Arthur's Seat on an Early Winter Morning. December 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland

Arthur’s Seat on an Early Winter Morning. December 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland … a digital painting.

Ok, so I succumbed to the iPad drawing and painting universe. I had been watching David Hockney’s digital artworks for a long time. I don’t need to like those “paintings” but I understand his reasons to work digitally. The idea of carrying a small device into a bitterly cold December morning (as done in the 2 paintings shown here) and be as quick as I possibly can before my hands turn numb instead of carrying a portable easel and oil paints … what shall I say? It’s brilliant! My nostalgic self recoils ever so slightly but it is so much fun too.

The logical next step was to make those digital drawings open editions and available for downloading to be able to print them at home, at a photo print shop or with an online printer. I had heated discussions with my art loving friends about “artificially” limiting a medium that in its core is unlimited – like a digital painting or any print medium where the plate doesn’t wear off giving prints of declining quality. To me it doesn’t quite make sense.

Of course this looks like a painting but is it one? The principles of composition, colour and mark making are the same, but it of course lacks the tactile surface despite doing a good job of imitating it … the crustiness or thin veil of oil paint … To me it is a painting that is contemporary and certainly quicker to make (and therefore so much cheaper) but without the sensual nature of a painted surface. That in itself isn’t bad. It just is… A sacrifice for the brilliant ease and speed possible with this digital “medium”. Something’s gotta give.


Arthur’s Seat on an Early Winter Morning, Chimneys. December 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland