Saturday, May 23, 2009


I am surrounded by technology that both helps and hinders me in the process of making art. When I consider that perhaps 10 years ago, my ability to use much of this technology was pretty limited, it amazes me how much I come to depend on it.

My old cell phone died a couple of weeks ago and I had to buy a new one. You can't buy a regular cell phone anymore. It has to come with slide out keyboards, cameras, bluetooth, video, internet access - and the most current feature GPS. All this technology in a mobile telephone and I still can't seem to hear it ring when its at the bottom of my bag!

When I purchased the new phone (an LG Dare, for those who are into technology) the clerk told me it came with a Samsung digital photoframe. In pink. Joy. I didn't know one end of a digital photoframe from another. I guess that candy pink wasn't selling well so they were used as a sales incentive - even if I didn't know about until the sale was closed.

However, tonight I finally got around to exploring it a bit. Despite the frame colour, it could be a useful tool for those times when I need to show some art in a slideshow format that is more portable than a laptop. It holds 120mb of space, but does need its powersource to operate.

We have access to so much technology to assist us in art marketing, networking, sales and even creating art or helping it show a better face online. However, when it comes to creating art, for me, I am a traditionalist and technology can't really help me except to create the current products that I use. Even that becomes a source of amazement as I never consider where my paint or pencils come from or the method of creating them. I just buy them and presume they will be readily available. I don't have to mix my own paints or make my own paper, even though the option is there for me. I've tried the papermaking but not creating paints.

What technology assists you or hinders you? Is technology a benefit or something else that moves us further away from reality?


Anonymous said...

I think we are getting more and more removed form our own reality, But it all seems so inevitable.
On the other hand I would never have met so many wonderful artists without the wonders of the internet. So there's a push and a pull I guess...

Unknown said...

I certainly can relate to the cell phone in the bottom of the bag.
I love the technology of the internet and can't get enough of it. When it comes to cell phones...I find messages a week old, I don't hear it,I forget to take it with me or the batter is flat...LOL.
I hope the pink frame grows on you. hehe.
Have fun with your new Cell.

Unknown said...

Love the red shoes. great job.

Anita said...

I loathe cellphones - I think they are a total curse! And I am not sure about digital photoframes yet. The jury is out.
Red shoes - always spark the imagination!

Felicity Grace said...

I love the drawing and the shoes! I agree with Cathsheard about the push pull and the social aspect. Although I do wonder about all the connections - if I, or any other blogger stopped blogging, would anyone notice or care? It's all so dependent on the latest post.

I like to think I don't rely on technology but I do love digital camaras and if I have to draw from a photo, I think seeing it on a screen is a vast improvement on looking at a flat bit of paper. It has a luminosity which I think bridges the difference between life and photos. I still used paper and pencils so I flatter myself I can manage without technology if necessary!

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't have seen those red shoes had it not been for a mobile phone with a camera...taken in Marks and Spenser shoe dept!! I saw them...didn't want to buy them...but thought they'd make a great ...go technology!!! :)

Anonymous said...

sorry..should have signed it but don't want any more accounts! Deirdre

Jeanette Jobson said...

I have a love/hate relationship with technology Cath. I agree that it allows easy access to other artist that I never would have been able to meet otherwise.

Dors, with so many cell phones around, its hard to know what's ringing most of the time!

The internet is very useful - my instant encyclopedia, but it can also be a time suck that brings you down many rabbit paths before you know it.

Anita, I have cell phone rules. When I get home it is turned off and at weekends its only on to communicate for pick ups or shopping list addtions from home. People do seem to beleive they can't live without them or it raises their level of importance to have endless calls about nothing that is vital.

Your right Felicity. Everything and everyone is a moment in time and often 'popularity' becomes a contest, vieing for the highest numbers of visitor or links.

When I use a photo I also draw from the screen 99.9% of the time. A printed photo on a home printer never provides the same colours of definition. And I do depend on my digital camera, as well as my cell phone camera to grab quick images - my version of digital sketching. :)

Deirdre, you're very correct. Technology brought the shoe image to me and thousands of others on Wetcanvas. A cell phone camera, a computer and a website created it. Some good old fashioned drawing, then technology again in the form of a scanner or camera and a blog brought it to the world.

Yep, it complex. It has advantages and disadvantages and like most things, used in moderation, it works well.

Jennifer Rose said...

2 years ago I never wanted a cell phone, but now I don't go anywhere without it. Its just so handy to have around and takes pretty good photos for being a phone so comes in handy if I forget the digital camera. (I've got the yip yip aliens from sesame street on my phone :p its very loud so I can always find it lol scares people tho :p)
I use my laptop a lot for adjusting scanned pictures, and prefer to use it if I am using a photo to draw from as I can get really close to an area if I need to. I'm trying to get more practice in with my Wacom tablet but the pen for that does come in handy when critiquing something as I can draw right on the photo that needs help.
I use my laptop a lot for art related things, probably more then I should :p I love what I can do with it, but its also a huge time eater :/ Hours can fly by and I don't know where the time went.
I think the photo frames are great :D Don't have to get out the photo albums to show people and they add a lot of life to room :)
I do think that all this technology does sometimes create problems when people start thinking the net is like real life, or people become dependent on some technical gadget to do something simple. And people are not writing any more so have problems writing things by hand o.0 I'm not talking about messy handwriting, (of which I am guilty of :p) people are so used to typing they don't really know how to hold a pen :/ I think I heard that somewhere there are courses to teach people (teenager age and up) how to write letters because they either never learned or have forgotten o.0 or people start writing in net speak for school papers >.< (ok I'll stop ranting :p)

Jo Castillo said...

Jeanette, our cell phones do not work at our house so only when we are in the car and on the road. What I detest are people talking on them in restaurants. So rude! To the folks they are dining with and the folks around them. Awful.

Love the red shoes! We met a Canadian here in Oklahoma City yesterday from Alberta, he said you folks in Newfoundland party all the time and never sleep. Hmmmmm. :)

Jennifer Rose said...

I can say that most of the people from Newfoundland I met when living in Alberta partied all the time ;p (but really theres not much else to do in some parts of Alberta :p so everyone parties and goes cow tipping) ok joking about the cow tipping (sort of :p)

Billie Crain said...

I've come to depend entirely too much on technology in regards to my art. It's made me a lazy artist to be truthful. I can easily greyscale just by clicking on my mouse in my photo editor, etc. All my photos references are online, too. BUT....if I hadn't joined and met the people I have I probably(?)wouldn't even be working on my art right now. There's pros and cons. I don't have a cellphone so that's a mute point with me.

BTW, love your shoes!

Anonymous said...

First of all, love the shoes!
Technology certainly can be a double-edged sword. The digital camera has become a lifesaver for me. Yet I'm also finding I like painting from life better than from photos.

Sonia said...

Also love the red shoes! They are gorgeous... But I was mostly entertained, again, by your wonderful article!! Have you ever considered writing a book? I love to read your posts!! Really! I also have a love/hate relationship with technology... I love it, when we´re talking about my mobile phone, my laptop... but I hate it when my husband is paying more attention to his technologies than he his paying attention to me... :p