Boating from Coupeville to Bellingham

Monday, Sept 26. Heading up from La Conner to Bellingham. Managed as usual to find a couple of perfect little pieces for my wardrobe in La Conner. It is probably the place that I buy most of my clothes funnily enough, very good boutiques and just my style. Plus, when I’m on holiday I’m more inclined to shop as it’s something I really don’t put a lot of time into at home. Dennis often buys a shirt or two from a great man’s shop there, this time bought Ryan Michael shirt, lovely fabric and interesting detailing.

The very helpful lady in Jennings Yarn & Needlecrafts showed me patiently how to cast on my little knitting project and I successfully got the entire scarf length cast on and the whole first row knitted back while we watched 2 episodes of Mad Men season 2 last night on a laptop. Who knows how long the scarf will really turn out once it’s liberated from the needles but it most surely will be long enough.

The Russian painter Alek Kargopoltsev was painting an oil portrait as I passed by yesterday and the sitter has already picked it up. He’s quite impressive, painting full size head and shoulders portraits on canvas for $150 (I think) from live sitter. Check out his site

Our American Tug Rendezvous over 3 days in Oak Harbor went very well and it was great to get to know a good handful of people a bit more each time we meet them. We sometimes feel like fish out of water, being in the kids comic book field when others at the table might be heart surgeons, ex-airlines pilots etc but it’s a good friendly bunch of quite down to earth people and honestly not an ostentatious or posy bunch at all. A large percentage have come like us to power after a lifetime of sailing and we’re very happy to coast along at under 10 knots which is about under 10 miles per hour.

I gave a one hour talk on photography and photo management with Picasa which went over very well to the crowd of about 80. I had to improvise at the last minute when I realized that I needed the little connector piece to go from my Mac screen plug to the regular pc monitor cable big blue plug. Eeeek. Okay, luckily flexible is my middle name! I quickly downloaded Picasa on a pc laptop and gave my whole Picasa presentation with the first folder of images that showed up, luckily an interesting trip to South America with good photos to demonstrate with.

Photography and photo management are something that I frequently talk about but I condensed my 2 hour Picasa talk into about 40 minutes and used the rest of the time to talk about actually getting better photos and getting more out of your camera. I have a domain that I hope one day to develop into a whole site on this subject because I think many people are very confused about it and could be doing it much better. One of the technical speakers in the morning was showing photos of engine corrosion but kept returning to the basic file browser and hunting for the next topic by name only instead of surfing through image thumbnails and using good image names to keep his technical shots easier to find.

That’s exactly one of the things that Picasa can help with and image management is for EVERYONE, from retired proud grandparents to business professionals and everyone in between. We’re all taking loads of pictures and we better figure out how to manage them so we can find what we need when we want to.

We had a quick little morning stop in Coupeville and were able to walk to one of the art studios on the island studio tour. Ann Wilson has a colorful home and art garden and a fun irreverent personal style. Bev McQuary had some great jewelry of lampwork glass beads and hammered silver. She told me about pmc3, precious metal clay which is kind of like Sculpey or Fimo but when fired out with a small torch, real precious metals are left. Sounds very interesting and I’m going to check that out more online.

Arrived in Bellingham around  4 pm and phoned Gordana Curgus to finally meet in person. We have been emailing away over the past 6 months or so and she is going to help me expand the figurative artist site by researching the names that I give her, filling in the blanks for web site and email. First I need to ensure my artists have great work and great sites to send people to and then I send them an invitation to join our free network and showcase site. She’s excited to be my assistant as it takes her to some pretty fabulous sites but just now she had to put it all on hold and get herself ready for the Whatcom County Art Studio Tours.

We had planned to meet a few times before but as we travel to Bellingham by boat at only about 9 miles per hour, we had to cancel a few times so we were very pleased to finally meet in person. She came down to the boat and I toured her through our 34’ mini-mega yacht then I pulled out my computer and showed her how my very customizable database ACT makes it so easy for me to manage the hundreds of fine artists featured on the site. She was very impressed and could see the huge asset it was to the project. In fact, I could not have built the site without it.

She drove me past the Bluehorse Gallery which she says is the main art heart of Bellingham and I was completely surprised to have never heard of it or even walked past it before. Weird. It was closed so I’ll have to check it out on our next visit. She took me off to her house to see her studio. She’s been painting for the last 3 years and has some very nice work. The 2 things I suggested would be of huge benefit to her were going to life drawing and photographing her own models for her art reference. I told her how I have asked 2 people I knew and 3 complete strangers to pose for photos for me so I know how hard it is for someone a bit shy to do it. She has a lovely big artist postcard to hand over when she asks someone to make the whole request believable so I hope she’ll be brave and do it.

We had a lovely visit and chat, heard about how she enjoys the Golden Open Acrylics, saw her beautiful sculpture work which became too difficult to manage physically and her paintings. See you next time Gordana and thanks for a great visit. See, I am a real person. Some people might I might be some kind of fake spammer or something when they first hear from me out of the blue, when I first solicit them to join my site, which will soon add about 40 new artists.
Published on: Oct 2, 2010

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