One of my favourite movies is “Sweet home Alabama” with Reese Witherspoon. It’s an easy film to watch with plenty of typical chick flick moments. I sat and watched some of it the other day whilst having a quiet moment to myself. I got to the part where Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) takes Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) into an unknown and dark destination by a back door. When the lights go on, you realise they are in Tiffany’s. Ahh, so romantic. I had completely forgotten that scene from previously having watched the movie and so, in my typical idealistic thinking, I was breath taken and whisked away to somewhere make believe and magical.
Now, I know it’s a long shot but as I was thinking about this little moment I also started thinking about good things that surprise us or just make us smile. My iPad is like that. Perhaps it doesn’t whisk me away to somewhere magical but I did receive it for a milestone birthday and I really couldn’t believe I actually now owned one.
And I have loved it ever since. I really like reading on it in bed when I’ve woken at an odd hour of the night. I love abc iVeiw. I love storing photos on it and using air play with apple TV to watch them scroll through on the telly. I love checking emails and being able to reply to them in between various other tasks that happen around the place. I love looking up recipes easily and cooking from them – The Donna Hay magazine app is particularly brilliant.
What I really love about the iPad is the ease with which I can use it. Now, as an art teacher I really should have come to terms with Photoshop but I am sad to say I still struggle with that program. I know the basics and can direct my students through some of it’s main functions, but that is about it (I know, confession time). I do find this completely frustrating. So that’s probably why I really like the iPad so much. I have discovered apps that allow me to draw, doodle, make digital collages, manipulate photos, create cartoons, postcards and puppet shows. I am aware that these apps don’t really take the place of something like Photoshop, but they are enough for where I am at right now. They allow me to create in the in-between moments. Because each app may only do a few functions it means I can develop a system or order for creating art ideas and projects that I understand and can remember. My husband read me a quote the other day from Steve Jobs way back when about creating a computer that would allow the user to simply pick it up to be able to use it. I think Apple have achieved that aim. (Apologies to all you non-appleies out there) I am truly in Tiffany’s, as it were. When I discover a new app I feel spoiled for choice and quite delighted.
I happen to think the iPad is so good that I have incorporated it into my Senior school art program. What better way to encourage students to develop an understanding of the elements of art than to give them a theme and an app, and challenge them to use it to demonstrate their knowledge. They use a photo they have taken and then manipulate it to demonstrate colour, line or texture etc. The students I taught last year totally amazed me with the way they captured our theme of the Urban Landscape. Their eye for interesting composition and their ability to create a focal point that demonstrated each element showed great artistic skill; and a good understanding of the use of the iPad. My previous post ‘giving life to thoughts‘ shows some of their work.
There are many great apps but the ‘Art’ ones I particularly like are these: Artrage, Sketchbook pro, Omnisketch, Wasabi paint and Typedrawing. Hipstamatic, Percolator, ColourSplash, Grungetastic, AristaHaikuHD, Plastic Bullet, Diptic and Montage pro are some apps that allow some manipulation of photos, either by random selection or conscious choice. I have included links to information on a selection of these apps. The others can be found by searching in the app store.
Having said all that I thought I should include some examples of little art ‘doodles’ made in some of these apps so you can get an idea of what they actually do.
I’m thinking I will write further posts addressing some of the apps mentioned above, so, in the meantime perhaps you have some that you like to use. Let me know in the the feedback below. As I said, I love discovering new apps, it makes me feel like I’ve woken up in Tiffany’s!