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Geek Notes
 
I recently purchased some new hardware and software to try and improve my printing process just a little  bit more. The hardware is something called a spectrophotometer, which measures the tone and density of your printed colors. That information is fed into the computer, compared to established ideal colors, and then adjustments can be made to move the actual printed color closer to the ideal. My old device was pretty darn good, but I thought with a slightly better device, I could obtain slightly more accurate data. That part worked out great, as my new data was fantastic. That really made me feel like a nerd because the smooth,  super-sexy curves that I was drooling over were numbers on a graph. 
  
The software part isn't working out so well.  It is software that analyzes the data fed to it by the spectrophotometer. Again, my old software was fantastic, but this new program advertised that it did a much better job of defining dark colors, and I thought that was the one area of my printing that could be improved.  Because I am using a unique combination of printer and ink,  this new program is unable to analyze my larger amount of data without crashing. The company's maddening advice was "try using fewer colors and our software will work great!". I'm trying to adapt the way I record the data so the program can handle it, but without success so far. And when their tech support started writing me and asking me how to fix things, I thought that just maybe  I've moved a little too far into the realm of geekdom.
  
Boy, do I need to just be an artist again!
  
  
  
News & Notes
A Nice Little Break: June 12, 2011
 

Howdy Edward, 

 

     Our first five shows are in the books and Dorothy and I are enjoying a little break here at home before we head out on the road again.  All of the vegetables have been planted in the garden, we've had some nice visits with friends, so we're recharged and ready to go!

   I know the "correct" marketing strategy is to report that everything is unbelievably fantastic even if it is not. But I think insincerity ruins your credibility, so I have to tell you that our last two shows were terrible. The shows were fine, the crowds were a good size, people were buying; just not enough and not from me. But, you take what you can get from a bad show, and so we continue to learn and grow. All of the little tweaks we make to our presentation add up, so we don't underestimate the value of our experiences.

 

Artwork In Progress
 

     In my last newsletter, I wrote that I was starting on a new gladiola piece. Well, I changed my mind. I was working on that piece, but I was really struggling with the conflict of the piece wanting to go one way and me wanting it to go in another direction.

    Last week, a friend emailed me saying that her peony tree was blooming and it was spectacular and I needed to come photograph it immediately. It was a gorgeous day, I was really down about the gladiolas not working, so I thought that would be a nice break. Well, Tess was right. So now I'm working on a Peony triptych. Technically, it's not a triptych; it's three separate pieces that will just happen to look real nice if you decide to hang them together (hint, hint).

    The primary struggle I was having was my insistence that the flower be something more than just a flower; that it serve as a vehicle to create an abstract composition, and the gladiolas were just not cooperating. The presence of these peony blossoms was so powerful that I had no choice but to just let them be what they were. Below are the three original photos that will be the focus of the three canvases.  I am starting on the middle canvas, which is the second photo below. For that canvas, I have rotated the blossom slightly, changed the image to a square, and added new leaves taken from other photos. The next stage will involve refining and simplifying the edges of the leaves and petals and starting to define some of the highlights and shadows.

  
  
 
 
  
  
Upcoming Shows
 

We have three consecutive shows coming up. On June 18-19, we will be in Roslyn, NY at Christopher Morley Park for the inaugural North Shore Fine Arts Festival. Long Island has been really good for us so we're eager to return. The next weekend, June 25 - 26, will find us in Maryland for the Gaithersburg Fine Arts Festival. It is another first year event, so we'll have two adventures in a row! Plus we get to visit with family, so how great is that? The following weekend finds us back in the Hamptons at the Amagansett Fine Arts Festival July 2 - 4. This will be our 3rd consecutive year spending the Holiday weekend in Amagansett, so we are expecting the same sort of success that prompts us to keep returning. Hopefully all of the fireworks won't just be in the sky!

  
Updated Website
 
    I've made some changes to the website based on suggestions I received. I removed the portfolio of colored florals because, well, frankly, I just didn't like any of them.  I combined the seasonal portfolios into one landscape category titled simply Vermont. I added a portfolio of some of my white florals in room settings, another section showing work in progress, and finally a place to find archived newsletters. This vast archive currently stretches as far back as the end of April. If you'd like to offer any more ideas for website changes, please bear in mind that I do it myself, my time and skills are limited, and I'd rather bathe our cat than work on a website. But you can make suggestions, anyway. Really. I don't mind. And if your name is  removed from my list, I swear to God it was an accident.
    Sincerely,

     Edward