T. S. Eliot, I beg to differ. February is the cruelest month, at least in these here parts.
I’ve spent the winter at my computer. When will the sap start running again?
Sometimes it takes a real act of will to make the smallest move. I bought these roses on sale at Loblaws. They were on sale as they had expired. Expired! Kind of like animal rescue, but with flowers. Now I have to teach them to trust me.
Those of you who follow this blog know that my postings here can be new work or simply off-the-cuff snaps of work-in-progress or behind the scenes. This is a snap, if you hadn’t figured that out.
The perspective here is interesting. It reminds me of the perspective in certain still lifes by Matisse and Gaugin. The round surface appears almost vertically, yet it is the flat surface which supports the vase.
And we think that art and especially photography are there to represent reality!
I’ve completely revamped my website. Subscribe at davidroddis.com – the button is at the top right of every page – to get occasional (approx. monthly) updates, view new work and benefit from being the first to know. Subscribers get a 20% discount on any artwork available on my site – for as long as you subscribe.
Spring will come. And April? Be as cruel as you like, baby. I’m up for it.
What’s happening when you send your painstakingly produced work to your Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer and the result is a disaster consisting of what looks like a monochrome version with sections of bilious green?
There are two ways that problems can occur here: first, when the printer is not functioning optimally; second, when the problem is a “mistranslation” of the colors and intent that’s occurring from the computer to the printer.
By the way, if you are having similar problems, it’s essential for troubleshooting that you start with a properly calibrated monitor. This ensures consistent results – monitor colors and print colors will never be exactly the same; but they can be very close; it’s consistency rather than exact reproduction that is the goal. But that’s for another post – let’s troubleshoot the current problem.
Troubleshooting: The first step is to print a test page to determine if the print heads need cleaning. (On the principle that the most likely explanation probably applies.) Result: Yes, indeed they do, for the test pattern has sections that did not print at all.
Second step: Do the cleaning. This consumes ink, but there’s no way around this. Now print the test page again – success, all of the pattern prints.
BUT, there are other mysterious forces at work. I wouldn’t want this to be too easy…
When I examine the print dialog box in PS, I see that the default color space is “CMYK”. Wrong! That represents color separations for offset lithography. I need an RGB color space, and one that’s for inkjet printing, not web display.
(How the settings ended up at that profile, I have no idea – I’ve been printing for years, consider myself a bit of an expert in this skill and certainly know enough not to use CMYK separations… my computer sometimes seems to have a mind of its own… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)
Out of the RGB color spaces available, I’m partial to ProPhoto. Back at the document, I choose Edit > convert to profile and choose ProPhoto for the destination space. In the printer dialog, I make sure that “Photoshop manages colors” is selected, NOT printer; for the printer profile I choose one that corresponds to the type of paper I’m using: Epson Radiant White; ditto under the Page Setup tab.
Now all I have to do is to manage the printer’s exquisitely sensitive response to the loading of paper…
Problem solved. You may wonder if it’s all worth the trouble, but once I hold a beautiful print in my hand, one that looks exactly as I imagined – I love my Epson, prima donna though she may be!
Here is the conclusion of my article, which originally appeared on Shaun Proulx’s Gay Guide Network.
Five Things Flowers Can Teach Us (conclusion): Nº 3 – 5
3. Appreciate the rain.
“What a horrible day,” said the woman in the elevator.
“Oh, I’m sorry, did something happen?” I replied.
My remark was a bit naughty; I had already guessed she judged the day horrible because it was raining.
I’m not trivializing life’s major setbacks; I’m talking about rain.
You say, “What a depressing day!”;
I say: Rain is soft and refreshing, it makes colours shiny, super-saturated; towering clouds glower mauve-black, great silver spikes of lightning stab the horizon – and if that weren’t enough, you get to wear retro-cool rubber boots from Canadian Tire for splashing in the puddles.
I say: Have fun in the rain!
And the begonias on my balcony, the cosmos and zinnias in Allan Gardens, the dahlias at the market, the cellophaned bouquets of tulips in their buckets outside the convenience stores at Avenue Road and Davenport – flowers everywhere in the dusty metropolis turn their faces skyward to meet the rain and, refreshed, radiate simple gratitude.
4. There are cycles.
There are days, weeks, even, when – just between you and me – my petals are little brown around the edges. This past year had its challenges, yet already the cycle has turned and I’m popping out a few bright green little shoots…
OK, so I’ve pushed the metaphor a bit far, but I hope I can remember, when future difficulties cycle round, that there is a time for everything, that good can follow bad, and that 99% of what I worried about never happened.
5. Flowers are vulnerable and delicate; flowers are tenacious and strong.
What has a front, has a back; and the bigger the front, the bigger the back.
– trad. Japanese saying
Every cliché hides its secret formula in plain sight: All you need for the alchemical transmutation is patience and persistence.
Vulnerable and delicate: I want to remember the waxy, sweet lilacs on woody branches, violet blossoms fluttering to the table top at the merest breath. Tenacious and strong:I want to remember scrappy, obstinate weeds that tore through pavement.
The secret formula necessitates looking beyond the surface and seeing anew what has always been there:
I want to experience the tenacious strength of women, to feel the vulnerable delicacy of men.
Can beauty and truth really be found everywhere? Up to you. Look, closely.