Saturday, August 28, 2010


No, this isn't the painting, those are leaves. I like those leaves. I like them a lot better than I like the painting!

I've been away from painting for so long that most of my oil paints are dried up. I also noted today that many of my brushes look like they are victims of mange.

And the reasons there is not a picture of the painting here are twofold: One, I don't feel like walking to the other end of the house to get the camera and cables, and Two, I don't feel like making all that effort for something that looks like shit.

No, I'm not being modest. The leaves really are easier on the eyes.

Nevertheless, I had the urge to dig out my oils yesterday, pulling the box of paints out from under the work table, squeezing each tube to see if there was any chance of getting any paint out of it, and opening my jars of medium and thinner to see if the jars would still actually open. "I'll find a simple picture in a magazine, scan it into the computer, and then fuzz it out in Photoshop so that I can clearly see the color values." That's what I told myself.

I found a simple picture. I got my scanner down from the shelf. I proceeded to introduce my laptop to the scanner... For almost three hours.

If one reads this blog regularly, one would possibly remember that the reason the scanner isn't on my desk with the desktop computer is that the suckasses who invented Windows 7 made sure it didn't work with most things that used to work with XP, as in planning obsolescence. However, the laptop I have has Vista on it -- should be no problem.

Should be.

The scanner, I should add, was already obsolete when I bought it for very cheap -- it was a display model and didn't even have the manuals with it. Still, it worked just fine for me for years. Therefore, I was optimistic about it getting along with the laptop.


It said I needed a new driver after I installed the software. So I found one online, and downloaded it.


It said it didn't see any driver, and also, by the way, had no record of scanner software being installed. Fine. I re-installed, re-downloaded the driver.


Still can't see the scanner, said my laptop, squeezing its computer eyes shut. And you need a driver anyway.

"Fine, you shithead," I replied, and went to the Canon homepage to find and download the manual.

Heh, said the laptop, and refused to talk to the printer in the other room, printing out only the last page of the manual. I stomped to my desk and turned on the computer there.

Oh, trying to send a laptop with Vista to do a Windows 7 job? the desktop sneered at me. The desktop jerked the printer's chain and I retired to the studio once more with a stack of pages in my hands.

Wait. The manual was for Windows 98, Windows Me... and XP. The laptop began giggling like a naughty teen in art class who has just poured Elmer's glue into a dozing classmate's hair. My scanner is that old?

"That's just ... fine." I said once more. I re-uninstalled all the scanner stuff, drivers, schmivers, what all. I turned the machine off. Then, remembering an issue I had with a previous computer, I plugged the scanner into a different USB port, and started the thing up again.

By the numbers, Baby, and I didn't really even need the damned manual. The scanner installed, the driver that came with the CD worked, and the laptop said, Ooo! A new toy! Let's play!

By that time, I really just wanted to sit with a glass of wine and read a paperback and pretend that there were no computers, but I scanned the simple picture, fiddled with it in Photoshop, and then selected a small, small canvas.

Long ago I swore I would nevermore try to paint on a white canvas, so I got a disposable rag and a tube of paint for priming. I chose my cadmium red, because I was still pretty hot under the collar about the whole computer thing, and began smearing the canvas with a light coat of paint.

Fine. The red paint, instead of looking red, looked a sickly pink, very unappetizing, very uninspiring.

"Fine," I said, and put the thing to dry, opened the garage door to vent clean air in, and got my glass of wine.

Yeah. That works. The painting sucks, but at least I got a lot of paint on the canvas, covering the stinky pink priming. "Fine." Now for a glass ...

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