> (1) Is there a way to "checkpoint" or save a state when using the

Why don't you save your work in Gimp's native format - XCF? All layers,
paths, channels etc. are saved then.

> (2) Feathering and transparency.

The problem is that the most graphic formats like JPG, BMP etc. don't
support full alpha transparency (i.e. 8bit alpha). GIF supports a 1bit
alpha channel (visible/invisible). PNG is the most popular format
supporting 'real' 8bit transparency.

> (3) Resizing
> The image that I am starting with is large and high resolution.  I
> want to create something much smaller.  Yet it seems to me that when
> I use resize in the GIMP, it only shrinks its presentation to me of
> what I am working on.  What gets saved, still remains large.

Use <Image>-Image-Rescale to rescale your image or use the crop tool (im
Gimp 1.1.x a button with a knife on it) to crop it.

Hope it helps!

CU, Michael

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