1991 was a long time ago by some people's reckoning. It was the year I got my first computer. It was loaded with CorelDraw 2 and when I saw what it could do, I thought it was miraculous. It could do smooth color blends that would take forever to do in acrylic. It could layer images on top of each other and move them around or remove them, which was of course impossible in conventional paint. And you could mix any color in the rainbow or even not in the rainbow. You could create shapes and fill them with color instantaneously. The only thing you couldn't do very well was print out your design clearly and smoothly.
The above design, showing stylized morning glories (Greek botanical name, Ipomoea) was printed on my first printer, an HP PaintJet. One of the earliest color printers for home consumers, this transitional dot-matrix contraption produced blends which looked like woven cloth or cheap newsprint color printing. It could only print well on special coated paper with holes in the (detachable) edges for a ratchet to move it with. And it was so fade-able that just an hour of sunlight would destroy the dyes. This image is an original PaintJet print which I've kept in a closet file and it will never be exposed to sunlight, at least not any time soon. And I thought these coarse, primitive prints were thrilling.
My current Epson R1900 is as obsolete as the PaintJet but it still turns out splendid prints with a vastly higher resolution than this relic. I have worked with many a printer in my time, some of them friendly, others hostile. The Epson has to be treated carefully but it is still working fine after about 5 years of service.
Another thing that has now seen five years of service is this Blog, "Art By-Products." I began AB-P on March 19, 2008. With some gaps, notably the three weeks recently at the end of 2012, I've been blogging and slogging my way through the blogosphere, putting up one image after another, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and from high quality to crap. After five years, I have, I think, 15 regular readers. I know who you are, folks. You are: Tristan, Sally, Amanda, TommyLee, Emikk, Mary, Rachel, Jim, Debi, Bronwyn, Victoria, Joel, and of course, Mike, Mike, and Mike. Thanks for your friendship and devotion to art. I hope I can continue to provide you with worthwhile art and art by-products.