I’m trying to learn Painter. I love my traditional media, watercolor and pastels, but some disturbing “side effects” have become bothersome, mainly the scratchy throat and rainbow snot, or “Muppet Lung” that days of inhaling the dust produce. I’ve tried masks, but they always go the way of turtlenecks and my nighttime mouth guard (“I’m choking! I’m gagging! Aaccckkk!”), and the offending article hits the wall on the other side of the room. So here I sit in front of the computer.
To understand the enormity of this undertaking, you have to realize that I haven’t yet mastered printing an envelope from Word. I have a love/hate relationship with my computer. E-mail? Complete adoration. Google? Deep, deep affection. Mayo Clinic symptom checker, how did I survive to adulthood without you? Large program requiring, at the very least, a reading of an Oxford English Dictionary-sized manual, and multiple online tutorials, which start to feel uncomfortably like school, and not fun art class school, but “Laura needs to pay attention and stop chatting in the coat racks” school, and well, whoa, this is going a little fast. Let’s just be friends. Lucky for me, I have a live-in IT guy who I rely on to troubleshoot, tutor and frankly, do my homework for me. A typical session usually goes as follows:
Interior: Laura sits in front of her computer, staring blankly at the screen. She moves the mouse, clicks tentatively, clicks again, and clicks again furiously.
“No, no, no! Wait, AAAGGGHHHH, wait! Why are you doing that? AAGGGHHHH!! Crrrrraaaiiiigggg!”
Beleaguered husband enters, stands behind chair.
“What are you doing? Wait, why are you clicking that? Stop clicking. No. STOP CLICKING! O.K. move.” Hubby sits down to untangle mess that is Word envelope tool. Laura exits stage left for another cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, hubby has gotten wise to me, and the day I pulled my new Wacom from the box, made it clear I was on my own. He refuses to become familiar with Painter much in the same way I refuse to learn how to light the grill—do it once and suddenly you’re cooking every night. So here I sit. I know how I want it to look. I am just going to have to work hard (sigh) and practice (groan). I think I need another cup of coffee.
“Craig have you seen the manual?”