Creating Outside the Box | by Jennifer Noxon
Due to planned travel followed by an unexpected family emergency this new year, I was not able to retreat into my studio after the busy-ness of the holidays. It is usually treasured hibernation time. Snow on the ground, the brightness, the quietness and it being too dang cold to be outside for very long is typically the perfect recipe for turning on my favourite tunes and getting messy.
Because this year was different, and I really wanted to work on some ideas, I took my trusty iPad Pro and brand spanking new Apple Pencil on the road. I use Procreate, an accessible yet ‘deep’ app for visual creatives. I learn what I need to as I go, and build my skills by trying things out, making mistakes, and from time-to-time, digging into the instructional booklet.
A few years ago, when I first started ‘painting’ on my iPad with Procreate, I completed a series of 10 limited edition prints that captured different views of the riverscape here in Almonte, Ontario. What started as an experiment, became a series of images. The printing process (an Epson large format commercial printer) captured the colours exactly as they were on my screen - yet I was able to make the prints any size - and so chose 17” x 17” without sacrificing resolution. It was a slow-motion “aha” moment. I learned a lot.
I call it ‘painting’ and refer to ‘prints’ because it involves a similar process to painting on canvas (empty canvas, application of colour and use of my finger or a stylus that acts as the brush), yet, to make an image into something one can put their hands on, the image has to be digitally printed. Thus, it becomes a ‘print’ of a digital painting whether it’s a one off or one of a limited edition of 10.
Painting on a screen is definitely different than painting on board or canvas. Neither is better, they are just different. With any medium, an artist develops a relationship with their materials and relies on their skills and experience to bring an image to life. One of the reasons I love working with different mediums is the discovery process. The beginner’s mind. The willingness to enter into a new relationship and let it teach me, influence me, show me new approaches and ways of seeing.