I remember saying many years ago (back when I was an art gallery owner) that I would never get one of those newfangled crazy computers! I said I would not let myself be taken over by that machine, and I thought my portable word processor, just one tiny step above the electric typewriter, was just fine for writing press releases for the gallery and an art column I wrote for a monthy free arts newspaper that used to serve our area so well.
Then one of my friends, Aranga Firstman, brought in this collage for a group exhibition. Collage is my favorite art expression, actually it describes my life. This new collage had been made with digital images of a painting and a photograph, all swirled and merged with poetic words (not shown in this image) using something called Photoshop, and yes….
a Mac computer.
I realized I was going to have to change my mind and eat my words.
A similar thing happened a few years ago, when I finally got up the courage to learn about a new way to connect with the internet using a satellite dish. I had been using a dialup mode for about 10 years by then. And when I asked the phone company for a DSL connection, I was told they were not going to lay the physical line to end of my road where I lived (even though just three houses down they had done so.) So I decided who needed to get speeded up anyway? The world was already moving too fast as it was. I dug in my heels, totally accepting of dialup as my connection.
I had made several websites by then, including the bed and breakfast cottage I have run for 24 years, another website for all the other bed and breakfasts in town and the Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour website. All this was done with the help of the same collage friend and by trial and error. It has been a long process, and by most standards I consider myself still an amateur at all this. But with the dialup connection, it was getting harder and harder, and longer and longer time spent glued to my desktop computer screen, making changes to the websites.
I changed my mind again and ordered a satellite dish to connect me to the world. I disconnected the extra phone line I had been using for dialup so my main phone would not be interrupted. My monthly internet bill increased by only $15.
I was totally amazed at how the world wide web, which is really the World, began to show up, how quickly, how I could listen to my favorite radio station from Berkeley and how I could easily upload photos to the websites.
Six months ago, sitting comfy with my new wireless MacBook Pro, I joined the social media world. I moved the blog I had started for the bed and breakfast 8 years ago, before blogs were called blogs, to a free blog site called wordpress and I joined twitter and I made a few more blogs and I “saw the light.” Connection after connection started showing up (see Art Talk) and the potential of telling a story, sharing a conversation beyond this little, but oh so lovely, village of Three Rivers just inundated me.
I drove my artist friends nuts talking about it all the time. I still do, but some have started blogs of their own and I am learning things about them that I had not known before, even in all the years of friendship.
So now……..I have come to the place to offer a Web Presence workshop for artists, for beginners, with the sub-title of “from the artist’s hand to the world’s eye.” It’s yours for the taking—my gift of enthusiasm, imagination and daring.
Read details about the workshop on the Workshops for Artists page. It’s going to be held at the Arts Visalia gallery in Visalia, California, a valley town 30 miles from Three Rivers. It’s on a Saturday, could be a good excuse to come to the Sierra’s, see the Giant Sequoias and expand your vision as an artist.
I welcome you.
image ©Aranga Firstman all rights reserved