06 Oct

Digital Disappointment

Maybe it makes me a troglodyte or something, but I am not super-enamored of all things digital. What reminded me was that my new(ish, used) car just rolled over to 70,000 miles. Except it didn’t. Being digital, it was disappointing. There was no excitement, no clicking of numbers actually rolling over.

Unlike last time, when my old Volvo (now fondly maintained as “the truck” for its trunk’s amazing carrying capacity) hit 200,000 miles. Though on a tight schedule, I drove back roads for a half hour to avoid being on the highway when it happened. I wanted to see it roll over, and be able to stop to get a photo!

Something about a tactile, sensory experience – movement, noise, touch – is just better. Reading a paper book, attending an actual movie theater, having a live conversation, watching a real odometer roll over… Yes, it’s handy to have a dozen books on an e-reader when I’m stuck on an airplane. And it’s nice to be able to manipulate photos on the computer, but that’s part of why I paint – to use artistic license.

This is why I love pastels, with sticks of pure color so soft that the artist’s touch makes all the difference. Press too hard and the colors blend into mud. Press harder and the stick shatters. Press just enough, and you get one color showing through under the other, adding vibrancy and excitement. I did that in this painting of Lisbon, where pale yellow and lavender create the “white” buildings in the distance, while the dark building is blue and purple over orangy red.


  1. Laurie, so glad you enjoy the explanations. And I’d be delighted to do a demo. Had thought I might during my collectors’ thank you event, but people got so engaged in chatting that it didn’t happen. Will have to hold another!

  2. I love every one of your explanations of your process. Maybe one day I can actually see you in action. Hmmmm, a lecture, demonstration, at an art opening? Or would that be too much?
    We have been putting on so many benefits at our house that my mind is working overtime!

  3. Love your stories and musings, Beth. Color is amazing–love using something other than exact local color to set the feeling–you do it so well. I’m the world’s “least driver”–sold my former VW convertible after 13 years–42,000 miles. Now that I’m the main driver for our family( as Al is no longer driving except to YMCA a mile from home), I’m really booking those miles–6 and a half year new vw convert–already at 32,000–a major coup. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  4. No surprises here. There are many of us who enjoy the efficiency and effectiveness of new technology but long for some things from the old days. My bride is definitely among them.

    See you in the spring. Be well.

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