Digital Art: “It’s not really Art”

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I have an eternal appreciation for Art, both digital and traditional. Local artist Jane McDonough's paintings leave me feeling like I've freshly woken from dreaming of a breezy stroll through Caithness - her work sits firmly on my wish list.

Painting and golf. They don’t exactly walk hand in hand but to me, both require a lot of skill and patience. I used to paint, mostly during my teenage years when I also played golf. I'd sit for hours painting detailed folds of delicate cloth or hit superb, clean shots straight up the fairway... only to end with a slap-dash wonky wine glass or chasing the golf ball across the green whack by whack. Needless to say, patience and I are not the best of friends.

My Art teacher however, was both encouraging and blessed with the patience of a Saint. Mr Fergus Mather introduced me to Digital Art around seventeen years ago at Thurso High School. If he wasn't rolling his eyes as I goofed around the classroom wearing half the contents of the still life prop cupboard, he was attentively guiding me through the unknown world of Photoshop on the classroom computer, or reminding me of the countless settings on a digital camera. With the grinding sound of a scanner, sketches of plants were transported into the digital world up onto the computer screen from where the opportunities seemed endless. From creating repeat patterns and infinite colour combinations then spitting it back out on paper with the click of a mouse... me and my easily distracted noggin were hooked.

I've used Photoshop and cameras just about every working and studying day since and find myself continually learning new processes and tools. This learning will never stop.

Today, digital technology is widely used across creative industries: fashion, publishing, architecture, TV, media, advertising, design, and music, all relish our digital age. The idea of a song being produced without a digital process is difficult to imagine.

It appears Art lovers too have welcomed digital with open arms. They're happy to not only view, but buy art digitally with online art sales in 2015 reported to reach a whopping £3.27 billion (according to art insurance company, Hiscox).

Yet, I'm all too often surprised to come across artists themselves digging their clunky heels, especially on a local level. Despite the usual “its not really art” comments and personally having work turned away from local "artist's" exhibitions over the years, I felt proud as punch after the success of my first limited edition series. All 150 StoneScape prints were created digitally using original photography and Photoshop, over half of which sold within 8 weeks of launching.

I’ll finish there by thanking all who have supported my creative journey up until now. I'd also like to remind creatives that each artist simply has a story to tell. Whether these stories are told through song, script or visual means... digital or traditional - it matters not.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
— Pablo Picasso

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Lisa Poulsen2 Comments