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Updated: Jul 10, 2021

I´m forwarding a video, postponing a meeting, checking my emails, and speaking face to face to a friend in Spain all at the same time. Amazing! I love technology, my devices and especially my phone. I check my diary and the weather with my coffee, wish my friends good morning and read my email. I´m seldom disconnected. I use my IPad for digital artwork such as illustrations and my devices are all linked, so when I take a photo of a jaw-dropping sky, it´s just where I need it to be when it´s time to paint. Such incredible connectivity. Yes, I´m definitely a gadget girl!

When I´m driving Google Maps guides me, audio books enlighten and entertain me. I stop to take a photo whenever something wonderful catches my eye and inspires me to paint, like this fabulous sky over

Durdle Door seen here.

I´m working on some small canvases now, from photos taken of lovely scenes I stumbled across on walks. Cat on the Gate, Walk in the New Forest, and Love in the Springtime, shown below, all were painted from photos I took while out walking with Bonnie. There´s artistic licence of course in the transition from photo to canvas, golden sunlight streaming through the trees, a pink sunrise, or silver sparkles on the water, for example. But the feelings evoked on a glorious spring day remain. I remember where I stood, and how I felt when I captured the moment on my beloved IPhone.

We´ve come an astonishingly long way since I stood impatiently in the queue with the other army wives, waiting for my turn to use the phone box. There was only one public phone on the Hythe camp and we spoke to our army husbands overseas for just a few moments. Remember when we took rolls of film to Boots, fingers crossed that the holiday photos would turn out ok? How on earth did we ever make arrangements to meet people? We waited for the postman for weeks in the hope of a reply to our letters.

During the eerie early lockdown days, even though I had Bonnie to cuddle, I don´t know what I would have done without Zoom, Face Time and the friendly beep from my phone reassuring me I wasn´t not alone. I have learned about abstract art, perspective, and colour from YouTube videos. This small painting of Bournemouth Pier illustrates some of my new learning.

The necessity to keep in touch enabled me to learn so much more about social media, how to use different apps and develop my work as an artist. It´s a gift to be able to communicate with people all over the world. Such a joy to be able to share my paintings and ideas so easily on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I´m always delighted receive feedback, questions, and comments, and learn from others.

Of course, there are two sides to every coin. Social media is a mixed blessing which I use with discernment. There´s a difference between serving the Net and making it work for me. Technology is changing all the time and it´s a struggle to keep up, but I love the challenge enough to work at it until it falls into place. I recently subscribed to a website where I can upload my photos and videos are made for me, and of course I had to join the Mad About Cockapoos group on Facebook because I´m crazy about mine.

But for me there´s no substitute for face-to-face communication. Text messages are so easily misconstrued without body language, and knowing what´s going on behind the words. If I´m having a bad day I forget that I re through my own filters. No x at the end of a message? On a bad day I wonder why, on a good one I hardly notice, or I realise the sender might be preoccupied elsewhere. I enjoy a deeper level of communication, listen more actively, and I hear so much more when I can see who I´m talking to on Face Time and Whatsapp.

Technology can´t do everything though. Alexa switches my house lights on and off, turns on the heating and tells me when my lunch is ready. I fancy chicken soup, and in seconds she sends me a recipe. But when I ask her to take my dog for a walk round the garden, there´s no reply.

There are still some things only I can do, and as I stand in the rain watching little Sunny explore, I´m so very grateful for that.

Marja Brown

Landscape Artist

Original paintings and prints available from my website, commissions undertaken with joy.

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Jul 10, 2021

I love my gadgets too. 💕 I'd be lost without my phone 📱😅


Sam Biddle
Sam Biddle
Jul 10, 2021

What a great blog.

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