I want my artwork to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. I want it to shed light and call attention to beauty, coherence, and unity; and, I want it to cast doubt on falsehoods, oversimplifications, and absurdities. I’d like to be instrumental in deepening our awareness and appreciation of the fullness of life, including its complexities, ambiguities, and paradoxes.
I draw and paint on an iPad with an Apple Pencil or my fingers using a variety of drawing/painting apps; although, I still work in wood and clay as well. iPads are portable and versatile, require little set up, and there’s no clean up. They’re the perfect medium for what I do. I can quickly convert ideas into illustrations and share them or time-lapse videos of them on social media. I can also prepare the images for printing on metal, paper, and canvas surfaces in a variety of sizes.
Paul Longo has lived a relatively unconventional life. In his youth, he plowed through dyslexia (before teachers had ever heard of it) and learned that there is, indeed, more than meets the eye. In college, he read Don Quijote in Spanish for the first time and discovered an interest in anthropology. He went on to complete 3 graduate degrees and has lived and worked in 7 countries and 9 states since then. Paul has taught anthropology, education, Spanish, research and evaluation methods, and ESL at 6 different universities. These days he teaches digital art to adults with developmental disabilities and non-credit ESL to adults at a local community college.
Paul was also a Benedictine monk and lived in a monastery for nearly 8 years, until he met and married his wife. Together they were survivors of Hurricane Katrina as residents of New Orleans. But it was not until 2013, while living in a downtown loft in Des Moines, Iowa, that Paul complained to his wife, a CIO in higher education, about not having either a basement or a garage in which to make art. A few days later she gave Paul her old iPad with an installed drawing app and said, “here’s a studio for your lap.” Since then, not only have iPads become larger and more powerful, but the number of drawing and painting apps has increased and each one offers a unique set of features to create original artwork. Nowadays, Paul takes his "studio” everywhere he goes.
Throughout his eclectic journey, Paul has created and shared his art to make sense of the world, to give voice to new identities and experiences, and to engage more intentionally with others. To view more of Paul Longo’s works, digital and otherwise, visit his social media sites: www.portfoliolongo.com, twitter, YouTube, Instagram: @plongeaux, Facebook: Paul J. Longo
Back in early May 2019 I attended an all-day conference held at Stanford University, and so I went up the day before to have a relaxing meal and get a good night sleep. That evening I was lucky to find a restaurant right across the street from the hotel in Palo Alto, CA called Siam Fine Thai Cuisine. As usual, I took my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, which I used while I slowly sipped my beer and ate my pad Thai with tofu. There were folks sitting to my left next to the window, and they became that evening’s practice in the Sketch Club app. When the owners saw what I was doing, they got curious. I showed them the piece, and they liked it enough to express interest in obtaining a copy. Check back to see an image of the wall hanging at Siam Fine Thai Cuisine. Here’s the piece:
While I Was Eating at Siam Fine Thai Cuisine
Incidentally, the conference was called iRelaunch. It was a valuable experience, and I highly recommend it for people who’ve had to step away from their profession(s) briefly for one reason or another. Click here for more information about the iRelaunch Conferences and Carol Fishman Cohen:
One relatively comical take away from the conference was this drawing in Paper 53. A panelist suggested that it’s important to get dressed and to make yourself presentable everyday while you are in the job-search mode…even if it generally takes long for you to look natural (anywhere)!
The tār is a traditional Persian stringed instrument. As a matter of fact, the word tār means “string” in Persian and is also related to dotar, sitar, setar, and guitar. It was my dear friend, Sirous, who introduced me to the tār and other traditional Persian instruments, when we were both graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. Sirous beautifully plays the tār, setar, daf, kamanche, tonbak, and probably others. Over the years, I’ve met a few of Sirous’ musician friends and had the pleasure of seeing them perform in both informal and formal settings. Many of these performances included the rendering aloud in Persian of the poetry of Hafiz, Rumi, and others. One of Sirous’ musician friends, who stood out not only because of his natural height, but also because of his prominent role in the revitalization of traditional Persian music, was Mohammad-Rezā Lotfi, about whom I’ve already illustroblogged. Take a look at this short, homemade video of Lotfi sitting on the floor playing tar among friends in a cozy setting. I just love the structure and shape of the Persian Tār, especially the tuning pegs!
21 Guitars, A Benefit Auction for the Merced Symphony
I’m one of 21 contributing visual and performing artists in one of this year’s fundraisers for the Merced Symphony, and my entry is the above image, which I did on an iPad Pro using an
Apple Pencil and the Sketch Club and iColorama apps. I had it printed on 24″ X 24″ canvas, 1.5″ bordered, solid color wrap through Bay Photo.
This Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, is the Artists’ Reception for Passion, an exhibition of the Contemporary Humanistic Artists Association (CHAA) of Merced, CA. In the previous post on this illustroblog I described the show and presented the two pieces I entered. In this post I’m adding the following short video, a compilation of the Princess No. 2 School Pencil related pieces I’ve done over the last three and a half decades:
From my Artist Statement:
The Princess No. 2 School Pencil by Eberhard Faber has enchanted me for several decades; and I’ve tried to express this enchantment over time in traditional and digital ways. I love the shape, colors, and feel of this simple and elegant artifact, which has been instrumental in the expression of so many ideas, simple and complex. I’m moved by the unmistakable ways in which pencils sacrifice themselves physically in fulfillment of their instrumental, expressive mission; their erasers are often the first to go! Pencilitis and Milonga No. 2, both rendered freehand on an iPad, highlight in different ways the ordinary and extraordinary nature of this useful artifact.
Visit the show, and join us on January 19, 2019 5-7:30 pm at the Artists’ Reception (also ArtHop Merced night)! See short video on my “Pencil Passion” by clicking here.