Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Caught up with technology

I liked the title that popped into my head for this post. It is a bit of a pun. I intended it to mean that I had finally got my computer system up to date (caught up) but I also think it could be read to mean that I was totally immersed in fixing my computer (caught up by it) for the last week. Both are true.

I have been mucking around with various part of my computer for days and days. I wanted to put my paintings on my website. So I photographed them - which seemed relatively easy - since it was snowey outside and there was lots of natural light. Then, because none of them looked quite rectangular, I needed to crop them. Straightening and cropping was relatively easy. Then I needed to compress them for my website. I tried to compress them using Coffee Cup Pix Converter and it worked fine for all the photos I had taken on our old Olympus - but not for the one taken on my new Kodak Play/Sport. I then decided that, in case someone actually decided to look at my website, I needed to update our 2010 summer cruise and our 2010 trip to England. But once those photos were uploaded - the new website pages were really slow to open. I needed a better way to compress. In the middle of all this I realized that all my digital photos were in a muddle - so I did a lot of sorting and weeding. I also realized that I hadn't backed my photos up anywhere. I tried to back them up on my regular backup drive only to eventually figure out that there was not enough room. That led to buying a bigger drive and many hours of WD backing everything up. Mike tried using the export function in Picasa to compress photos and found that it worked fine for the Kodaks. Great! I compressed everything again. When that was all done and everything was re-uploaded to the website, Norton announced that I needed to optimize my computers space. The automatic defragging process took all one evening and late into the night.

Of course, all this meant - no painting. Not that I wasn't having fun and actually being pretty creative. Not that any form of creativity requires some knowledge and use of some kind of technology. But now my website is caught up.

Today I worked on my Newcastle Gap picture for about 3 hours. I just sloshed away with the paint and tried to simplify and capture the photo I am using. I first did the sky - I made it too dark. I hate French ultramarine. Then the clouds. The clouds looked way to round, so I tried to flatten them by putting streaks across them and making the edges less well-defined. Then the evergreens on both islands and then the bare branches oak trees and yellow grassy hillside. The oaks are not good yet. They look like tufts of grass. Then the water with it reflections. I just painted away following the photo as best I could and discovered that I had put in a wake from our boat - a nice big wave diagonally across the water part. And finally the red buoy in the middle of the gap. I had tried to get rid of most of the red underpainting but then had to put some red back in so the buoy didn't stick out too oddly.

I just put a photo of today's painting on this blog and there it is at the top. I have no idea how to put it further down so that it will be a nice surprise at the end. I guess I need to figure out the technology of how that works.

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