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17 brilliant paintings my mother made on her iPad

One woman’s way to beat the commuter boredom.
Jun 30th 2013, 5:00 PM 17,660 22

I RECENTLY WENT down to Washington DC to visit my mother, Debra, who lives in the nearby suburbs.

Professionally, she’s in linguistics, and involved with training people to go overseas.

But as long as I’ve known her (my entire life), she’s been an avid artist and painter, and lately she’s become obsessed with creating paintings on her iPad.

I’ve been aware that people are doing art on their iPhones and iPads, but mostly I’m used to just seeing people’s photographs, and not much else.

So I asked her if I could share some of the artwork (as an example of what the iPad is capable of) and also if she’d describe her process.

She explained:

Last fall, I started commuting from my new home in Maryland to my office in Washington, DC. Driving in rush-hour DC is dreadful, and it turned out that taking the Metro in was far less so, despite some headaches. My partner bought me an iPad for my daily trips and I immediately started using it for drawing, first with Paper 53, with my finger, and then with Art Studio and a stylus. Both programs are incredibly satisfying and close enough to the sensation I have when I do my normal pencil drawings or pastel paintings.

With Paper 53, I ended up with a series of portraits of fellow Metro riders, everybody exhausted in the mornings and even more so headed home in the evenings. Later, when I started using Art Studio I was able to get more detailed; it’s a far more sophisticated program using layering and infinite color shades. There was enough online instruction about PhotoShop (very similar) and from other Art Studio users that I was able to get the basics very quickly. The amazing thing to me is how many people stopped me on the Metro, saying they’d never seen anyone use it for drawing before; funny, because when I first started seeing iPad TV ads, all I really noticed was the possibility for doing art. I’m pretty obsessed with the whole thing; I can’t imagine living – or commuting – without it now.

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