Electric magic

'Dude, it gets even wilder.'

Eli was delving into my laptop, uncovering the bottomless layers of creativity that can be explored in Photoshop.

'Wow,' I said, eyes popping. 'That effect looks just like oil pastel...'

I don't think I would ever pack away my brushes and twisted tubes of paint, with their lids that won't quite screw on properly. Nothing can replace the smell of linseed oil, the feel of ink-stained hands or watching layers of living, breathing colour build up on your page or canvas.

But there's an amazing, magical wizardry that can be spun out with technological tools.

I'll always remember the musician Bjork, in an interview from years ago saying something like, 'I'm not afraid to use computers. People say that technology is somehow fake, but to me it is still the real thing. It uses the natural energy of electricity and it is still about creativity, and that's all that matters.

I have to say, I'm inclined to agree.