Many, many, many years ago, I used to dabble with pens and pencils and pastels and paints and brushes and quills to create something I thought looked nice. Others called it art and I won a few awards and even taught a few classes. I had some fun and benefited from it.
Life and the pursuit of the almighty dollar got in the way as I “grew up,” and I put such things aside.
I spent the last 30 years looking at the works other people created and wishing I could still do that, but always felt that I did not have the time. I can’t count the number of times I walked into a Hobby Lobby and filled up my cart with pens and paper and canvas and paints, only to spend another hour putting it all away and leaving the store terribly depressed (I have the same problem with Barnes and Noble stores).
Earlier this year, Jeanette felt that her iPhone 4S was on its last legs, and so we switched… I gave her my iPhone 5 and I bought a cheap Android phone. Feeling that if I was going to leap, I might as well leap head first and be done with it, I bought an Android tablet to go along with the phone. Specifically, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
The Galaxy Note 8, if you’re not familiar with it, is an 8″ 1200×800 (WXGA) tablet sporting a quad-core Exynos processor, a 5 megapixel back camera and a 1.3 megapixel front camera, 2 gigabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of storage (to which I added another 16 GB by inserting a micro-sd card), a 4600 mAh battery, and all the other bells and whistles you might imagine – although the version here in the U.S.A. does not make phone calls, so you can stop imagining that. What sets this tablet apart from any other competitor – LG G-Pad, Samsung Galaxy Tab line, iPad (specifically iPad mini) – is the inclusion of a pressure sensitive stylus called the S-Pen.
The S-Pen, which claims to have 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity (although I can not really count them all) and is compatible with a variety of Wacom devices, allowed me to take notes as though I was using pen and paper. It would even (almost) accurately convert my chicken scratch to editable text. I was amazed!
Then, I found a couple sketching programs. I had used some sketching apps on my iPad (which has also been given to Jeanette), but was seriously dissatisfied with the results. With the pressure sensitivity, and the comfortable grip (think short skinny pencil) of the S-Pen, I found that I could paint and sketch and was more than just a little happy with the results.
I started with a portrait of my father that I completed while he was in the hospital. He passed a few weeks after, so that portrait is VERY special!
Then, whether as a form of therapy (this has been suggested to me more than once), or as a form of relaxation, I began drawing and painting LOTS of different things. Some for family (portraits of family members and family pets), some for myself, some I’ve been challenged to draw.
I found that I enjoyed it so much, that when the time came, I upgraded my simple Android phone to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (loving this phone!).
Behold, then, what I have created using my gadgets and the mighty S-Pen.
P.S. the bird pics were created as a gift for my in-laws. They are always watching and identifying birds that flock to their multitude of feeders. The bird perched on the branch of the flowering cherry tree (pink blossoms) won an international competition and will be featured on April of an upcoming calendar from Pen.Up, a social network for folks that use the S-Pen.