The Voyage

Now Voyager


“The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.”

Walt Witman 1819-1892

Time to begin.  

After researching this whole internet social media world, and refusing to blog because I have absolutely nothing to write about, I have discovered their is a need to blog if you want to be recognized, remain relevant, and avoid redundancy.  Now that being said, I am sure, that I will fall into the cavernous hole of one of the “3Rs” just because I am old, a woman, and I’m whiter than white  of Caucasian extraction.  Someday, I must research where my motherland really is, because Ancestry.com has me no where near the Caucasus Mountain Ranges.  (However, I did make an interesting discovery a few months ago – of course that would be interesting to me and me alone.  If one makes an error in calculating the longitude and latitude of ones’ address by one digit, Google maps will take one to the top of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges.) But I digress.

My task today is to blog at least 500 words and maybe a 1000 using keywords that relate back to what ever I am on social media about.  In fact, I feel so overwhelmed by all of this, that it wouldn’t take much to toss this whole venture in the big round filing cabinet.  I know nothing about SEOs, CSS, YOAST, or Adwords.  When I ask for help, I get, the routine “Oh, I don’t know nutt’n bout birth’n babies, Ms Scarlett!”   Why does all this have to be so complicated.  WAA WAA WAA….I’m  over it.  On to YouTube – there must be a tutorial just waiting for me…

Good lord, that’s the other thing.  I need to figure out how to get video onto my web pages.   You see, video takes longer for folks to watch, thus they remain longer on your page, thus, increasing your relevancy to Google (you remember the 3Rs!)

 

Charlotte and Squeek, Part II

Honestly, there is no delight greater than Momma Nature.  She never ceases to amaze.

Today my self-taught class in the  use of my new DSLR Canon Rebel T6 began with earnest.  I specifically wanted this camera because of the WiFi control.  That being said, I haven’t done a thing with the app or the wifi.  But I have been taking a huge batch of pictures of Squeek and her tribe.

But let me backtrack here.  I know absolutely nothing about photography, dslr, f-stops, shutter speeds, or ISO (in my world it means “in search of”, which isn’t to far off of the photography meaning for me!).  Everything I learn is by trial and error, which I suppose is the best way for this adult learner to learn.  So the first batch of photos of the hummingbirds were phlops (another word I made up for photo flops.)  I shot from the automatic setting, and got nothing but blurry looking flying cigar butts.

IMG_0021

Then I decided to google “How do I use my Rebel T6 to shoot Hummers?”.  Well, let me tell you there is plenty of help out there if you know a bit of photography speak.  I don’t, but I managed to get through a few of the articles and gleaned a bit of understanding.  I felt like I was in a foreign country asking Juan Carlos how to build an analtooter.  It seems that even experienced photographers with expensive equipment have difficulty getting a great shot of a Hummer.  What on earth could I manage to get?

I decided before going back out into the wilds of my front porch, I would need to eat at least two left over cupcakes from this weekend.  After fortify myself with those and a cup of coffee, I grabbed the Reb and off I went to my lawn chair poised directly in front of the hummingbird feeder.  Once I made myself at home, I held on to the Reb, flipped the “mode” nob to the icon that looked like a running man falling over on his side – that was suppose to be the automatic sport mode.  I figured if it was designed  to capture a football team making a run, surely it would capture a hummer.

So I waited.

A guy walking his dog in front of the house, saw me with the camera, which happened to be pointed in his general direction.  He waved at me and said “I have bags, I’ll pick up any mess she leaves!”  I thought that was a great idea, since he is the one that normally leaves the contribution on the lawn anyway.  If I made him feel like I was out to catch him in the act – even better.  I gave him a friendly wave and he and his little friend walked on.

Just about then, I heard the song of the hummingbird.  Not sure why they are called Humming, because it’s really a squeeeeeek!  Three were swooping in at 9 o’clock.  I was ready.  With my Reb poised tightly in my hand, supported by my arms held securely to my sides, and the view finder resting over my right eye, I hit the button and fired off a dozen shots.  Then waited.  One more came in at 2 o’oclock.  I fired off anther dozen shots.

Driven by curiosity, I left the porch for the computer room so I could review what I hoped with some really great shots.

IMG_0130

This was one of the first shots of the second round.  I don’t know about you, but I think this is like at least an 85% improvement.  I also think me and my little Reb are in for some big fun this fall.

Tomorrow, Charlotte will get some love, if I can coach her out of the bush she has been living in since the earlier tragedy.

Thanks for stopping by.  I am open to any tips or suggestions you can pass on, and very eager to learn!

Gerry

Blog and Flog Part II

(Just a mention ……big storm happening now.  Lots of thunder and lightening.  So if I get knocked off the web, and if the program doesn’t draft me, I will be back after I regain my composure.  I have been side swiped by lightening three times in my life, and I am not trying for four.)

Before I get too far into all of this, I just want you to know this is going to be a gripe session, a pity party, or what ever you want to call unabashed self defacement.  (See, I make up words and spell check loves them!)

I am a digital artist.  I am other kinds too, but mostly digital.  I don’t Photoshop my renderings.  I draw free hand using the virtual canvas and colors God gave me.  Can anyone give me a good explanation why juried art shows will not consider my work?  The juried shows want originals.  I suppose I could give them my iPad, because that’s the only place some of my art can boast originality. If I had unlimited income, I would do that very thing.  However, living on a fixed income and budget, I have to submit a print, which the judges just pass on.

You know those prints ain’t cheap, Mcgee!  I us Finerworks.com and they do a fabulous job.  They have called me to tell me to re look at a download because I failed to put my signature on the saved jpeg.  That is going the extra mile for your clients.  But they are expensive, compared to Walmart One-Hour glossy 0.09 cent specials.  And that is just too much to waste on a judge who will just toss the print aside because it wasn’t the original.

Here’s the other thing.  Why do artists need to be in juried shows?  The money?  I don’t see major award in the competition ads.  If they advertise  $5000 winnings, they are usually divided up into a $1000, with multiple smaller award following.  So it cannot be this.  There must be another reward for entering – not to mention the entry fee for the judges to  reject my rendering.

What is your reason for entering competition?

Okay, there is one more gripe needing explanation.  What is with these cliquish art associations, leagues, and/or society?  I suppose self appreciation is better than no appreciation at all, but some of these border on the ridiculous.

Do you belong to a League?  What does it do for you?  I suppose I just haven’t connected with one of any quality or substance.  If I do, what should I expect from the association?

Enough for one night.  Its almost two in the morning.  I will probably be up all night cleaning in the studio.  I am planning to do some video work in there, and I shutter to think anyone would see my mess.  Clutter is distracting.  I totally get this.  I hate clutter, yet I still haven’t learned to pick up after myself.  Good thing I am paper trained!

Gotta run.  Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

 

Charlotte and Squeak

Oh my what a day, what a morning….

Charlotte is my garden spider.  She is a beauty.  Big as a hens egg, black with an iridescent yellow  markings on her back.  All summer she was busy working to keep the garden free of Japanese beetles – and doing a heck of a job.  Her web was a thing to behold.  Her species is native to North Carolina and is referred to as just a plain old garden spider.  She is also called a Writing spider because of the delicate furls she puts in her weave. (You can see some of that in this picture.) But here we called her Charlotte.

Sometimes its hard to do whats right.

Featured spider picture

After the dogs had their eggs, and treats, it was time to check the humming bird feeders.  All was well.  Until one of the kids (our dogs!) wanted to go out side again – about a half hour later.  That’s when we saw the tragedy.

There wrapped in Charlotte’s weaving was Squeak, our littlest hummer.  Who would have guessed this could have happened.  I suppose I should have seen it coming.  The hummers, excellent flyers as they are, just don’t look around when they go tearing through the air chasing each other away.

Well, you sure can’t call 911 for a humming bird.

We did everything we could to get her free.  She was limp and unresponsive.  No eye movement.  Not a flutter.  She looked like a little mummy.  I imagine she fought very hard to free herself, but just made the situation worse.

Image result for hummingbird

Well, once we got her out, we tried to remove the web.  Not so easy.  She had to have food, so we held the feeder up to her so she could drink.  Nothing for a minute or two, and then I felt the little body thrumming.  Her tiny little tongue came out and she started to drink.  She was so weak, and she could not hold her head up.  We continued to feed, and in between tried to untangle the sticky web.  I feared we would do more damage to her feathers than we intended.  I got on the web (pardon the pun!) and googled how do you clean spider webs of a bird? – Lo and behold, there was an article that directed how to take the web off an insect – Ill take it!  So with clear water, I dripped tiny little drops of water on the webs, gently petting the webs free…and they just dissolved.  She continued to drink, and with the wetness on her feathers, she began to flutter, and then Squeak started squeaking!

Squeak continued to take the nectar for another minute, shook herself out, and flew on her own into the crepe myrtle bush.  From there she flew to the maple, and then over the top of the house.

Since then, we have been watching for her.  She finally showed up with the other three high flyers, bobbing and weaving in and out of the roses.

A happy ending for  Squeak.  Not so much for Charlotte.

Sometimes its hard to know whats right.

Help

I have been making myself nuts for the past few hours trying to figure this out and I cannot.  If there are any photo gurus out there, please listen to my plea from this waste land.

  1. I want to sell my digital prints on Etsy
  2. I need to understand how to make my jpegs into different sizes.  How can I do this? (8×10, 5×7, 11×14)  And if I manage somehow to figure this part out, how do I determine if an size is going to be to large and become all pix-elated?
  3. If I sell them as they are, I have no control over how they are reprinted, and the person doing it may be as dumb as me, and try to print a size that would not be compatible with what I have managed to send them.
  4. I have had many drawing reprinted without any problem with different sizes, but occasionally, my signature will be left off or the top of something will be cropped away.  I can live with that, but I wouldn’t expect my customer to do the same
  5. 2aa1

 

 

I am open to all suggestions.

Thank you

Impressions

I wish I could see my readers…but then maybe not so much.  I think I must miss body language, and it leaves me suspecting any replies I might receive as a comment.  And I bet after you read this, you will say to yourself – “Then why would I reply if I am going to be suspected of insincerity?”  Well, you might respond just to prove me wrong, or as a double dog dare?

Have you ever been in a work group, people you may know very little about or even just met, and find there is that one person you really really don’t like.  Why is that. I wonder.  Maybe subconsciously they remind you of someone you knew in the past.  Of course, there is just the opposite.  You meet someone and there is a sudden familiarity, and you really really like them.  And then there are the friends you have made but it happened over a long period of time.  Do you think of those three that one has a greater weight of a valid relationship?

I can say when I get the sudden dislike for a person, it’s usually a life long deal.  Of the handful of people  falling  into this category,  I cannot recall every changing my mind about them.  The friends have been friends forever no matter what the circumstance or the time of separation – we have remained friends.

We are a complicated race of individuals.

Alcohol Inks

Just read an article posted on Alcohol Inks (AI).  Couldn’t have come at a better time.  I am going to start doing some YouTube video tutorials on introductory use of AIs.  So far, I have my plan written out and as soon as I can get my camera charged up, I will be channeling  Cecil B DeMille.  There is a lot to cover in the intro phase, but I think it can be done in a 20 min video – or not.  I am sure to find out.

Anyone with some advice on making a tut vid, please comment – I promise not to question your sincerity!

Imposter

Mark2

I suffer from the Syndrome of Imposterism.  I also suffer from making up words that fit what ever I want them to fit, so stay tuned for more.  When ever I do something wrong, its my first thought -yep, now everyone knows that I’m not a Thisorthat. (I warned you!)  So over the years, I have tried to reel in those feelings when ever I feel them rising to the surface.  I know not to blame a parent on this, but its my mother’s voice I hear when those thoughts come into my head.  I take a minute or two to go through any recent and past accomplishments that give me the chops to do what ever I am doing and move on from there.  It doesn’t last long, but its damn annoying at times to have to do a life review when mother scolds me from the grave.

This syndrome also leads me to Mark Twain.  You may have never shaken his hand, but you know darn well that if you did, the next thing he’d do is offer you a rocking chair on his porch and a cigar.  Which you would take, and sit a spell, and bask in his delightful company.  When ever I start to get a little cluttered in my thinking about things that really mean very little in the global view of my life. or if I start sweating the small stuff, I like to pull out those Twain Quotes that center me.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.  Mark Twain and Judge Judy.

Following the same path as everybody else rarely leads to great success. Carve your own path instead, and lead the way.

Surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you. Your network is your net worth.

Don’t fight every battle that is thrown your way. Sometimes it’s better to remain silent, and let success be your noise.

There are two types of people in this world – people who accomplish things, and people who talk about accomplishing things – the first group is less crowded.

Never let an ‘old person’ enter your mindset. Think and act as though you were 21 and remain open to learning and growing, always.

Stretch your comfort zone. If you want to have something you have never had, you are going to need to do something you have never done.

The world does not owe you a thing. It was here first! It is your responsibility to take command of your life and your time. There are no handouts!

All of the planning in the world doesn’t mean anything if you never put anything into practice. Take what you know and make a start. There will always be more to learn but if you never start, you’ll never achieve.

So the sun is setting on Johnston County, NC.  Storm clouds passing.  Hummingbirds getting their last sips in for the night.  Both dogs curled up next to me breathing rhythmically.  And with this, I will say good evening  and peace to y’all!

Marks

 

Blogging and flogging

It doesnt come easIly this thing called blogging.  At times, or should I say at most times, I find its a lot like talking out loud to no one in an auditorium.  So to solve this problem, I decided to pick a subject and jot a few thoughts down.  My subject tonight is art – specifically, my art and my development of how I permit it to use me.

Always had a penchant for picking up a pencil or crayon and just doodling.  Can’t think of a time that I wouldn’t do this, even as a small child.  I can recall the color I loved most.  It was a thick water based crayon  the color of a deep blue green.  Rich blue green that had the ability to change from a transparent color to an opaque color.  Just a lushous rich color.  Gee I miss that crayon a lot.  I know it was probably lost in the few moves we made from one flat to the next, and forgotten.

So here I find myself approaching the end of my life span, finding that I am giving myself permission to search for my beloved blue green watery crayon.  It’s no longer necessary for me to believe that I am an artist any more than it was necessary for me to believe I was a nurse.

To be a nurse requires years of training to learn what you already know in your soul.  The internal knowledge has to be trained to make sense of the nurse sounds coming from your heart, just so you don’t kill or mame anyone.   Which is a good thing, but you must beleive in another’s oplnion of your abilities to nurse.  And you must have some sort of certificate indicating you have been minimally educated in the nursing arts.  And there we have it…

Back to the arts….but here in my digital computer world, I don’t need no stink’n deploma or degree to foist myself on the unsuspecting public while I create with pixel dust…at least not yet.

the few art classes i took in college made me nuts.  Draw this line this way.  Draw this line this way and put it over here, etc, etc, etc!  Never mind that I didn’t want it there, but if I wanted a grade, I best follow instructions.  Now I don’t need this grade.  All I need is my blue green water color generated by  my app and I am happy.

This week, after finishing up some trays, I will start my video classes using alcohol inks.  Let’s just see if I can follow through with my own plan!

if you are like me, and suffer from fear of showing your art to the world, I suggest watching this video.  Then go read her book “Big Magic”.  You won’t be disappointed!