Wednesday, April 15, 2009

After Artfest, Looking for Diamonds, and a Word about Browsers

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." John Lennon
After Artfest
A few words about my Artfest retreat with 3 workshops since I have been so busy upon returning home... As usual, it was refreshing to be surrounded by so much creativity, wonderful artists, the cool crisp sea air and magnificent scenery. Above you see 4 paintings I completed in Misty Mawn's class where we worked on portraits with sepia or earthtones... a very satisfying class and reminds me of how much I love paint and paper. Misty is a very fast and talented painter and excellent teacher with lots of techniques to share. Having done only a few portraits in the past, I am encouraged enough by my results that I intend to do more portraits.And here are pictures of layouts for my 2 assemblages in Michael DeMeng's "What a Relief" class in which we used old picture frames to build upon, and assorted recycled junque to make them into art pieces. They evolved a bit differently and I'm not finished yet, may post when I complete them. Michael's a wonderful teacher that shares a lot of info on tools and how to get that aged look, and his creations are a wonder to look at... this was my "challenge" class, as I haven't typically considered myself an assemblage artist... but this was much fun.
Sas Colby's class on Transparent Books was a relaxing mix of experimentation with all manner of materials (I used an old plastic see-thru pouch with a grid pattern, x-ray film, transparencies, rice papers, fabrics and other odds and ends... a bit of drawing and binding. Pictures to be posted later.Looking for Diamonds
After Wed through Sunday filled with art and lots of people interactions, I craved alone time, and on the advice of a local artist, found a wonderful quiet beach at a different location to explore. I was told there would be lots of beach glass. I naively walked along thinking of quarter sized pieces until another beachcomber showed me they were more pea or smaller sized. My treasures from that walk are in the pictures above - wonderful wonderful shapes and colors for my camera here at home. I told my sister (who lives in another state) that I had practiced using my eagle eyes to find those small glass treasures and was practicing for the day that she and I idly dream about a road trip to the diamond fields in Arkansas. No, I'm not kidding, a real state park where anyone can keep what they find and do. I told her last year I dreamed I found a 3 carat yellow diamond. Now I don't really need one, but I suppose it's the thrill of the hunt and finding a treasure whether it's a diamond or a shell or pea sized sea glass. I've always collected those and have little assortments laying here and there. Maybe they are alters to nature and memories.Now a word about John Lennon's quote, life catching up with you.... I missed posting a Sunday meditation this past Easter week and we've had a rash of "challenges". Mother always said bad luck comes in 3's or more.... We are trying to resolve audio issues, so I'm unable to hear any YouTubes, etc. And we had a big leak in kitchen sink, which turned into problems with removing the faucet and/or the sink... it made my husband get creative about our water supply! That's the garden hose from our new deck... Meanwhile the truck clutch also went out a couple of days ago which will completely eat our tax refund that I found after finishing taxes on the 14th, the downstairs toilet leak was just fixed, and we had an invasion of tiny tiny black ants going crazy over the cat food. We finally got rid of them today but I swear they were coming from another dimension right through the walls.... And to top it off yesterday I came down with a sore throat/flu and will probably miss my artist's reception tomorrow night at the Rose House... oh well, hubbie just made fresh strawberry jam, hot tea tastes good, and I'm going to keep looking for diamonds...

A Word About Browsers
Barely a month ago Yahoo decided to upgrade their mail system and at that moment, my emails ceased to be available for 3 days. We checked firewalls and everything else possible to no avail, so we called a Yahoo technician who had us install a new browser, Mozilla Foxfire. Aside from our own checks and those with the Yahoo technician that revealed no problems, we are fairly certain my mail system wasn't working any more because of the browser. The Internet Explorer browser that we've used forever simply doesn't work with the Yahoo upgrade, while Foxfire worked instantly. Mozilla seems to work faster and some other things that I had to make a work around with Explorer, work fine with Mozilla. And a friend who still works for one of the local Federal agencies says they switched to Mozilla... it is touted as safer. I still have Explorer as a backup in case I need it. The upshot is, I've learned that some browsers apparently don't interface well with certain sites, they have different features that may be related to how secure your system is, and they work at different speeds... and they have different versions. All very confusing. I wish I'd saved an article I read in the Washington Post about this. But, anyway, I'm mentioning this in my post, because perhaps if all else is ok with your system and you have problems getting into a mainstream website, maybe your browser is a problem. Mozilla was free and is well known. Now I use that one, but keep the other, just in case...


Linda J said...

If you love Sea Glass, you maybe interested in the Internets Largest online community dedicated to sea glass collectors around the world.

Members share craft and display ideas, tons of photos, beaches to collect and much more.

Membership is private and free to join at

NOTE: this is a collector community with no jewelry or agenda other than sharing our passion for sea glass!

HeartFire said...

Thanks Linda, I did look up that ning group, how surprising, but then there are groups for everyhing!! Have fun with your sea glass.

Anonymous said...

First I do hop you soon recover from your bout of flu - how horrid just as Spring is here. Secondly, I love beachcombing too - even though we live in the heart of England, and have trays and bowls of shells and glass. I think I posted an entry on my Scilly Journal earlier this year, so you can see pics of good hunting grounds. Last place I hunted was West Wales.

Thanks too for browser info - I have Internet Explorer but use Safari (mac compatible)

HeartFire said...

Hi Ann, thanks for the well wishes... I just went back and looked at your Scilly pictures - that is a great journal of sea colors and textures, and must have been wonderful for beachcombing.

JonesMoore said...

Wow, thanks for sharing that--I thought was losing my mind! All of a sudden, my yahoo mail stopped working on my Mac, and only worked on PC. "Nice" of yahoo to warn me about this...(not!)

HeartFire said...

Lisa, that browser problem made me crazy... and the Yahoo technician did say they had quite a few customers with that problem (you'd think the upgrade would work with Explorer but maybe we have an old version). Also the WA Post article did seem to favor Mozilla. Also, don't know about you, but I have a huge number of "Favorites" bookmarked - I was able to import those over to Mozilla so I have the same ones.