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Let The Games Begin

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

This painting was not created using a traditional brush or a traditional canvas. It was created entirely on a computer, using a digital tablet and pen. Of course, some kind of software is involved. With this tablet, pen, and software, I can mimic ANY traditional tool on ANY traditional media. Oil brushes on a variety of canvas textures, watercolor brushes of any shape, size, or description on any paper. Charcoal, pen and ink, pastels, etc.; the list goes on and on. And I can do all of these things on the same painting, should I choose.

When this technology first emerged many years ago, I saw skepticism among fellow artists:

  • Is this really Art?

    • OF COURSE, IT IS! Help me understand why it would not be. For several thousand years, we strapped animal hair to a stick and dipped it in mud or some hazardous concoction of heavy metals. Now we have different tools available. I say this in no way to denigrate those that still prefer these tools or any of the masters that used these tools to etch their place in history. My point is that now we have other options. It is not either/or. These new options are in addition to, and not a replacement for those tools that have served us well for several millennia.

  • Is the computer creating the Art, or am I?

    • I could ask if the brush and canvas are creating the Art, or am I? An artist uses tools. The tools do not use the artist.

  • If it can be done on a computer, can I teach a monkey to do the same thing?

    • You could teach a monkey to create digital art in the same sense that you could teach a monkey to paint on a canvas. In both cases, whether or not it is 'Art', is a subjective decision.

Over the past several years, I have seen a growing acceptance among fellow artists as to the legitimacy of this avenue of creativity. And I am not trying to sell them on this concept. My question is more about the acceptance of the art buyer, as I suspect they may be learning about digital art a few more years after its emergence than those of us who practice in this arena. Not to say that today's Art buyer is not sophisticated about such things. Of course, they are. But, I suspect that they have questions. That's what I am after.

  • Does today's Art buyer understand what 'digital' Art is, and how it differs from traditional Art or a print of traditional Art?

  • Does today's Art buyer consider digital art to be 'real Art'?

  • Does today's Art buyer value digital Art in the same sense that they might value a print of an original physical canvas?

I will not attempt to answer these questions. Rather, I am posing them to you, as artists and buyers. I am interested to hear all angles.

Copyright 2021 Olin Gillis Original Fine Art

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