Over a decade ago, iconic British artist David Hockney first started using a tablet (an iPad) in 2009 to create digital artworks. And we’re not talking just some colour graphics on a screen. We’re talking artworks that have been exhibited in some of the world’s top museums from Tate in London, the Centre de Pompidou in Paris, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Australia.
Hockney said in an interview with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art curator Anders Kold in 2011, ‘I just happen to be an artist who uses the iPad, I’m not an iPad artist. It’s just a medium. But I am aware of the revolutionary aspects of it, and its implications.’
The artist, now in his 80s, added in his book of ipad drawings published by Tauschen last year: ‘There was great advantage in this medium because it’s backlit and I could draw in the dark. I didn’t ever have to get out of bed.’
However, it would seem that a next wave of enthusiasm for the digital medium has rolled across our screens with the pandemic, and a fresh take up of Procreate – an app that touts it is ‘made for artists’.
Procreate is not new; its first edition rolled out in 2011 (developed by Savage Interactive), and by 2018 was voted overall bestselling iPad app. Even Disney and Pixar use Procreate in-house.
Lockdowns have forcing many onto screens, and for other artists unable to go to their studios – there has been a flurry of activity recently.
Tech journalist Munroe Brackney writes: ‘With the rising popularity of TikTok during the beginning of COVID-19, Procreate and artists who use it have thrived using the app to promote their work.’
Procreate is not alone in the market – not surprising given the demand. Also popular are the apps Paper by WeTransfer, iOrnament, Zen Brush, iPad Pro, After Effects, and even old favourites like Microsoft Paint and Photoshop.
Brackney continued: ‘Photoshop has been the top program for digital art for years, but with the rise of TikTok and other social media, Procreate has become a top competitor that might one day surpass Photoshop.’
One of the reasons is that, unlike Photoshop, Procreate is available on any iOS device and is extremely portable, plus it is a one-time purchase that is half the monthly Photoshop fee.
‘Price has a lot to do with why it’s so popular,’ one reviewer said.
RECENT SPIKE IN USERS
In August this year, Apple posted a new video to its official YouTube channel to highlight the power of the iPad when it is paired with Procreate. Sure this is about marketing and money, but it is also an indication of the traction and growth experienced around using digital platforms for art making, especially with the rise of Tik Tok and YouTube during the pandemic.
The video was by Olivia Rodrigo, for her new song ‘brutal.’ Featured in the music video were a number of masks that the artist created in the Procreate app.
FAMOUS TABLET ART MAKERS
ArtsHub has put together this list of iPad and tablet artists, well-known for their use of Procreate. Understandably it is a popular medium for comic artists and illustrators, but it does not stop there. Fine artists, filmmakers and artistic directors are all turning to their tablets to capture creative ideas on the hop.
Comic artists & illustrators
- Jim Lee, comics artist and DC Comics Chief Creative Officer who has used it to sketch Batman and the Joker.
- Eric Merced, another cartoonist for Marvel and DC recognised for his use of this platform. Preferred Apps: ProCreate.
- Jorge Colombo, The New Yorker Illustrator has been using the apps since 2009.
- Sara Faber Artist and illustrator running my small illustration business.
- e r g o j o s h Digital artist and illustrator.
- David Hockney: British fine artist turns to the medium largely to create landscape paintings. Preferred Apps: Brushes.
- Stefan de Groot: The Dutch illustrator and the children’s books. Preferred Apps: ProCreate.
- John Dyer: The English landscape painter, used Procreate as part of the ‘Last Chance to Paint’ project, in partnership with the Eden Project. During the project Dyer to stayed with the Yaminawá people in the Amazon rainforest, where he painted the experience on a tablet.
- Seikou Yamaoka: Yamaoka and the great works of art history.
Video game artists
- Mike Henry: Zatransis – designer and illustrator for the gaming world.
- Sam Gilbey: From Sony Playstation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Twitter.
- Kyle Lambert: a poster artist notable for creating the Stranger Things poster in Procreate, is also known for his viral Procreate finger-painting of Morgan Freeman. Preferred Apps: ProCreate.
- Nikolai Lockertsen: Concept Artist and illustrator in the movie and TV industry.
- James Jean: The artist uses Procreate for film poster work, as with his poster for Blade Runner 2049.
- Doug Chiang: A concept artist who creates robot, vehicle and creature designs for Star Wars in Procreate.
- Raphael Lacoste: Art Director for Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, who uses Procreate for studies.
Australians artists to follow on Instagram
- David McLeod: An Australian digital artist specialising in CGI with 221,000 followers.
- Anna McNaught: Describes herself as a photoshop artist, with over 139,000 followers.
- Ryhia Dank: Combines painted and digital works together, using iPad Pro and Procreate to incorporate her art into all sorts of mediums such as textiles, digital planners, vinyl wraps, and gift cards. The First Nations artist lives on the Sunshine Coast and has 31,800 followers.
- Jessica Johnson: Uses Adobe Creative Suite, Indesign, Illustrator and After Effects to create digital designs. A First Nations artist who use the medium for activism, has 41,000 followers.
- Madison Connor: First Nations artist who uses Adobe Suite, affinity designer, and Procreate with 33,400 followers.
- Miranda Lorikeet: Sydney artist who describes herself as a Microsoft Paint artist, and has 12,200 followers.
Art teachers graduate from Royal Drawing School training programme – Antigua Observer
Twenty-three art teachers from public and private schools across the island graduated on December 3rd, after completing a three-month art teaching certification course.
The course, a release said, was sponsored by the Halo Foundation and the Jumby Bay Fund, in conjunction with the Royal Drawing School (United Kingdom), the Ministry of Education and The G (art gallery in Piccadilly). Local artist counterpart, Anson Henry, also assisted with the programme. Two separate graduation ceremonies were held, in order to restrict numbers at the gathering.
While delivering brief remarks at the ceremony, Her Excellency Sandra Lady Williams remarked that “the curriculum was developed based on a needs assessment exercise carried out through surveys of the teachers throughout the school system, with the assistance of Director of Art in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Melville Richardson. These techniques will be transferred to the ultimate beneficiaries of the exercise — the students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Antigua and Barbuda. Initially, we also received a significant amount of crucial advice from local artist Dina De Brozzi Goodenough and International Networks Manager of the Prince’s Foundation, Mr Jeremy Cross, so all ideas were combined, and culminated in a tailored, practical plan of action”.
CEO of the Jumby Bay Island Company Ltd, Mr Wayne Kafcsak, spoke of the commitment of Jumby Bay to the overall development of the island, and commended the Halo Foundation for the continuous initiatives to provide a platform for sharing of skills and improvement of techniques in the area of culture and the arts.
Governor General, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams stated that “with continuous development courses such as this, the expectation is that the level of art in our schools will improve. We already have a tremendous amount of local talent. Like with any other discipline, keeping abreast of new techniques and communicating views and visions can only refine the quality of output”.
Deputy Director of Education, Mrs. Ezra Jonah-Greene, distributed the certificates on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Creative Industries.
Tutors from the Royal Drawing School, Cherry Pickles and Oliver MacDonald Oulds, expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the programme, which was recommended for future expansion. Both tutors will return to London next week.
The Royal Drawing School “runs over 350 different full and part time drawing courses each year for adults and children of all ages and abilities. [Their] courses are taught by a specialist faculty of over 75 practising artists. Founded in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales and artist Catherine Goodman as The Prince’s Drawing School, [it] became the Royal Drawing School in 2014.” (www.royaldrawingschool.org).
For further information, contact The Halo Foundation (562-9153), or email [email protected].
Rosalia, Lizzo, Cardi B wrap up over the top Miami art week – Rocky Mountain Outlook
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The over-the-top parties and star-studded shows surrounding Miami’s Art Basel wrapped up this weekend with performances by Rosalia, Lizzo, Cardi B and rocker Lenny Kravitz.
The annual event, which was canceled last year during the pandemic, is an extension of the prestigious art show in Switzerland. But over the years, Miami has put its own spin on the affair, which has become a magnet for celebrities. Everyone from Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Joe Jonas were spotted around town.
The highlight of the week was Louis Vuitton’s first ever U.S. fashion show Tuesday. But the lavish affair, where guests where ferried to an island by private yacht, turned into an emotional tribute after legendary 41-year-old designer Virgil Abloh died suddenly just days before the show. Kid Cudi and Erykah Badu performed at an after-party where dozens of dancing red drones blazed the skyline to write “Virgil was here.”
Fashion brand Burberry and W magazine hosted a party attended by models Karlie Kloss and Candice Swanepoel, along with Camila Coelho, A$AP Ferg, and Meadow Walker.
Rosalia gave a surprise performance Friday night to celebrate Chanel’s iconic fragrance. The French fashion house partnered with artist Es Devlin for a multisensory sculptural installation that included a forest of over 1,000 plants and trees. Before the show, Chanel hosted a private dinner attended by Pharrell Maluma, Leon Bridges, Joe Jonas and songstress sister trio HAIM.
The fashion brand’s Five Echoes installation is free and open to the public until Dec. 21.
Cardi B performed Saturday night to launch her new line of vodka infused whipped cream. The rapper sprayed Whipshots into the mouth of fans at The Goodtime Hotel. Offset, Mary J. Blige and Timbaland were among the guests. After the event, Cardi B and hubby Offset made their way to Hyde Beach at SLS South Beach for the MAXIM party where the couple danced as 112 performed its old-school hit “Peaches and Cream.” Karrueche, Austin Mahone and Taye Diggs were also in the crowd.
After hours, over 500 fans lined up around the block to get into rapper Meek Mill’s sold-out show at E11EVEN. He didn’t take the stage until 3:30 a.m. Cardi B, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nina Agdal, Karrueche, Migos and Marshmello stayed for the late-night performance.
The official Art Basel fair attracted 60,000 visitors this year, according to a statement, but thousands more attended various art shows all week. At Art Miami, a $4 million Banksy sale, a 10-year-old phenom painter and an 18 carat gold bagel avocado toast on sale for $2.9 million at Galerie Rother generated buzz.
The ultra-futuristic Paramount Miami Worldcenter even partnered with artist Mr. Glue to host a scavenger hunt for street trash transformed into valuable artworks.
And in a week where art often borders on the absurd — remember the infamous $120,000 b anana duct tape pieces — Miami’s DJ Khaled dropped “bling wings” topped with 24-karat gold dust and edible diamonds to promote his restaurant.
Swizz Beatz partnered with American Express to bring back “Women in Art,” commissioning a live installation by artist Tanda Francis at an event Saturday night. The credit card company also hosted a private performance by Lizzo at The Miami Beach Edition.
Dr. Deepak Chopra partnered with “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke for an intimate morning meditation launching his Metaverse For Good platform and NFT drop. At night, Alicia Keys also led a guided meditation where mechanical flowers hanging from the ceiling opened and closed like inhales and exhales. Wearing a neon yellow gown and thigh high boots at Superblue, Miami’s experiential art center, the Grammy winner played songs from her new album dropping next week.
DiCaprio, Marc Anthony, Soleil Moon Frye and Alicia Machado helped pal Sean Penn raise $1.6 million at a fundraiser Thursday night benefiting Penn’s CORE foundation (Community Organized Relief Effort), specifically its crisis response programs across Latin America, including Haiti and Brazil.
DiCaprio also showed up to art collector Wayne Boich’s annual bash, along with Venus and Serena Williams and Latin boy band CNCO. Kravitz took the stage for a 75-minute concert. Rapper T.I. closed out the party.
Even Playboy got in on the action to promote its new lifestyle brand BIG BUNNY. Guests Cardi B, Lizzo, and Charlie XCX attended a surrealist ball, centered around the idea that pleasure is a fundamental human right. The new collection pays homage to artist Salvador Dal who was commissioned for the magazine in 1973 and 1974.
Across town, actress Eva Longoria played the role of mixologist at a party Friday night to promote her new brand Casa Del Sol tequila, pouring drinks for attendees including longtime friend Serena Williams.
Rapper Young Thug headlined an NFT party on Saturday night with Von Dutch in the hip Wynwood District.
Other celebrity spotting included Maroon Five’s Adam Levine and wife Victoria Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo sitting with friend Marc Anthony at David Grutman and Pharrell’s restaurant Swan. Rauw Alejandro and Rosalia also enjoyed a date night there.
Longtime Basel fixture Vera Wang, who wore custom grey, silk Vera dress, also dined at the restaurant with fellow fashion designer Donna Karen, and Giancarlo Stanton. Record producer and DJ Diplo visited the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science with a group of family and friends.
Kelli Kennedy, The Associated Press
Modernism meets sacred geometry in Robert Houle retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario – The Globe and Mail
At the end of a large retrospective devoted to the Saulteaux artist Robert Houle at the Art Gallery of Ontario, there hangs a small but seminal painting. Red is Beautiful was the first work Houle ever sold to a museum – what is now the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. The AGO has borrowed the piece itself for display and taken its title as the name of this exhibition.
Showing a series of concentric, flat-topped pyramid shapes in different shades of red and pink, the 1970 painting could be read as a small example of the colour-field or geometric abstraction of the day. During travels to Europe, Houle had been inspired by the grids of the Dutch abstractionist Piet Mondrian. He had also discovered the American colour-field painter Barnett Newman and must surely have seen Jack Bush’s work in Canada.
And yet, already in Houle’s art, there was a sense that his point was different – that there was an element of symbolism to his abstraction, and that it sought something more direct than Newman’s spiritualism and more spiritual than Bush’s formalism. Sure enough, there is another early work nearby that makes Houle’s interests explicit: Ojibway Motif, #2, Purple Leaves Series, of 1972, features a column created by alternating chevrons, or arrowheads, in different shades of lilac. The artist was looking for a vocabulary that would somehow unite modernist abstraction with a sacred geometry inspired by his own culture.
Standing near these paintings at a recent media event, Houle described himself as committed to biculturalism (he grew up on the Sandy Lake First Nation in Manitoba, where he was educated in Catholic residential schools, and both his parents’ ancestry is Saulteaux and French). The retrospective is a large testament to that. His has been a long career spent incorporating and critiquing Western art in a practice devoted to Indigenous themes. Through the 1980s and 1990s, he added photography, text and figurative elements to make his points, but never lost a colourist’s love of pure paint.
In 1992, in Kanata, perhaps his best-known painting, on loan here from the National Gallery of Canada, he revisits Benjamin West’s The Death of General Wolfe. Houle makes all the Europeans in the famous history painting fade away in a monotone beige grisaille, while a pensive brave with his red feather and blue loincloth indicates Indigenous centrality in Canadian history. The image is flanked, like the Canadian flag, by bands of colour: A rich saturated blue for the French, and a strong, bright red for the British. Beyond the political symbolism, there is also much power in that paint.
In a more personal mix of the abstract and the figurative in Sandy Bay, of 1998-99, Houle confronted the residential school where he spent every weekday of his elementary years, able to see his home from its windows yet forbidden from speaking his language with his peers or his own sister. (Weekend visits and a strong family kept his connection to his culture alive.) The work includes a ghostly photo-based painting of the school and two actual photographs of the local priest and children, alongside two coloured panels that counter the realism of the school panel with an evocative Indigenous abstraction. In the larger of the panels, Houle repeats the motif of the parfleche – a rawhide bag, often decorated with quills – that occurs again and again in his work.
In 1983, in Parfleches for the Last Supper, he executed 13 small paintings, one for Jesus and each of the disciples, in which he inserted quills directly into the paper. The parfleche is a fascinating motif because it plays so effectively off the tension between the flat, abstract paintings Houle echoes and the traditional container, which would hold three-dimensional content.
Houle emerges in this exhibition, organized by the AGO’s curator of Indigenous art, Wanda Nanibush, as a central figure both in advancing Canadian abstraction and in pioneering a new Indigenous contemporary art. In the show’s catalogue, there is a photograph of Houle in 1978 meeting Norval Morrisseau, whose invention of a distinct Indigenous iconography inspired the younger man. Houle’s own work would then move Indigenous art forward a generation by effectively incorporating contemporary styles and approaches. Today, the careers of Kent Monkman or Brian Jungen, both artists of mixed Indigenous and settler heritage, would be unthinkable without Houle’s precedent-setting work.
In crying out for land rights or denouncing historic betrayals, the work often becomes didactic. For example, collages using Maclean’s magazine covers from the Oka crisis feel too literal to make much impact. In 2007′s multimedia piece Do Not Open Until You Get Home, Houle uses a newspaper clipping and video to compare the introduction of smallpox to North America by Europeans in the 18th century with the U.S. decision in 1999 to keep small samples of the deadly virus. Here, he literally highlights the words in a historical letter from a British officer, who suggests that First Nations resisters led by Pontiac be given poisoned blankets.
And yet this kind of overt and informational approach is often rescued by Houle’s formalism. Do Not Open … is displayed alongside Palisade, a subtler reference to the eight British forts that Pontiac successfully attacked in 1763 – a move that forced the British to acknowledge Indigenous rights. Eight large, vertical wooden panels are painted in different shades of green. It was said that Pontiac gave the signal to attack by flipping over the wampum belt to show its green underside.
That tension between symbolism and formalism runs powerfully through Houle’s work, and sometimes he just has to laugh at it himself. A series of works intended to reclaim Pontiac’s name from the General Motors car brand includes a real 1947 Pontiac convertible in daffodil yellow (leant by Winnipeg collector Norm Dumontier). It’s a gorgeous piece of industrial design, offset by a strong red wall inscribed with Pontiac’s promise: I will stand in your path till dawn.
Are we to read Pontiac’s words as a threat to enemies, or as a simple statement of endurance? Houle speaks for past and present, for Turtle Island and North America, for Indigenous and settler cultures as they stand today: Imperfectly reconciled but actively bicultural.
He’s 74 and, like Pontiac, his art is not going away. The most recent work in this exhibition dates to 2021.
Red is Beautiful continues to April 17 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It will tour to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Contemporary Calgary in 2022, and spend 2023 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
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