Introduction to SiPaddings


I’m pretty good at most things in which I’m interested.

Being interested in the computer I thought I’d get the hang of it even though I’d never be a computer expert.

But I struggled with what my dear wife claimed to be simple basic operations. She gave me no sympathy when my brave attempts got me absolutely nowhere. I found difficulty with things like files or folders; of where to put them or find them or even just what they did. And I could sometimes send an email successfully but attachments were a mystery.

And the Internet??  I became convinced that it perceived me as a threat to its continued wellbeing, or worse, its continued existence.

When my attempts to make friendly contact were greeted with ‘freezing’, or the deletion of vital and apparently irrecoverable material I felt I was a Computer Illiterate. Most damning of all responses was the chilling accusation that I ‘had performed an illegal operation’.

I was a criminal abject failure as a user of modern communication in constant danger of breaking my (or worse, my wife’s) computer.

Then I discovered Apps.  New horizons!!!

I started with the simplest apps for creating images, for drawing and for painting –

Chalk, Colour-Pencil, Watercolour and so on. I saw that here was a means of solving problems for my oil paintings. I could experiment with composition and colour balance and rearrange and manipulate it without much trouble. And I could erase it immediately if I wished.

A lot of apps pandered to the mass market. They tried to ‘make you an artist,’ by ‘beautifying’ your lines and by filling your spaces with wall to wall colour or a predetermined pattern, using things like Vectorisation. In other words, they would do the mechanics for you.

But not for me they wouldn’t!  They were invaluable for an animator or an illustrator but I wanted to use them as raw materials; to develop my own style.

I started as I’d originally meant to; I freely thought of compositions and introduced different elements and colours, and freely experimented in how to use them in my paintings. And the key word here is ‘freely’.

With the first brushstroke or line or “mark,” my subconscious starts the process of editing my next step.  As I work on that mark there is a danger that I might subconsciously begin to avoid the possibility of losing it, of losing my way back to it.  As I work I will continuously reach crossroads that can lead forward to improvements or small failures or completely new ideas. That’s good. That’s creative. But it’s not constructive to just go back and recapture what I have now changed. Even if I try, I’ve glimpsed what’s newly possible and I’m both consciously and subconsciously committed to a new course.  And I must confidently follow it.

This is how I believe that you will reach satisfaction in your artistic efforts. Your subconscious may fear loss and failure and can play safe and sometimes lead to your inability to take even moderate risks. (Writers call it Writer’s Block.) And your success may often partly depend upon how free your subconscious believes it is. So you must consciously trust that you won’t ‘lose your way.’

When I started to make ‘marks’ with the apps on the iPad, my subconscious enjoyed the freedom that I was allowing it.  After all I was merely using a tool for the creation of other works. No pressure. And hey presto! That enjoyment easily started on an inevitable journey towards creating works in their own right, my SiPaddings.

Very exiting! Freedom, technical ease, easily changed decisions, permanent work-in-progress for reference, great fun. Where next?

To be continued…..

Posted By Simon Chilvers on March 15, 2016 at 9:48 am
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