February 6, 2012  |  Artists, Print Studio
Digital Finger Drawing at Print Studio with Jorge Colombo

Jorge Colombo. Greene and Spring. 2011. Image finger-painted from life, on location, on an iPhone screen. Courtesy of the artist

Typically when drawing, painting, or printmaking an artist uses a few different materials such as paper or canvas, as well as ink, pencils, or paint.… what if all you needed to make your print was your smart phone or another gadget with a creative drawing app installed? Jorge Colombo makes digital drawings that are remarkable impressions of city views and quotidian moments recounting daily life. His work is often created on an iPhone or iPad, using an application called Brushes. He draws without making sketches or referring to photographs, but rather from life.

The artist describes being fascinated by the visual patchwork of the American cities he has lived in since moving to the United States from Lisbon, Portugal, in 1989. Several of these impressions would become part of a series of prints that represent landscapes and moments in cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Colombo’s work has been featured on the cover of The New Yorker several times, with drawings that capture the essence of the city’s life, from the recognizable silhouette of a rooftop water tower, to a classic hot dog stand on a corner, to the familiar constellation of lights marking the Manhattan skyline. Depicting the world around us, using the Brushes application on the iPhone or iPad, Colombo shows us that portable, pocket-size art involves a new approach to the creative process, but it can be an easy, fun, and accessible way to bring art to life.

Jorge Colombo. The New York Times. 2010. Image finger-painted from life, on location, on an iPhone screen. Courtesy of the artist

As he tells it, “I prefer an image to carry my memory of the hour or two I spend standing on a sidewalk, drawing from the urban life passing by.” The advent of touch-screens allows artists to explore drawing in this way: simply, unencumbered by numerous materials, relying solely on a convenient and relatively small hand-held device instead. However, as Colombo points out, although technological innovations will always come and continue to offer artists choices and different ways to create, what will always be relevant is “doing something that will live on.”

Jorge Colombo will lead a series of finger drawing workshops at Print Studio in the coming weeks on two Thursdays, February 9 and February 23, at noon and 2:00 p.m. each day. This workshop will begin with the artist demonstrating how to use the Brushes application to make your own digitally-rendered artwork on an iPhone or iPad. Following this intro, participants will be invited to draw their own impressions and print them at Print Studio to add to the wall of Editions!

If you have your own iPhone or iPad please download the Brushes app and bring your device along to the workshop. Print Studio will provide a limited number of iPads for use during the workshop.

An update from last week:  Here are some photos from when Print Studio became IRWIN – NSK Passport Office, New York. Visitors took part in the bureaucratic process of becoming an NSK citizen by filling out the application form, having their photo taken, and waiting while their vital statistics were typed into their passports. The Museum and Print Studio have enabled the reach of the NSK State in Time to have an even greater global reach and broadened its citizenry. The NSK Rendezvous, held on February 2, was a great success!

IRWIN founding-artist Miran Mohar, Print Studio Organizer Sarah Kennedy, and Educator Sheetal Prajapati process NSK passports at Print Studio.

Print Studio visitors who were issued passports received this NSK Passport Office stamp to denote the issuing office.