iPhone and iPad Fingerpainting

Susan Murtaugh, Two Creeks, Wisconsin
Susan Murtaugh, a professional artist for more than 35 years, is an active member of a growing online community of fingerpainters. “I like taking the time to talk to and encourage budding fingerpainters,” she says. Murtaugh and a few other iPhone artists started www.fingerpainted.it, which features a directory, discussion boards, and app tutorials. “Everyone is welcome and it is a most encouraging, thoughtful group of participants,” she says. “To me, it brings art materials to those who are curious but don’t want to invest the money in building a studio. The personal satisfaction felt by individuals who might not otherwise have dabbled in art is staggering.”

Susan Murtaugh
Alex Two Hands (2009) by Susan Murtaugh

Joseandrés Guijarro Ponce, Cuenca, Spain

The natural online presence of this new medium has built a global community of artists. “A major advantage of the iPhone is the ability to share your work on the Internet with thousands of cyberfriends at the moment the painting is completed,” says Ponce. “There are six major artists I have met online, and we have almost become a small family through our work. We collaborate in our personal creations, each of us with quite different tastes and styles, and also work together to promote fingerpainting.” As an obstetrician and gynecologist who works more than 60 hours a week, Ponce also appreciates the accessibility of his iPhone. “Without a doubt, the main advantage to making art with my iPhone is the ability to carry my painting tools in my pocket so I can take advantage of every spare minute between activities.”

Joseandres Guijarro Ponce
Atardecer (Sunset), (2009) by Joseandrés Guijarro Ponce

Mike Ryon, Scranton, Kansas

The iPhone has become Mike Ryon’s primary method of making art. “The portability and immediacy of this pocket studio continues to amaze me,” he says. Ryon uses up to four apps in tandem, mining sources from his ever-expanding iPhone album of textural samples, abstract photos, clouds and landscapes. “I’ve been known to work in Paintbook for textural purposes, import the image quickly into Brushes, paint it, and take it to Photogene (a photography app) to adjust the exposure or color. It’s quite fun going back and forth between apps to add to the image’s complexity.”

Mike Ryon
Bridge to Solace (2009) by Mike Ryon

Additional artists and links:
David Kassan – iPad finger painting from a model
David Kassan iPad painting from a model

Fingerpainting Tips, tutorials, and opportunities

Fingerpainters and their works

Online exhibition curated by John Bavaro

Tamera Lenz Muente is a freelance writer and curatorial assistant at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio.



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