If I Could Put Time in that Bottle…

And smash it against a brick wall!

All good things must come to any end and these past few months, as I look ahead to some improvements in lifestyle, and some successes and projects that take less time than in the past, I’m doing pretty well.

There is that matter of my computer club. After about four(?) years, there has been no improvement or time-saving progress whatsoever.

When I first joined the club, it was for a purpose. I had begun to work as a computer instructor, a totally inexperienced teacher, but a very experienced administrator and office technology user. So it was a logical step. For support, advice, mentoring and keeping abreast of the latest developments in technology as it related to workers and also to personal needs.

At that time, I was fighting a spinal issue, and as time moved on it became harder and harder to stand to give my lessons, until I discovered I had breast cancer in 2008 and my 11-year teaching career began to come to a screeching halt. It was a little like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few pounds of flesh lighter, and a painful back condition later, I found myself unable to work, and retired in 2009, after a respectable length of time for a career in mid-life. So what now about the computer users group?

Being a loyal to a fault person, I remained a member of the club, but in addition, became more involved in some of the duties of membership. I ran a couple of workshops, I ran a monthly workshop in word processing, I became the programs chair for a couple of years, wildly surpassing any past efforts and raising the bar on using my connections network to help that along.

Being that this is a short history of my efforts to retain my loyalty, I’ll put it this way. I became active in a couple of interest groups, especially the graphics group, which soon revealed itself to be a monthly sales pitch for some video software, and some irrelevant technologies such as 3-D printing and virtual reality software. Enough was enough.

I realized what I needed was to narrow my “causes” down to just a few essentials. So I picked and chose – my faith community; gardening; photography, and digital art. I redefined myself as a digital artist, and began to take day trips and network among some very creative people.

Albeit I found myself among younger, more vibrant, and actually people who used technology to create art. People who weren’t asking the same questions every month from the same seats in the same place. This was the opposite of the evening I presented a workshop in said video program, and nobody admitted to owning or using the program. That night was the last straw.

So, all this being said, it is the end of some things, time has been put in a bottle, stopped up with a used cork stopper, put on a shelf, and is already collecting the dust of ages.

Stanching the urge to crush and smash, I shall dust myself off and move on.

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A Merry Go Round of Work

The next time I have a yen to do a show, let me remember how tedious and annoying the project can be. You have to print out your pictures, and hope the color is good. You have to deal with resolution, cropping, color, timing issues. You then have to have your frames ready for hanging usually with wires that don’t come with the frame.

That is, after they are cleaned up with Windex(r) and polished to a shine, with no scratches.

You have to make sure you can find the originals on your computer, and then make sure they are saved in some lossless fashion, maybe a *.tif, to make sure that they are printable if by any chance they sell. It is so much work!

This is why I enjoy working online. May the cloud be my gallery, and may everyone enjoy something they can access any time, any where.

Sketches and Designs

The accepted image, not the final but close.
The accepted image, not the final but close.

Yesterday I noticed that two sketchbooks that I had been putting aside as inspiration had gone missing. Is this the ghost of Dad haunting me after three years in the Summerlands? Probably. He would find the most intimate and annoying way to get through to my feelings. This makes me feel so special.

Today I got word that a photo that I took and was submitted for a widely published calendar has been accepted. This is my first really big (what the Internet is not?) publication. People will actually pay to see what I did.

The memory of working on this photo is bittersweet. Each turn created another turn as I struggled to get the image just right. Not only for the calendar’s use, but for the creator of the design, a very special person who deserves the credit for her creativity and attention to detail.

When we honor nature, we honor ourselves. The books will turn up at some point, and will be a pleasant surprise as they join the myriad of paper goods that are turning up in every closet, every redweld, every corner of my house.

Sketches and photos come and go, but our love of nature and our love of working with each other in design and horticulture, will remain at the forefront and will always be available for us to enjoy.

Grounds for thought

It was a lovely day that day that we three went off to see the big-skirted Marilyn Monroe effigy in the westerly part of our county in New Jersey. The thing was it was always a different place even though it was the same place, and the bigger thing, even bigger than our Marilyn statue, was that the lotus was in bloom.trip to grounds for sculputre with Haya & Pat & Darrell 7-14 (569 of 632)trip to grounds for sculputre with Haya & Pat & Darrell 7-14 (610 of 632)
It was a good thing, fortunate really, that my two friends knew the place. I mean, they knew where the main building was, and how to hop on a handy tram when the opportunity arose. There was no judgment here. Lazy is as lazy does. I may not be good at hopping, but i am pretty good at being lazy.

A walk through the main building simply whetted our appetite for art. We were sure that our cameras were on securely. We had our lenses, lens caps, zooms and cleaning cloths safely tucked away in various pockets. What we didn’t have was the direction in which to start. Start! There is no such thing at GFS. All roads lead to even more roads.

trip to grounds for sculputre with Haya & Pat & Darrell 7-14 (603 of 632)At grounds for sculpture, there are indeed many roads. There are a myriad of ways to become lost, immersed in the feeling, the aura of what an artist may have envisioned, and by photographing that vision, you can make it your own. At least that is my theory. In this way, i overcome the personal prohibition of stealing, or borrowing, someone else’s work. At least i can try.

Guilty or not, we strode on, past screaming peacocks (and peahens), past annoying little kids wondering when they would get their promised lunch, past slower or older or just more observant folks out for a stroll.

lotus edited with black border

Some hours later, we found ourselves at the lotus pond. Not surprisingly, par for the course of our little threesome’s recent adventures, there were very few of the flowers open. But the ones who were, they were the focus of our focus for it seemed another hour. The random dragonflies, and butterflies, the lovely colors and shapes of the unusual flowers, gave us endless chances to practice our craft. Not on the man-made, but on the god-given beauty that was concentrated in this great sight. We were so engrossed in the taking and then in the discussion that followed, boring tothose non-photographers who may read this, we forgot the time.
It was a lovely day. The way in, the way out, was itself a study in self-knowledge and discipline. Or a wanton lack of awareness of teh outside world while visiting the world of waterlilies and dragonflies. A light was lit, and the experience will be remembered as well as relived, as soon as we can pack up our gear and make our way back.

Getting Tecchy – All Roads Lead to Redundancy

Today I woke up with a brilliant flash of insight!

Redundancies Reign - 8-14
Redundancies Reign – 8-14

It occurred to me that, with all this silly networking and synching that is going on, and it gets worse every day. The intrusions are non-stop. The only way to prevent popup ads, reminders, and duplicate calendar entries nowadays is to simply disconnect your internet connection, and stay “home.”

But that’s not my workflow/style. I realized that I’ve been using a non-synching application, Adobe(r) LightRoom, on three computers. So I tried everything, and have felt lost in trying to keep my catalogs up to date with the latest files from my cloud server, Microsoft OneDrive (r). I realized that, instead of moving and shaking up the files inside of LR, why don’t I use the great new version of Microsoft’s Live Gallery to move the actual files on my home drive? Then simply synch up each catalog when I open up LR. That would solve a lot of confusion on my part.

Here is where a redundant catalog is desired, but hard to manage sometimes.

So let’s try to utilize this new workflow. It looks like LR is built for using on just one computer. If you are not doing that, and want to back up your cloud files locally, try doing that on a native program like the Gallery. I’ll let you know if I’m successful.