In the late 70’s I saw my first Apple computer and rushed to pick up the clunky mouse and try my hand. Ugh. “Who would want to draw with that?” I had visions of a new adventure but was immediately disappointed at the awful chunkiness of the big mouse and my clumsiness. I still remember carefully moving the mouse to spell my name. The jerky scrawl was illegible.
A decade later I relented and purchased a very pricy Apple IISi. I toiled over Photoshop and Illustrator, before they had version numbers and was frustrated with so many limitations. I mastered the hand/mouse coordination and can now use a mouse as if it were the most delicate of instruments and memory and software has gone a long way to fulfilling my dream. Still since the beginning, I wanted to paint, naturally. Not sure why, especially in those earliest days it would even occur to me to strive to give up the luscious cotton papers and silky camel hair brushes, but it is what I wanted. To be able to put my hand to the task of generating 1s and 0s to naturally create what can be viewed but was virtually intangible has finally arrived. I dabbled with Sketchbook Pro but found it cumbersome with too much “technology” to slog through. Paper 53 came along. Simple. Straight forward. Limited. I no longer have to use complicated tools, wash up or use smelly paint. I will not moan over the spoilage of a $15 sheet of acid-free hand made watercolor paper when a drip falls out off my soaked brush. And I can share my images immediately without scanning or printing.
I have what I want, a simple straight forward way to paint, without paper or tubes or brushes, and then share what I have done.
I purchased a 53 pencil. It arrived yesterday. Today I used it without connecting it to the iPad. It worked nicely that way. It felt mostly like a real pencil but heavier (and a bit too slippery). I’m not sure I want to go high-tech and use all of its functions. I’ve had fun with the simplicity of my hand alone. Yet, as any child can tell us, a writing stick is better.