Are You Hiding Behind Photoshop?

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Istanbul – Digital Montage – Photoshop Cs6

In the previous post, I discussed how I spent the early part of my training locked into abstract expressionism.  I essentially went all the way through college–got a degree–even a Master’s degree in art–and slithered out of having to learn to draw.  Learning to draw wasn’t fun.  Expressionistic painting was fun!  [It is true that much of life is wasted on the young].  I wasted all of this time that I was in school, when I should be learning to draw; and then I hit the pavement–a visual cripple.  I couldn’t draw–I was limited–I could only take my work to a certain level and no further–I was limited by what I didn’t know.

Although I love Photoshop for its capacity to be a vehicle to create great, expressive, commuicative montages, I wonder if a lot of people aren’t falling short of their potential by not learning more than the ability to create digitally.

Granted, I am a dinosaur.  I have been out of college for over 40 years; and during those years I have studied essentially all types of artistic media; yet, I have to believe that it is as true now as it ever was that art students must fill their arsenals with all types of visual-making tools. They need to draw and paint both with the computer and without.

The computer is great–I’d even go so far as to say that EVERY artist needs to be able to create on the computer for today’s market; but I must add that the same EVERY artist also needs to learn how to draw with pencil and paper–so that he will not be limited by what he does not know.

It is rather like the would-be writer who only has about 500 words in his vocabulary.  What a limitation that would be for his writing!  What a bore that would be for his reader!  Learn to use as many of the visual tools as possible–fill up your arsenaI–and then paint without restriction–pull off the blinders that are holding your back.  Don’t hide from your inability to draw–just learn how.

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