Archive for September, 2016

Inventory Issues

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Last month I needed to replace my computer.  You know what that involves:  not only relearning the upgraded operating system and all its “wonderful” new whistles and bells and figuring out how to find and reconfigure everything to suit my taste, but either moving or replacing all those important programs (oh excuse me; they’re called “apps” now!) that we rely on so much for all our everyday tasks.  Oh yes, and migrating all our indispensable files to the new machine.  If we’re lucky it takes only a few days out of our lives to make the transition.  If things don’t go so smoothly, … well, we won’t go there.

One of the important programs I needed to migrate over was my art inventory.  No, I don’t keep it on a spreadsheet, though I’m beginning to see the advantage of using one.  Instead, I’m using an old program called Art Tracker, for which I never had adequate documentation and for which support is no longer available.  It’s okay for basic inventory, and over the past six years I’ve learned to use it sufficiently if not entirely efficiently.

The immediate problem the transition raised was that the art images are not embedded but are linked to their location elsewhere on the computer.  And when the pathways to those locations change, the links get broken.  Needless to say, changing computers changed the pathways.  So I’ve had to relink images for my entire art inventory (many, many years’ worth), one by one.  Despite having my images well organized, reestablishing the linkage has taken hours to complete.

I’m now convinced that I need to upgrade my inventory software before changing computers again.  But what can I upgrade it to?

I’m not comfortable with working in a spreadsheet format, and am not sure how to develop one specifically for my art inventory needs, but I may eventually resort to that as an alternative.  Of the dedicated inventory programs I researched, none seems to offer the features I want for what I’m willing to pay.  (Sure, freeware would be nice, but I can’t realistically expect that.)  There are some cloud and on-line possibilities, but I’d prefer to have the program directly on my computer so I can access it and make quick changes or additions without having to depend on Internet access.  And it needs to be geared specifically for an artist’s inventory to include images and applicable information in an easy-to-use-and-search format.

If you know of such a program, please let me know!  Also, please indicate whether you have actually used it, and what you consider its pros and cons.  I would appreciate any suggestions.

Why do I paint?

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

The subject of this blog is the simple and basic question, “Why do I paint at all?”

From an academic standpoint, sometimes the reason I paint is as simple as satisfying my own drive to address a challenging subject in a way that will effectively express my feelings about it.   Other times, I may repeat a subject to explore it from different perspectives, in different seasons or lighting conditions, or in different mediums.  I may work alongside other artists, either in person or online, to compare our approaches to the same general subject matter.  Sometimes it’s to play and experiment with new materials, a different technique, or to push myself to the next level.  And sometimes it’s to create an illustration for the purpose of teaching others.

In Class - quick sketch (#160103-w)

In Class – quick sketch (#160103-w)

After all, why do we undertake the study of any special interest?  Primarily because it does interest us and fulfills our desire to continue learning, testing and improving our understanding and skills, whether it’s painting, music, mathematics, or a sport.  Because simply doing it brings us satisfaction even as we strive for an ever-elusive “next level” of competence.

So why do I paint?  Because I want to!  It’s fun.  It gives me pleasure and satisfaction.  And it makes me observe my environment more closely than I ever did before.