous painters, taken to a touch screen device. When Renoir was old and arthritic would it have been a help of a hindrance? Would Dali or Van Gogh have loved an iPad or smashed it on the floor in disgust. Would Duchamp or Picasso have drawn on a screen with a stylus or turned the apps off and drawn on a screen with a permanent marker?

Leonardo? Reckon he’d have loved a tablet. Possibly…

Some of my favourite artists, the ones above or others like Bacon, De Kooning, Kandinksy, Klimt… Would they have seen the value in zoom, undo, rapidly evolving apps and processes or hated the lack of tactility? Would they have loved a capacitive paint brush for the speed it delivers on glass or hated it for the separation from a paint brush as they had understood it? Away from paintings what would Sagmeister, Rand, Saul Bass, Carson, Brody and so on do with a screen and an app?

Intrigued. If I were a time traveler I think that would be my passion and my hobby, to visit the great artists and ask them to teach me to see as they do and to show them a glass screen, app and range of styli to play with. To have a tablet with paintings and drawings by the greatest artists of all time? A lovely thought.

And of course the artists of now? The ones who’s artwork I can’t wait to see, knowing it’s still being worked on? Less painterly but I love Yulia Brodskoya’s work, Pienkowski, Korky Paul, Quentin Blake, Bill Sienkiewicz, Noma Bar, Ian McQue, Dave Sim and Gerhard. Most of all, the artist who I appreciate the work of most, is Dave McKean and I’d love to catch up with him one day over a pint and a tablet art session.

Who knows, one day any of the above might come true and one day maybe the names above won’t leave me feeling like I’ve got a million things to learn and little likelihood of doing so…

In other news – it was my daughter’s birthday party yesterday and excellent fun it was too. The personal highlight was seeing a man in a suit dance with an alligator to ‘the time of of my life’. No alcohol was involved, which is probably a good thing too.