Wednesday, March 04, 2009

a thrill a day

Ok, so the Dell guy helped me last night. Tonight, 24 hours later, my system crashed. I am now downstairs at the desktop which is so ancient that it won't recognize my memory card reader for photos. So I'm typing here while I install my old Photoshop Elements 2.0 on Marty's laptop. Photoshop to the rescue - and his USB port recognizes my card reader. Thank goodness I have been using Carbonite as a remote backup - recommended by somebody on one of the lists! In the meantime, I need to buy a new laptop: FAST!! And then I can download all my files from them. Thank you, whoever mentioned it. I can't complain about my Dell, which has lasted for more than 4 years...and I was thinking about a MacBook - but this is an emergency and I don't have time for a learning curve...and the Macbook is probably out of my price range now that I just bought a car. Oops. Anyway, I was in the studio today. I won't show you what I'm working on, but when I left this pile of inspiration was on the wall - so when I go back (maybe Friday? ) I'll have plenty to keep me busy. I have two things in progress - but as I was putting the fabrics together, I was thinking that it looks too much like same-old/same-old. Then, on the way home, there was an interview on All Things Considered with T.D. Max,the author of an article about the late writer, David Foster Wallace. Wallace was apparently, among other things, struggling to change his writing style because he didn't want to write "that way "anymore." Max said something I thought was interesting: he said "style runs so deep, you think you can change how you write. But to change how you write, you really have to change how you think. ..." While he was talking about writing, it seems to me that this is just as applicable to any of the visual arts or to music. Changing the way we think is so difficult and drastic because how we think is, in a sense, hard-wired into each of us. We can modify - but deep and complete changes don't seem possible to me. On another note, clean-up-itis must be the disease of the month. Everybody seems to be throwing out STUFF and clearing the decks. Getting ready for spring? Whatever it is, I'm filling up a trash bag in my sewing room/office/home studio. While I was going through miscellaneous bags of crap lying around blocking the entrance to that room, I found my collagraph plates (I knew they were here SOMEWHERE) and some prints I had forgotten about. This is one I may have posted previously in one form or another; we had to use fabric to make the plate. This also has some shapes carved into it. But I wasn't happy with the plate, so afterwards I took off all the stuff I had stuck on there and decided to reuse the plate for our next assignment, which was to use wood glue to make a plate. These 3 prints came from the wood glue plate, which I didn't think would look like anything because I just dumped the glue and spread it around, free form. But they turned out to be quite interesting. They are all the same but I photographed the second one upside down and looks entirely different. As usual, up too late. I need to get to Staples early and buy an external hard drive for the next computer. Then I have an appointment, after which I will head down to Somerset, NJ to the Quiltfest. I am looking forward to seeing Usha and hopefully, having dinner with her at that wonderful Indian restaurant she found last year. Tomorrow should be a better day.


Terry said...

That thing about style running so deep you have to change the way you think to change the way you write (work)--hmmmm. That is pretty profound. I need to think about it. Maybe I will write about that on my blog. Such an interesting thought. Thanks!

Eva said...

These prints are stunning. Classics! Free form abstraction of 1950.
An external hard disc saved my life three years ago. A crash in the middle of a website task. One day extra work installing my programs, and I was able to carry on as if nothing had happened.

Cécile Trentini said...

These thoughts about style are really interesting. Partly I agree, on the other hand, doesn't our way of thinking follow different avenues i.e. we should also be capable of developping different styles. If you are bothered by a feeling of always repeating yourself, then it is certainly necessary to go looking for these other ways of thinking. I am also convinced, however, that you cannot develop a style or a way of thinking that isn't already within you; you can't develop a style that goes against your inner nature. I love discussions about style, especially as I do not have a particular style in my own work.

martha said...

Rayna, have you considered getting a mac? they are so much more reliable so much more fun. I know I teach the lessons in the apple stores.
I love how the upside down piece looks so different -amazing.
I tend to think that changing ones way of thinking is what we do when we teach.

Sherryl said...

I think the comment about style is right on. It is a subject that I had been discussing recently with others. I know I am learning to do lots of new techniques and while I try to emulate what I see, it all still comes out looking like me, which is not always good.
Check out Costco both online and local for a new computer. I know 2 people who have gotten awesome deals from them for under $1000.

PRK said...

I second Martha's comment. Macs cost more because they are built better and last and last. And the learning curve is not great. I have an eight-year old laptop working fine (if dated) and a four and a half year old G5 desktop also working fine. The external hard drive is a great investment too.
The bit about style is intriguing, especially with regard to writing. Very hard to copy a style inimical to you.