Rough canvas painting

Bogland Birches

This painting is on a piece of linen canvas. I prepared the surface about 30 years ago and primed with a mid grey. The surface is very rough even though the weave is fine. A texture like sand paper. At that time I prepared 10×10 foot pieces on a stretcher of that size and later cut it up to stretch on smaller stretcher pieces. It was a time consuming job but, at that time, well worth the effort as commercially prepared canvas was very costly.

This surface is very different to what I use at the moment. I’m not impressed by the rough texture of this canvas and had to adjust the style of painting to accommodate it. In a way its easier to use, as the surface absorbs the paint and several brush strokes are required to actually paint a item in the picture. There is plenty of scope to correct a miss-placed brush stroke.
Birch trees are a feature of bogland, and there is plenty in County Kildare where I live. They are creepy places steeped in history and folklore. Only recently another ‘bog body‘ was found which is believed to be 3000 years old. Human sacrifice or execution, no one knows for sure. Boglands are wet absorbent places, with their own eco-system. All is enveloped and does not decay so there are no nutrients in the lower layers – ideal for shallow rooted birches.
A video of the painting process will be posted whenever my computer returns, hopefully in working order. Did you know there is an application for WordPress for the iPhone? Without my laptop I’ve been ‘playing’ with other gadgets. A post can be written, including photographs, and published from the phone from anywhere. Mad stuff, worth further investigation.

Backup? What’s that

The Wreck of the Plassey

My computer is important to me. Photos, videos, all sorts of things are accumulating in the computer at a steady pace. The hard drive (500GB) of my new laptop (5 months old) filled up and I was reminded of this, by the system. So I bought a new backup drive, the old one was not big enough for the new computer. As I was preparing to backup (Time Machine on my Mac) I noticed a little warning in the disk utility that the ‘S.M.A.R.T. status’ reported the disk was failing. 5 months old and failing? Couldn’t be.

To make a long story short, I did the backup yesterday and the computer collapsed today. The hard drive has a terminal failure, that means completely dead and the data practically unrecoverable. I think that is what you call ‘dodging the bullet’. A computer ‘nerd’ friend said ‘its not will your hard drive fail, its when’. Ahh!

I am now using my ‘old laptop’ again (commandeered from my son) and missing all the cool stuff the new one could do. I’ve no access to my picture collection so I included one of his, ‘The Wreck of the Plassey on Inis Oirr‘. Appropriate? Yes.

The moral of the story is this – backup your computer. Luckily, Apple Macs have a very user friendly way of doing it (mentioned above) and I got it done without much hassle. I would have lost everything I accumulated over the last 5 months. I know people who have a computer for years and have never backed it up.

There is going to be a catastrophic loss of personal data over the coming years, especially photos. There are plans, ‘in the pipeline’, to offer computer users an ‘online’ backup service, if you happen to be ‘online’. There are expensive and limited systems available at the moment (Flickr for photos, for example).

Be warned!