Last year I went to the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa, Florida and purchased several new art pieces. One of them was a 12 x 12 inch painting of a blue boat floating lazily on greenish water. It made me think of the water of Florida, which is home to me, and I had to have it. The painting is called Blue Floating Dinghy #2 and is part of a Dinghy Studies series by artist John Leben. My mom bought Deserted Dinghy #13 and it is just stunning in person.
Leben is known for his whimsical imaginative paintings of houses and towns in unexpected places - like a whole treehouse town. He paints in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. What I like about the painting I bought (and his other work) is that he actually has a nice brushstroke even though he isn't using a paintbrush to create the marks. The paintings are detailed and there are even smudges or searching lines. I like how fully he has developed the medium.
I use a Wacom tablet to edit and draw in Photoshop but I hadn't considered creating paintings with it before. So a year later, I started tinkering and it's really fun! I have no idea what I'm doing! The paintings I've been playing with, so amateur compared to Leben's, seem to develop like watercolors with the brushstrokes layering on top of each other. Above is a painting of a pomegranate; I'm having fun playing with the different shades of red. It has been fun to make little drawings and paintings that I have no intention of showing anyone. If I like something I can save it, if not I can delete it. There isn't any guilt for throwing away large pads of paper. Making digital paintings has also been an easy way to be creative while Noah is taking a nap. There is no set up or breakdown so I can use the whole hour I have to myself to paint. There isn't tempting toxic paint sitting out for tiny hands to get into either.
What do you think? Would you consider new mediums like digital painting and drawing as "real" art?