Today was one of those days. I actually got caught out without my iPhone! Gasp! Remember that old Chase Jarvis saying? The best camera is the camera you have with you.

Well, I had my iPad Air wth me. So I used it. So glad I did.



Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Painted on my iPad Retina using ArtRage

I received an email from a friend a couple of days ago, saying that a mutual friend was having problems with her computer and didn’t like typing and blogging with her iPad. Her computer has been in the shop for weeks, and she doesn’t like typing on her iPad, because it keeps filling in words she didn’t intend to type. Also, she can’t figure out how to load photos onto her blog.

Here is part of the email I sent to her…

Hi P—–,

I have fallen behind in following my favorite blogs since my recent trip to the Yucatan and D.F., so didn’t realize the extent of the computer and iPad problems you’ve been having. I did get an email the other day from N—– saying you needed some help with your iPad.

I’m afraid I can’t be very much help where your first generation iPad is concerned. My first was second or third generation.

I wholeheartedly recommend a newer iPad over a computer.

That’s because I am a dyed in the wool convert, and you know how they can be. It’s also because I don’t know everything about your needs, etc.

That said, let me make my case and offer a few suggestions…

On my recent trip, I left my laptop at home. And I didn’t miss it for a moment. I used my iPad and my iPhone for everything. Last year I spent a month and a half in Mexico and a month and a half in Spain. I lugged around a laptop, a couple of hard drives, a camera, chargers and cables, etc. and I did almost everything on my iPhone and iPad.

I am at this moment sitting in my easy chair in the living room, writing with one finger on my iPad about as fast as I can think. It did take some getting used to, some practice, but I now actually prefer it to a keyboard.

I draw on both devices, and have even done paintings on the iPad. ( See above) I do both photographs and video on the iPad. HD video. It is, of course, many other things as well. My darkroom, cutting room, library, encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, radio, entertainment center, movie theater, archives, outlet, post office, museum, travel agent, classroom, personal tutor, catalogs, magazines, weather center, gallery, portfolio, notebook, newspaper, recorder, personal secretary, alarm, clock, sketchbook, easel, navigator, flashlight, even my carpenter’s level, and so much more. And it is virtually always with me.

With 128gb of storage along with iCloud and Dropbox, I have plenty of storage for now.

I do still need a computer and a couple of two terabyte hard drives to store and access my photos stretching back to before the dawn of digital. But I’m looking to eliminate the need for those as soon as feasible.

Yesterday, in fact, I had to dig out my laptop, hook up one of those external drives and locate some images from a trip I took eight years ago. As soon as I was finished, back in the closet it went! Oh, and when I turned it on, I had to work through a couple of hours of updates, viris scans, crashes, restarts, etc. all in the odious Windows Eight.

I encounter virtually none of that with my iPad!

Now, I have always been a Windows user, with the exception of two times thst I bought Macs and promptly ditched them. Macs did do things better, but Windows could do so many more things.

Then I got my hands on an iPad. That, for me, was the beginning of the end for Windows machines. The iPad, with all those apps, could do more than Windows. And a lot cheaper. Free! A dollar. Some, gasp, ten dollars. With free and frequent upgrades! And even the operating system upgrades are free!!! Compared to Windows software costing fifty, a hundred bucks and more? And expensive annual upgrades?

I have traveled with laptops, notebooks, nebooks, ebooks, and iPads. Believe me, an iPad is a lot easier on the back than any of the others.

At this point, about the only thing lacking on my iDevices is a powerful optical zoom lens. That’s not really a necessity, but something I find convenient. Besides, I understand that Apple is working on one that will fit inside the iPhone.

True, the iPad is an expensive little machine. Unless we consider the cost of software and upgrades, the need for a separate camera and video camera (and their added weight and bulk), and all the other things that it replaces. Add to that the frequent repair costs on a computer, and the iPad starts to look like quite a bargain.

I realize, of course, that just because it’s a bargain doesn’t necessarily mean it’s affordable.

I don’t have the newest model. I have the iPad Air, and now there is the iPad Air 2. Not that much difference, so I will wait a model or two to upgrade. I did recently move up from an iPhone 4s to a 6plus. A huge difference, and well worth both the wait and the cost.

I believe that if you can get your hands on an iPad Retina, the model previous to the Air, you will find your need for a laptop evaporating while your capacity for both work and enjoyment expands. With the latest iOS, that machine would serve you almost as well as the very latest, and for substantially less momey, with the camera being the main difference. I know the difference between my Retina and my older model, especially with the newest operating system is like night and day.

You may not need 128gb of storage. I would advise you get the most you can possibly afford, though, as enough seldom is enough for very long.

OK, enough of my fanboy rant. Time for some specifics.

Getting photos onto your blog. I use an app named Blogsy. (Check it out at blogsyapp.com) Easy peasy, as they say. Plus the developer provides free, easy to follow, complete yet concise video tutorials. Blogsy also makes loading videos onto your blog a snap.

The problem you’re having with the iPad supplying incorrect words can, I believe, be easily remedied by setting a switch in settings. On mine, it’s: settings / general / keyboards / auto correct off and predictive off.

For writing, I suggest using the app Textilus. It’s free, by the way, for now. Regularly five or six bucks. It’s what I’m using to write this.

Both of these apps require iOS 7.0 or later. I don’t know what you are using. If you aren’t sure, you can go to settings / general / about.

Well, P—–, I hope this is of some use to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help out any other way.




I later found out that her first generation iPad can’t be upgraded to iOS 7.0, a minimum requirement for both the apps I recommended. I have no connection to nor do I receive any compensation for any of my recommendations. These are simply some of the tools I work with on a daily basis and they have been arrived at after considerable trial and error.


I realize that many professionals have heftier requirements, like Photoshop, dslr cameras and more powerful computers. I don’t, and I don’t believe most people, including a lot of professionals do, either.


That’s my two cents.


What’s yours?


What does a man need — really need? Sterling Hayden


My, oh my! I don't know where the time has gone the last few days. I'm back in New Mexico. I know, I'm surprised, myself. So was Thea when I walked through the door, unexpectedly.

It's late right now, though, and I'm pretty tired, so I'll try and bring you up to date tomorrow. Meanwhile, I would like to share a few iPhone sketches and one from the iPad.

This woman was in the Alameda, the big central park in Mexico City:

Then, I moved into the Sanborn's House of Tiles, the 18th Century palace covered in blue and white tiles, where the lunch counter is one of my favorite sketching spots, for these:

I don't honestly remember where I saw this woman. Possibly in the DFW airport on my way home. I do know that I did a few more there, but can't seem to find them just now.

These two men may also have been at DFW:

Back in Taos, I decided to try an experiment. I put iPhone photos I had taken in the Alameda up onto the big screen in my office, and sketched from them on my iPad.

Except for the last one, I feel they got a bit overworked. I will keep trying, though, as I have so much to work from in this way.

Today, Thea and I actually took the day off! First time in a long time. We drove down the high road to Chimayo, then back up through Ojo Caliente and Tres Piedras.

I managed to get these two sketches on my iPhone while waiting for our lunch in Peñasco:

And, finally, here's a little quick IPad study of a small adobe across the road from the church in Trampas. I've always enjoyed the contrast between the house's blocky, smooth appearance, and that of the gnarly, twisted fruit tree in front of it. I've wanted to paint it for a very long time.

Now, maybe I will.

Back soon.



VEJER FOUNTAIN / Daily Painting #1273

Vejer Fountain / Painted on my iPad / ArtRage3

A quick sketch of the fountain where I had my breakfast this morning, after spending the night in Vejer de la Frontera.

When I first saw Vejer twelve years ago, it was from the highway as we passed by below the village. The driver, from Hacienda Dos Olivos, told me it was one of the Pueblos Blancos, a term I was not familiar with, but that intrigued me instantly. Vejer was so striking, perched atop a hill covered in green trees and fields, sparkling in the afternoon sunthat I swore to return someday.

A few days later, I rented a car and started my first tour of the Pueblos Blancos, and spent the first night and the next day in Vejer.

Breakfast, by the way, was a delicious tapa of Smoked Eel cooked with black butter and capers on a bed of roast sweet potato on rye toast!!! Mmmmmm!

And on that note, I believe I will go to sleep, now, and dream of smoked eel.

¡Hasta mañana!


SEVILLANAS / Daily Painting #1272

Sevillianas / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage 3

Together at last.

Up early this morning. Early for me, anyway, and off I went to the Yeguada de la Cartuza. Twelve years ago, as part of a workshop I was teaching, we went there, not knowing what to expect. In addition to the guided tour of this stud farm for the breeding of the Royal Carthusian Horse. I got tons of good research, and was so taken with the whole show that I rented a car and stayed over a week, so that I could attend a second time the following Saturday. I've been dreaming of a third visit ever since.

Afterwards, I drove on down to Medina-Sidonia, one of the Pueblos Blancos, or White Villages that are the other reason for this trip. Lunch, there, was a half order of venison, then I drove to Vejer de la Frontera to spend the night, stopping along the way to shoot a few photographs, and to revisit an old Roman bridge.

And now I'm off to bed, before I fall asleep and drop my iPad

'Hasta mañana!


SEVILLANO y SEVILLANA / Daily Painting #1271

Sevillano y Sevillana / Painted Sketched on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Long busy day today, much more to be done tonight, busy, early morning ahead, then, maybe, a chance to slow down just a little.

Among many other things, I rented a car today. A Smart car! So far, I love it. Pretty comfy, really. Fairly zippy. Great for parking. Kind of like the old VW Beetle. Bigger on the inside than on the outside.

I'm back in Jerez for one night, then?

¡Hasta mañana!


SEVILLANO / Daily Painting #1270

SEVILLANO / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Well, Gang, what do you think? Should we give this Flamenco Dancer from Sevilla a dance partner? The way we did the dancing Calaka a while back? I promise it won't take as long this time.

Today was another busy one. Continued working on all that tech stuff from last night. Mainly trying to get my images organized and make room for more. Getting ready for tomorrow, another travel day. More about that tomorrow.

I was finally able to get my return flight rescheduled so I will have at least two days of the Feria de Caballo or Horse Fair, back in Jerez de la Frontera. Without a phone and no office this side of Madrid, that has been a real hassle. But my old pal perseverance won the day.

I got an even better deal on a car rental. I caught a tricky little detail in the fine print in that rental I had lined up a couple of days ago, just as I was about to commit to it. That whole thing has left me here in Sevilla for four days. That four days was not planned, but I am really happy it happened. I do love this city. While, to me, Madrid seems past its prime, dry, dull and rushed, Sevilla, in spite of its age, seems vibrant and alive, yet laid back and unhurried. It is an old city, over two thousand years old. It was ruled by the Romans and later by the Moors, both whom left their mark. This is a great city for walking and for people watching, two things I've been doing a lot of. I've had a great time here, and am sad to leave, but will be back in a few days for the big Feria de Abril and more Flamenco!

By the way, I saw a fabulous Flamenco performance this evening. You'll be hearing more about it in the days ahead.

As I said, tomorrow is a travel day, so I had better get some sleep right now.

¡Hasta mañana!


OLD MAN, JEREZ / Daily Painting #1269

Old Man, Jerez / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Just a quick character study tonight. Time to catch up on matters technical. Downloading, uploading, charging, etc.

had a great day, walked a lot, watched a lot of people, saw a lot of the city, got thoroughly lost at least once, finally got a large, delicious cup of coffee, and at long last, found my way to some excellent Flamenco after sitting in on about an hour and a half of a very interesting Flamenco class.

Now to the tech stuff.

¡Hasta Mañana!


THE LOVED ONE / Daily Painting #1268

The Loved One / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Here's a new one for my ongoing series of everyday people, a series even older than my paintings of horses or Kachinas. People watching has always been a favorite pastime for me. I find the most ordinary people doing the most ordinary, human things to be a most extraordinary subject. Just people being people.

Whether alone or in a crowd, they are to me the most fascinating subject.

Today, in fact, I spent most of the day wandering the streets of this beautiful, romantic and bustling old city, Sevilla, people watching.

¡Hasta mañana!


ESCARAMUZA CHARRA / Daily Painting #1267

Escaramuzza Charra / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Today I decided it was time t try the watercolor brush in ArtRage. I also thought it would be fun to see what I could in terms of emulating my “confections” painting style. So, on the train from Jerez de la Frontera to Sevilla, I started today's painting. There was a bit of a problem with the fine print in the car rental I was planning on, so I hoofed on into town and landed myself a small, bu very nice, clean room for less than I've been paying in Jerez. Did i little grocery shopping, then took a walk down to the neighborhood I stayed in twelve years ago, and had dinner in my favorite Sevilla Chinese restaurant, where I continued working on the painting. Then I walked back to the hotel where I put on the finishing touches, and am now writing this post.

I just checked Google Maps, and it looks like I've walked a little over five miles today, dragging my baggage, among other things. No wonder I'm tired. I think I'll hit the hay and let you search this blog for descriptions of both Escaramuza and Confections if you're interested.

By the way my little “watercolor” didn't turn out too bad, in my humble opinion. Not too bad for a first try, anyway. What do you think?

¡Hasta mañana!