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
Over the years I’ve come to take “differences” seriously. I take “complexity” seriously too, which makes sense…to me at least. At the same time, I’ve noticed that there are those who fear or even hate “differences” as well as “complexity.” I prefer conversations with them to be either already short or ultimately shortened.
We trained from CA to Chicago on the Californian Zephyr, spent the night to catch the Capitol Limited to Pgh. Here’s where we finalized our trifecta and more! The Chicago hot dog, no ketchup of course, coupled with polish sausage, at the Chicago Brewery along the Riverwalk! Last night we had deep dish pizza, and for lunch today, an Italian Beef!!!! Amen!
On one of our online Friday afternoon timed-drawing exercises, the organizer showed a photo of a quetzal in flight and gave us 3 minutes to draw it. I used my iPad, an Apple Pencil, and the Sketch Club app and produced this:
This book has helped me snap out of the stupefying effects of one of America’s biggest lies, the lost cause, which I’ll let you look up on your own so that you can examine the toxic linkage to another more recent but just as stupefying big lie.
I’ve indirectly illustroblogged about Robert E. Lee elsewhere, check it out here. In that 2014 post, I’m ashamed to admit that I knew nothing per se about the “lost cause,” which again I’ll let you look up on your own. My fascination with Lee had always centered on what I saw as an association with Don Quijote.
Ty Seidule’s courageous book is a lot to process; however, it’s worth every perturbing wave of irreversible discomfort because of the permanent illumination it offers. Here’s how I’ve begun to process it in my own cartoonish way:
Elsewhere on this illustroblog, HERE IN PARTICULAR, I’ve referred to my work at the Enrichment Center (EC), where I’ve taught iPad art to adult artists with developmental disabilities since 2015. The pandemic put an end to our in-person classes and studios, but we’ve continued to meet online a few times a week. On Fridays we meet for timed drawing exercises. Some use traditional tools, e.g., pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc., and others use iPads. We’re shown an object or a photo, we’re given 3 minutes to draw it, and then we take turns showing what we managed to crank out. I have over 60 digital images, and here are a few of them (all done in the Sketch Club app):