“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An leae’ us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!” (Robert Burns)
I feel a bit like that poor wee mouse whose well laid plans were sent flying when Robert Burns turned her out of her house with his plough.
Having had great intentions of suddenly increasing my painting output when I retired, with all this free time I was supposed to have, it has all gone to pot due to:
* doing more supply teaching work than I expected;
* going down south to visit our new baby grand-daughter (I don’t feel old enough to be a grandad!);
* going on a four day chainsaw course (which was absolutely brilliant!);
* not to mention my regular church commitments
– all of which has meant that painting has taken a back seat until last week.
With a bit of “encouragement” from Norma, I put in a morning’s work and did a bit more to the tiger painting I started more than a year ago. Here it is in all it’s unfinished imperfection. I’m using water soluble oil paints but not sure that I really like the feel of these as opposed to old fashioned oils though. They’re not quite so silky smooth and rich as expected. Hopefully I’ll complete it soon and move on to what I really want to do, i.e., get outside again and paint “en plein air”, on the spot, in front of the motif! Unfortunately, I’ve now missed most of our balmy ‘Indian summer’ with the absolutely sumptuous autumn colours we’ve had this year, now fast disappearing. I will now have to face the colder air and less settled weather of the Scottish winter! Oh well, ‘no gain without pain’!
Transferring my old website from it’s previous incarnation to this one has caused me to marvel at the amazing improvements there have been in web design methods over the last few years.
For those interested in the evolution of website design and hosting etc., my old website (www.jossyjohnson.free-online.co.uk), which at the time of writing still exists on the ancient Free-Online hosting package that I signed up for in the early days of the internet, was originally FREE as the name suggests. Website design was done offline using a website design programme such as Pagemill and then the whole thing was copied to the host directory using FTP. Now we have a variety of online content management systems available which are much more flexible.
However, as we all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch and the “price” I paid for my “free” website was the strange website name of jossyjohnson appended to the “free-online” hosting address. I remember trying out various permutations of my name before being forced to plump for the abstruse moniker “jossyjohnson” because all the more sensible names were already taken. Free-Online is now owned by Plusnet and as is the norm these days, I now pay for the privilege of having them host my website.
Once all the transfer work is complete, I’ll set up an automatic redirect link to this site and hopefully gain a little leverage from the fact that due to the old website having been in existence for many years, it has the coveted page 1 ranking on Google searches (Do a search for Jo Johnson watercolours and it should be one of the first results returned). However, the length of time a website is up is now only one criteria for the search engine algorithms – hence my fresh start, with the intention of updating regularly with fresh and original images and content.
Cut the grass? “Haven’t forgotten darling!” (I’d better go!)
This is the search engine result I’m aiming for with this new site – number one!
Well folks, this is the start of my new website. Over the next few weeks (months?!!) I hope to transfer my old website to this one.
As a full time teacher over the last few years, I’ve had less time for artistic and other pursuits than I would have liked. However as I have now officially retired I can devote more time for painting. I have yet to establish a settled routine for my newly acquired “retired” status. God willing, as I settle into a regular routine, my painting skills will begin to improve and this website will attract increasing interest from art lovers!