How Apple, Painter and Wacom changed everything

Today I received the book Secrets of Corel Painter Experts and in the beginning they wrote about Painters history, how it all started with Mark Zimmer‘s entrance by the new Wacom Tablet and how he put a microscope to pencil sketches and measured the color of felt pen combinations. I could follow the steps in Painters development, because ”I was there”. No, I wasn’t in California – I haven’t yet visited that part of the world, but I followed everything from Sweden, so when I read about it, I have my own memories from that time and it made me think about how I get really hooked on the digital world.

My first encounters with computers were confusing. Strange machines with MS/DOS? Once a teacher talked about programming when I was about 16 – was I interested? No. Later, a really boring course for teachers – write, erase, write, copy, paste, I understood everything in a blink and then I had to wait for the rest of the group… 1988 I moved to Växjö to study market communication and we learned to work with statistics in MS/DOS. I didn’t like it at all.

Fortunately I met Roine and we started to talk about Apple Macintosh and believe it or not, in april 1989 our first Apple Mac Plus with an external disk drive was delivered to our apartment. We were so excited and surprised, because it was so easy to install the system and everything worked out fine. Wasn’t computers supposed to bring trouble? Maybe we had done something wrong? Because it should be harder, shouldn’t it?

We loved our Mac Plus and we became big Apple-fans. With my background as a pedagogue I was fascinated by the user interface, so welcoming, friendly and easy. I am not sure when I bought my first version of Fractal Design Painter, but I know that I started with Fractal Design Sketcher because I couldn’t afford Painter and by then we had bought new macs a couple of times.

I think I first got my hands on a Wacom tablet and Painter 3, which was about 1993–94. That totally changed my comprehension of what computers could mean to me. From that moment computers wasn’t about techno-guys and pointless, boring use – it was about creating. Okay, I had got a glimpse of the creative possibilities when using our Mac for writing. But to draw and paint naturally like in Painter – that was magic!

With Painter and a Wacom tablet I could hold a pen in my hand and work with chalk, oil, ink or watercolor in my computer. I could chose between different textures for my digital canvas. I was so amazed. And I think I still am. I have never stopped talking about this sensational feeling because I want others to get this experience too. If you like to draw and paint Corel Painter is like a candy store.
Oh, did you notice the name change? Mark Zimmer sold Painter to Corel in 2000. The program has kept on developing since and there is still no other art-software that can compete with Painter. Some people use PhotoShop, but as you can tell by the name PhotoShop is originally developed for photo. That is not the same.
Now I will read my book Secrets of Corel Painter Experts and enjoy the 17 artists showing their ways to work with Painter.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *