Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Necessity is the mother of invention...or at least the hunt for a suitable apparatus for my unique needs.

The background story: 
Recently my husband bought me an iPad so that I could have my reference images on the tablet. He thought this would make my life easier and my paintings stronger, and he was right. Before getting the iPad I would print out my reference images on my somewhat-decent printer. The images weren't always big enough, or clear enough. Often times the images would be darker or lighter than the original, but it was workable. I didn't realize how much detail I was missing until I got my new tablet. By having the images on my iPad I am now able to enlarge the area that I am working on. The images are clearer and since I can see more detail, my paintings can now be more detailed.

There was only one problem... with a paint brush in one hand and a palette in the other, the only place for me to place the iPad was my lap or table. I would have look down on my lap or my table and the strain on my neck was becoming very painful. I needed a solution and I needed one fast.

The solution:
Enter my genius husband, Ben. He went on the search for an "arm" that could attach to my easel that would make my iPad flush with the area I was working on on my panel. He found a lot of "arms" but most of them would permanently affix the "arm" to one spot on the easel and my iPad would also have to be screwed into the contraption. This would not work. I needed something I could move around my easel, depending on where I was working. I also didn't want to have my iPad permanently attached to my easel and left in my studio, which is an open area with 60 other artists. After some more searching, Ben found a wheelchair "arm" for tablets that could easily be clamped on to the top or bottom of my easel. It also has three articulating joints that allow for trouble-free positioning of the screen. Once positioned, the "arm" is then locked into place securely. It seemed like the ideal choice.

Today was the first day that I was able to use it and it works PERFECTLY! Adjustments were effortless. I was able to move the "arm" around to two different positions easily and quickly. More importantly, my neck didn't hurt at the end of the day since I was able to situate the iPad at eye level. I think this "arm" will save my body from a lot of unnecessary strain and pain which will allow me to paint well into old age.

My latest painting...

The arm started off attached to the top of the easel
so that I could work on the top portion of the painting.

I moved the arm to the bottom of my easel when I started working on the legs.

My genius husband...

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