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 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

FLAMENCO DUO / Daily Painting #1287

Flamenco Duo / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Back in Taos. Trying to make order out of the chaos of images from my time in Mexico and Spain. Trying to nail down some memories of times, places, and events before they slip away. My note taking abilities are scarcely helpful, and, in fact, themselves need to be found, organized and even deciphered.

In order to get all my images organized and backed up to a hard drive and to the cloud, via drop box, I'm having to delve back into the world of desktops and laptops and notebook computers. Not a pleasant prospect to a diehard iPad convert! Meanwhile, present and future considerations clamor for attention. Never a dull moment.

Summer is almost here; the carnival is in town and getting set up for the weekend. On Taos Mountain, though, can still be seen the results of the snow that hit town a couple of days ago.



YEGUADA WHITE ON WHITE / Daily Painting #1286

Yeguada White on White / Painted on my iPad Air /ArtRage3

I painted this one in the air between Madrid and Dallas / Fort worth. I started it somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, and finished over the Ohio River. I have never done an oil painting nor a watercolor while in flight, though I believe I could. The iPad is jut so much more convenient and there is no mess. Stop for lunch, go right back into it. Setup and put away are a snap. For anyone with time or space constraints, I heartily recommend using an iPad.

There are probably several other tablet computers that would work as well, and I know there are other apps for the iPad in addition to ArtRage3. These are the tools I started with, though, and am still learning to use. I will be trying other apps in the near future. I will let you know how they stack up.

The research for this painting is from my reent trip to the Yeguada de la Cartuja outside Jerez de la Frontera, one of the main reasons for my trip to Spain.

We are now over Mammoth Caves Kentucky, with less than two hours to go. I'm going to sign off, now, and post this later, probably from Albuquerque, when I get back on Verizon.

See ya later!

P.S. I still have 57% battery power remaining on this wondrous little machine. Wow.


QUERETARO MEMORY II / Daily Painting #1285

Queretaro Memory II / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

I just could not wait to have another go at painting an apple on an upright piano. So here it is. Same idea, different arrangement, slightly different treatment. Which do you like best?

Short post tonight, have to get up early and catch a flight homeward. Oh, no! gasp! I just chrcked the weather in Taos. It's going to snow tomorrow! I knew I was returning too soon. Oh, well I have my memories of recent days in the 80s and 90s to keep me warm for a while, at least.

¡Hasta mañana!


GYPSY / Daily Painting #1284

Gypsy / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

I took it easy today. Had a simple fresh orange juice, coffee and a croisant breakfast. Worked on images and gear. Took a nice walk around the neighborhood. Bought a 16 gigabyte memory card for my camera. That should be more than enough to last until I get home. Took a few shots, had a lunch / dinner of eggs, black pudding and potatoes, and back to my room to paint Gypsy for you. I hope you like him. Painting him turned out to be so much fun that I missed that old midnight deadline again. Oh, well!

One more full day to go in Spain. I will be sad to leave, but thrilled and grateful to have had this truly wonderful experience.

Now, I'm going to read a little, and then take advantage again of the best bed I've had on this entire trip.

¡Hasta mañana!


ONE HALF OF A PAIR / Daily Painting #1283

One Half of a Pair / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Whew! That last one was hard, especially with the crash. So today I decided it was time for something simple, painterly, and Alla Prima, or painted all in one go. I painted this in the Santa Justa train station in Sevilla, while waiting for my train to Madrid.

When finished, I added a plain, simple bacground. It was fine, but I was wishing I knew how to do a graduated background in ArtRage3.

Oops! I just missed my self imposed deadline of midnight. Oh, well. It's just that the days get mixed up, and it's hard to tell whether I'm keeping to a painting, or stage of one, every day. Not the end of the world.

I was up at nine this morning, and finally landed in a tiny room, but the nicest in a week or two, at a little after eight thirty, pm. The streets below were filled with restaurants and bars, and I was dog tired, so I promised myself I would just run down stairs, have a nice, leisurely meal, head back to my room, write up this post, and hit the hay. Well, I walked a few blocks, reading menus, decided, finally to have a drink and decide where to eat. Walked a couple more blocks and wandered into an amazing, packed to the gills tapas bar. Two tapas, one a black pudding wrapped in potato and fried with a fried quail's egg on top, another, of skewered pork and green pepper on bread, each €2.90 and a small glass of tap beer, una caña, and I was stuffed.

I decided to walk it off and stumbled across an Espectaculo Flamenco, just ready to begin. It sounded awfully touristy, but I figured what the heck, research is research, and I wasn't required to buy dinner. Plus I could sit down for a while. Not. Turns out it was a pretty good show in a great setting. But sit? Not me. No video was allowed, so I stood and fired over the crowd, getting something like eight or nine hundred shots, and running out of memory just before the show ended.

On the way back to my room, I found this little place, and am writing this at the bar, while having a litte gelato and espresso for dessert. The streets are still crowded, young, old, families. What a place. I take back what I said previously about Madrid. I just didn't know where to be. I do, now.

Oh, right, I was about to tell you about wishing I knew how to do a graduated background in ArtRage3. Flying along on the high speed rail from Sevilla to Madrid, there was precious little hope of getting any photographs. Especially with my iPad. But a fella's gotta try, right? So. I had my iPad lying on the tray table while we went through a tunnel. When I started to pick it up, the camera was trying valiantly to focus on the table top. It was gray, and lit warmly on one side, tapering to dark on the other, with a hint of cool light coming in from one dark corner. Bingo! Just what I needed, and just what you see behind, or under, this sliced pear.

My memory cards are all full, my iPhone refuses to take one more photo, my camera is full, and my poor iPad is stuffed to the gills. Maybe, just maybe, I can take it easy for a day or two. Yeah, right. But I think I can safely promise that I'm off to bed right now! I hope.

I just got a warning that ny iPad is down to less than ten percent battery remaining. That's more than can be said for me! 😉

¡Hasta mañana!

WowI I've been trying to post ths for the past twenty minutes. Blogsy refuses to load the image. I'll try loading a smaller version. If it works, I will try and include the larger version in tomorrow's post. Thanks for your patience.


EL GUITAR, SEVILLA / Daily Painting #1282

El Guitar, Sevilla / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Wow, that was close! I had just finishrd the guitarist, and was about to start last minute cleanups and put the polka dots on the dancer's dress. Luckily, I paused and did a screen capture. Then, just as I was ready to hit the save button, my iPad crashed, briefly. It restarted on its own, before I could even react. I don't remember whether ArtRage was already open, or whether I opened it. Either way, all the work I had done since the drawings and very first lay in were gone.

You may remember that this happened to me once before. I thought I had learned, then, to backup often enough to avoid a recurrence. Apparently not. I certainly hope I have now!

I tried every trick in the book, and a couple not in the book. To no avail.

Anyway, I was saved by the screen capture. I was able to load it, including the finished guitar player, onto a new layer, and work from there. Less convenient than with the old layers, but a save all the same.

I managed to beat the clock by one minute, last night, again, by using the screen capture, and tonight .i,m wrapping this up while enjoying my last dinner in Sevilla. Gotta go, though, they're trying to close the joint.

By the way, I just came from another stunning Flamenco performance at the Museo del Baile Flamenco. Paintings to follow.

Not sure, yet where I'll go from here, bu I'll let you know when I know.

¡Hasta mañana!


EL GUITAR / Daily Painting #1280

This is the initial idea I had for a poster style Flamenco image.

EL GUITAR 1-4 / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Where will it go from here? Stay tuned, we will find out more, tomorrow. By the way, I spent most of the day in the Flamenco Museum, today, and am now off to see another show of Flamenco, at that same museum. I saw some fine contemporary and historic art based on Flamenco there, as well as a lot of interesting and informative film presentations showing the history and the styles of Flamenco dancing, as well as costumes, artifacts, even dressing tables of the dancers. Anyone passing through Sevilla with the least bit of interest in the subject should definitly visit this well done museum.

On a side note; after taking my wash to the laundry and finding a bank to convert some cash to Euros (ouch!) (Also, the banks all close at half past noon all this week for Feria). I decided a quick trip to the museum was in order. After getting myself lost two or three times and walking more than I had hoped to do all day today, I finally found it. When I came out, I decided I had better consult Google Maps before any more pointless wanderings, as I had no idea where I was nor how I had gotten there. I Googled my current location and directions to my hotel. It was 120 feet away!

¡Hasta mañana!



BIRD MAN AT RONDA / Daily Painting #1279

Bird Man at Ronda, Spain / Painted on my iPad Air / ArtRage3

Still running late, but running, still. Good grief, there's a lot to see and do and precious little time to do it all in. I'm back in Sevilla, in a new and exciting neighborhood, near the Cathedral. And what a Cathedral!

Having to find/learn my way around. I'll be here for four more days. Hoping to make it to the Feria, tomorrow. That's the reason I'm here, after all.

I seem to have my tech issues resolved, for the time being, at least. Stuck in a pretty crummy room, with no wifi, but it was, seriously, the last room within ten miles, and I no longer have my little pal, the smart car.

I hope you like the bird man and his partner, I sure did. I got to pet the owl; could have held it, but my hands were full.

Time, now, to get out and find something to eat.

¡Hasta luego!


ALGATOCÍN / Daily Painting #1278

Algatocín / Painted on my iPad Air /ArtRage3

Sorry for the late post. Technical difficulties, travel, and a good night's sleep were all involved. This is my first stab at a landscape using ArtRage3 in my iPad. I can see the possibilities as well as the need for a lot more work.

¡Hasta mañana!