Now that there is the possibility to paint directly on a digital surface, to mix colors on that surface, and to bring in a photo and paint with its pigments, I have been working exclusively on an iPad or tablet. My art has become an exploration of the border between the virtual and the real, between a photograph and a painting. I alter elements in the photo and leave others. There is the real world of the photo and the imagined world of the painting meeting on one surface in an atmosphere of uncertainty: which figure was in the photo? isn’t that a real eye in that painting? Is that a real place? We discover our craving for the real. We want to be sure where the real world ends and the imaginal begins. We want to know what ground we are walking on. And at the same time we love illusion, we enjoy the freedom of expanding beyond the limited world.
Exploring the border between the virtual and the supposed real world, experiencing our physical responses to seeing the real and the imaginal in the same space gives us an opportunity to examine our desire for certainty. We want to know the line between the virtual and the real despite the uncertain territory we are inhabiting now and the increasingly virtual world in our future.
When I drag the skin off my own face, no blood flows but the shock of seeing a pink creature in my mouth, made with the pigments from my skin, is shocking, even haunting. Painting from the real world? How is that possible? This technology is new and the shock is still delightful and provocative.
This art is a hybrid. My work is done with methods I use with wet paint. The line between digital and actual painting is shifting. Working with the iPad I find learning is faster, change is faster. No doubt this exploration in the digital realm will take my work in unexpected directions.