December 12, 2015
I met a dear friend for lunch yesterday. While in Paris last June, I saw a postcard of two elderly women sitting side by side drinking tea (perhaps with a shot of something), leaning against one another in a fit of laughter. I thought of Brenda and purchased the card to give her the next time we got together, which turned out to be yesterday. As always, we laughed our way through conversations of our ups and downs of life.
The postcard had been stored along with all the other postcards, notes, pamphlets, sketchbooks and maps I accumulate during the month in Paris. As I sifted through the papers, memories were awakened and tumbled out of the bag, filling the room with the inspired, yet unprocessed thoughts, experiences and ideas. Too much of my time is spent at the computer dealing with the day to day, planning for the next adventure and sharing, via my blog and social networks, the sketches and photos of my day’s journeys. These are only the outer skin images of something far more wonderful, intriguing and meaningful that goes on inside of me. I have not been carving out the time and private space for expressing those deeper experiences.
Rodin’s Thinker – ink and Watercolor – sketched in the Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford, California
A partial solution to the dilemma of not having enough time is to find a way to handle the business of art more efficiently. That meant that I had to find another way to keep track of my paintings. I had been using Flick!, which I liked, but which I found too undependable each time I updated my software. I simply stopped using a database … bad decision. Now that I’m preparing for the upcoming exhibit in Cambridge, MD (February & March of 2016) I am feeling the pain of not having all the information in one place, dimensions, images, titles, date of creation, etc.
Yesterday morning, though I wanted desperately to stand before my easel and paint, I nailed my shoes to the floor in my office and hunted for a new database software that will, maybe, work for me. I narrowed it down to Tap Form and Gyst. I downloaded trial versions of both. After deciding that I really liked Gyst, but had an important question, I emailed Gyst support. My email came back undeliverable. Not a good sign. Several more hours passed standing in my nailed shoes. I finally downloaded Artwork Archives and I think I will love it. In no time at all, I was able to print out the kind of report I need, with images, for keeping track of the paintings that are on exhibit. I can access the information from my laptop, ipad and iphone. I can enter new info from any of these devices. There is a monthly fee, which initially made me ignore this software as an option. For the time it will save me, it is well worth it. The dark cloud that had been hovering above me has vanished and I can step out of my shoes. I’m leaving them nailed to the floor in case I find a problem during the thirty day trial period and find myself forced to search for another solution.