Being a painter in oils and acrylics as well as colored pencil, I sympathize with those who view the "brave new world" of electronic art with a jaundiced eye. Yet, I'm under no dilusions that what I'm creating with paint, brushes, colored pencil, etc., is "great art" either. I, like most of the rest, am only filling an economic need doing something fun in a manner "better than average" for a price that is "below average". I've found an economic niche in which I'm comfortable for the moment.

And far be it for me to suggest that seeing artwork on the "net" is in any way better or more satisfying than seeing the "real thing" in museums . Traveling exhibitions of genuine painted masterpieces attract enormous crowds, but let's face it, they are an urban phenomena drawing at best perhaps 1% of the nation's population, leaving the vast majority with NO OTHER access to great art except reproductions in books or electronically over the net. Of course I might be exaggerating if I said more than 10% of the population even CARE about seeing great art in the first place.

The point I was making is that in the long term, pixilated artwork has the capacity to far outstrip the meager efforts of us traditional "paint-pushers". If scanned artwork done in another medium can never quite match the original, keep in mind that work created electronically IS ORIGINAL down to the last 0 and 1 whenever it is reproduced in it's original format. Who knows, in the twenty-first century, Bill Gates' wall-size, electronic art-reproducers may become the norm, rendering with high-definition TV/computer images an ever-changing gallery of fine art cued to the presence and personal favorites of the individual in the room. There will always be an audience for actual "dare I say ANTIQUE?" artwork in museums just as there is an audience for concerts inspite of the fact that digital recordings now have the capacity to render such music indistinguishable by the human ear from the real thing. Soon, we may see a work of art on a wall and have to ask ourselves, "Is it real or is it MSN?"