Marja-Leena Rathje
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on this day







This morning in the printmaking studio was somewhat frustrating for me. Lucy, our trusty and faithful wide-format printer was not happy. I've been trying to print a trial proof of a template image for my next series of prints. (I'll tell you soon about the ones just finished.) I need to be sure the layout is right before I start placing the images on the page so I don't have to redo them all. But Lucy now has a fancy new computer with the latest new OS and she's making strange. Our fab technician and the IT person have been working on it the past few days but it still wasn't working for me.

Somewhat dejected as I bussed home this afternoon, I paused along the path home to admire the fall colours hanging over a weathered leaning fence. Being without a camera, I impulsively picked a few small branches to scan at home. I haven't posted any fall colours or done any scanning for a while so that made me feel better!

I also had a wonderful surprise awaiting when I opened my computer. Today Qarrtsiluni posted my ARKEO #4 along with a fabulous podcast by the editors Beth Adams and Dave Bonta. I think they made interesting observations, including the comment about emerging language. It's always heartwarming to feel that one's work is meaningful to others. I felt inspired by the current theme, Words of Power, so I'm very honoured to have my work included in qarrtsiluni again. Founding editors Beth and Dave have done such a fantastic job of this amazing online magazine and deserve a round of applause! If you don't know it, do please check it out.

UPDATE Nov. 6th: I must tell you more about Lucy's naming! This morning Bonnie, our technician, was showing me the small changes that had been made yesterday to restore Lucy's operation. As I prepared to print, I told her about how amused some of you readers were concerning the fact that we have a name for this printer. Bonnie said she got the name from her brother's old grey car. And get this: her brother is very interested in history and old things, so my thoughts of the early hominid Lucy were right on the mark!! Thankfully Lucy the printer is not that old and has lots of life left in her as long as the printer drivers are being updated. She is after all a commercial level printer used in many service bureaus and these folks don't like to have to change their printers every three years! Oh, and I had great success with my prints today, the colour management is much improved in this version!

Marja-Leena | 04/11/2009 | 14 comments
themes: Arkeo, Being an Artist, Blogging, Photography


I love the fact that the printer has a name. The Lucy I used to know was not that happy with changes herself.... And I loved ARKEO #4! Your scans bring those colors so well into the digital realm.

Was your trusty and faithful wide-format printer named after a blogger living in Brittany? Given the importance of printers in your life there could be no higher tribute. But what's all this about OS? Are you struggling with PC/Mac compatibility problems? If so I can sympathise. I have just come through the thick fog of installing Ubuntu on my PC and it cost me money and much heart-strain. Anyway, your end-product of autumnal colours is up to your usual high standards and so there's another of my rare compliments.

Maria, thanks! Yes, the naming is something our technician came up with and it's certainly easier than saying "the wide-format printer". Interestingly, the smaller digital printers around the shop aren't honoured that way and the hand printing presses are called by their manufacturer's name.

BB, our Lucy has been with us longer than I've known our mutual blogger friend. Actually, our hominid ancestor Lucy is the one that came to my mind when I wrote this!

All our computers here are Macs. When Lucy's new computer (with a gorgeous 30" monitor) got delivered, it came with the new Snow Leopard OS but the wrong printer driver for Lucy is of good old workhorse vintage now (anything over 5 years it seems) but still works extremely well and is too costly to replace. Anyway, it seemed to have been fixed but something was still not right yesterday, and today it's being looked at again. Something to do with the communication. Or maybe my file was corrupt, a rare thing but worth checking too.

Sorry to hear of your struggles. Technology is great when it works well (!) and frustrating when it doesn't. One of my pet peeves with many upgrades is that older equipment can get lost in the shuffle. I still miss my first scanner with its larger flatbed, though admittedly my new one is far superior in optics. But yes, it all costs.

And thanks, BB, for the rare compliment again :-) Now you are making me feel like I'm fishing for them! But don't we do that by posting our efforts on blogs? But, but, hey, what did you think of the podcast on qarrtsiluni?

Oh, wonderful image at qarrtsiluni and interesting discussion, too! Sorry to hear that Lucy's been thrown off by her strange new computer pal, but hope she adjusts soon and is back to being trusty. At least while she was having her hissy fit you got to enjoy the local color, and share it with us here. :-)

Leslee, thanks. I'm glad I picked these yesterday for today it is raining and blowing the leaves down! I heard this afternoon that Lucy is now happy so I look forward to testing that print tomorrow. Wish me luck!

The podcast is fascinating. Your work is subtle, and I appreciate the analysis.

One of the things I've been concerned about with tech updates is the whole backwards compatibility issue as well. Whether it's games, music or movies every new iteration seems to leave beautiful things we remember behind. It's the main reason the idea of electronic books gives me a chill.

Nevertheless, it's also true that new tech has benefits of its own as proven by your beautiful scans here. I have a scanner, a new mac book pro and a piece of black fabric but I'm sure I'd end up with a picture of squished berries. It takes training, talent and great skill to produce the results you get. Arkeo #4 is wonderful.

Hattie, thank you!

Susan, we agree on the tech concerns! As a newer reader here, you may be interested in my post on scanning as well as doing a search here. Scanning is easy and fun and full of surprises.

Qarrtsiluni's comment was accurate and well deserved. The Podcast is presenting the current list of submissions in a new and dramatic light.

I do hope Lucy relents, and relents soon.

Such gorgeous colours.

Oh, Marja-Leena, Thank you so much for pointing me to your post about 3-D scanning. I have an Epson Perfection V500 that I've mostly used to scan the small drawings I've done for the Adventures but I have some beaded jewelry I've made that hasn't photographed well (shaky hands? too much reflection?) so now I can try that later today. I'm excited at the idea of just playing with scanning some tiny objects in my collection. I don't like to post pictures from the news or things I haven't made but I can't possibly work fast enough to post paintings, drawings or silk pieces. My scanner might not be of a high enough resolution but I'll soon find out :-) Now off to work at something fun.

Joe, thanks, I agree. I loved the way poem that came before ARKEO #4 set the tone for this piece.

Anil, Lucy was good today! I managed to do good proofs of four different pieces, so I'm excited. The technicians worked many hours yesterday and found some new code in there that had to be selected in order for her to receive the communication. Glad you like my scans!

Oh Susan, I'm pleased that it might be useful for you! Let me know how it works out or if you have any questions. Have fun!

Oh, stunning. What glorious colours you have captured here.

Hallo Lucy;^)

Hhb, thanks, and hello back from Lucy :-)