Happy birthday Surface Pro 3…


Today (and yesterday) have been interesting. New student enrolment, as always, saw a swathe of young faces waltz past my desk. Some exuded hope and confidence and others were already crushed by silly letters that say little about their true worth and, in all cases, I gave the best news I could.

I actively look forward to the students I’m teaching next academic year but, to be honest, I always say that. And, fortunately so far, I’ve always been right. Next year will be a challenge – but a very exciting one where the kids are concerned. The Government sanctioned destruction of the education system remains a concern but I do what I can, where I can. Sometimes I am not able to say yes to a student who I’m sure would be an asset, because the rules say so… but I always bend the rules as far as I can as often as I can. My managers have learnt to tolerate the way I do things –  last year one student out of all of my intake left and all passed. So maybe I do know something about the kids I take on, who knows? I’m told I take too many risks, and that’s certainly true.

Post one day of compliance meetings and two days of constant waiting for/talking to kids prompted me to take an hour long diversion on the slow and frog tired walk home. I was determined to make it an hour or less as this week has seen me more away from my family than with them but I needed some time away from noise and I needed to draw. Sometimes there’s so much need than I have to stop and try not to think of it. As it is I’m taking on a fair few kids who I shouldn’t, according to the ruleset, and who I can’t wait to spend a year with.

Today is the launch of the Surface Pro 3. I like the machine, from the RT original (which I spent some time with and liked loads) to the newest iteration, released as I fretted over grades and funding applications and big eyed kids, trying to sound confident and desperately trying not to cry.  The issues I had with the Surface 1 (the integration of screen and stylus) and Surface 2 (lingering issues with the screen ratio in portrait format) have all been addressed and here we are with the Surface Pro 3. The kick stand works in all angles, the N Trig pen works beautifully and Fresh Paint remains one of the most wonderful gateway drugs to tablet and touch screen artwork.

Two Surface 3 demo units greeted me in the shop (no, I didn’t buy one. I’m a 3 day a week teacher with a 5 day a week workload. If I spend that sort of money I’m going to have to juggle and haggle and it’s not an immediate decision). A balloon arch drew my eye from the get go (I wasn’t entirely sure they’d have units to play with, the Microsoft online shop being sold out on day 1) but I knew which part of the shop to walk to 🙂 Once I’d said hallo to the staff I knew (pretty much all of them by now I think) I had the styli out and was painting.

Excuse the photos. My phone was completely out of juice, as was my tablet (as was I) so I relied on my third choice camera. Better pics to come.

Captain Antarctica:


painted on demo Surface Pro 3 unit 1 using finger, Nomad Compose brush and Fresh Paint app (mainly the oil paint brush).


Painted on the second Surface Pro 3 demo unit, Fresh Paint again (mainly the watercolour brush).

I had a few people watching me (probably half of the people in the store at one point 🙂 ) and it was lovely and therapeutic to just draw and not have to make decisions about the next year for kids who all wanted to hear good news where they might have lived the past few weeks without. Fresh Paint is a fab application, lovely to use and completely at home on a Surface, the hour was marvellous and wonderful and very much needed.

So happy birthday Surface Pro 3 and those who bought one I hope you enjoy and I’m a little envious. Have fun, because in EVERYTHING, that’s the most important  thing.