Something/Someone Has Invaded my Blog Posts!

Okay, I’m not as freaked out as this sounds or looks! But I guess I didn’t get the memo. This is a sneak attack!

I just noticed that hyperlinks have been added to my blog posts, where I didn’t put any. If they are clicked (the ones with the double underline – you can see them in this post), they are links to advertisements on the Internet. How rude for the unsuspecting reader!

I did not and would not have authorized them.

Ho ho! I am going to have to fiddle around now and find out how to stop this invasion. There must be some setting that I am not aware of that will disallow these hyperlinks.

I will find them! TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

Buzz Light Year

P. S. This is so weird. Big Brother must be watching, because now I can’t find the hyperlinks. It appears that Home Depot somehow wormed their way into my blog post and highlighted “fluorescent bulbs” and “shop lights,” and now the hyperlinks have vanished! If they should reappear, don’t be fooled into clicking.

P.P.S. Has anyone else had this happen?

P.P.P.S. I’m writing this on September 7. I discovered the culprit: Adware. My computer must have been infected with Adware – sneaky, uninvited, intrusive software that highlights keywords and reroutes the curious clicker to a store’s website to buy something if they click the link! The good news is that when I look at something a second time, my anti-virus software has cleaned it up. So, if you are not seeing the double-underlined links on pages you visit, then your computer hasn’t been infected.

Too Many Rules

Here’s the only rule I want to follow (I made up this rule): Always start with a pretty picture.

Storm over Flagstaff

Takes my breath away…

Okay, down to business. I have finally come to accept that I’m just not a rule follower. It’s not that I want to be bad or buck the system; it’s just that I cannot seem to make myself do something that I don’t find interesting, exciting…or urgent.

Just ask my school teachers. I don’t care how important an assignment was (to them), I could NOT make myself do it. Well, until it became urgent.

The only things I loved were English and Math, so I aced them. And I remember a Biology class that was pretty exciting once. It was the day we poked our fingers and found out our blood types. I was a star, because I was the only one with AB blood in the whole class!

Oh, and Driver’s Ed was fun (this was back in the days when it was part of the curriculum). My driving teacher was “Mr. Fisher,” one of the school’s coaches (Steve Fisher, who went on to become a winning basketball coach; read about him here). Anyway, one of the drivers in our car hit a tree one day. That was pretty exciting. Dumb, but exciting.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. I have tried and tried to blog like I’m “supposed” to (to promote myself and my art business). Like that’s been working… Boooring!

All I really want to do is what I want to do. IS THAT PROFOUND, OR WHAT?! And now, allow me to go be myself.

My blog is aptly named, “The Art of Life.” So don’t be trying to fit me in a box. There isn’t a box big enough to fit my enthusiasm for life and the excitement I feel through my eyes for all the visual stimulation around me!!!!!!! You have no idea.

DING! That’s a happy little fairy tapping me on the shoulder, freeing me. I’ve been fighting myself for so long…and now…I think I’ll go paint.

(Picture the Jeopardy music here, for the time lapse…) Here’s what I came up with: my version of a happy little jig:

Have you broken through some chains in your life? What’s your advice to others? Please leave a comment – it’s easy!

A Moving We Will Go

Poppies!

I recently sold this painting from my show in Evergreen. I’ve always loved it – it makes me happy. It feels fresh and spontaneous. It is colorful and lively.

Silly as it may sound, it’s everything I feel about our move to Arizona. I’ll be starting the New Year there and will finally have time for all the things I’ve put on hold for 3 years!!! Maybe.

So, even though I think that New Year’s “resolutions” are dumb (I’d rather call them “intentions”), I’ll hope that I’ll have time for these:

New Year’s Intention # 1:  PAINT, PAINT, PAINT!!!

New Year’s Intention #2:  Blog about what I paint. Oh, heck – blog regularly, period.

New Year’s Intention #3:  Update my website frequently (ahem) and add PRICES. See, I listen to your suggestions?

New Year’s Intention #4:  Get on Facebook every so often to keep tabs on what friends are up to. Stay in touch.

BUT FIRST………Finish up with our move! To Arizona. From our 7300′ of elevation in Colorado.

Good-bye House

I will miss our house terribly – and our lack of heating or air conditioning bills for 28 years.

I will miss the wildlife!

Elk on Patio

Summer Hummer

I will miss the wildflowers.

Pentstemons!

I will miss the AMAZING weather-watching!

Fog Creeping in from Denver

Does this look like a sales brochure? Hey, we’re taking offers.

But, there are a few things I will not miss.

Winter, are you listening? I like the change of seasons, but I want less of you.

Snow, are you listening? You’re pretty, but I want less of you.

Cold, are you listening? I have warm coats and hats, but I want less of you.

Tell me about your best moving story(ies) – the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Now, back to the packing. Onward and artward!

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING IN 2011!

HAPPY NEW YEAR…’s eve, everybody! Let me offer a toast to the New Year, 2011 (with my Water Martini – yes, it IS water…which always tastes better out of a fun glass).

TO THE NEW YEAR, 2011!

I normally don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but there are some new habits I want to create, so this seems like a perfect time to commit to them.

To make sure that I remember to make my new habits into routines I will have to plaster reminders all over the place for awhile!

Works for me!

Here are my new habits/soon-to-be routines:

1. I will do one painting a day. I already “work” on my paintings in my head and visually every day, and I am constantly photographing things, which all feel like paintings to me, but those won’t count anymore.

The trick will be to make myself be satisfied with mediocre paintings. Up until now, every painting I’ve done becomes “a painting.” Here’s an example of one that I would consider unfit to show in public (I did it as a demo for a classroom full of kids – without looking, I might add!):

Goofball Cat - Unfit for Public Display

But, hey, this accurately depicts how I feel just THINKING about keeping myself on task! (My daughter loves this painting, by the way, and wants me to put it in one of my calendars. NO!)

So, even if I’m working on a “masterpiece,” I must still do a small painting.

2. I will have a weekly blogging schedule and stick to it. I will post every 1 to 7 days, not sure – boy, that narrowed it down! Actually, I’d be happiest if I blogged every day, or at least every weekday.

So don’t be upset if sometimes all I talk about is the glorious sunrise. Or the sunset. After all, they all fill my artistic well. But I will keep it mostly about my art life – hence, the title of my blog, “The Art of Life.”

3. I will Tweet on Twitter, or Twitter while I Tweet, or something like that, every day. Items 1 and 2 will help me with this. And I’m sure I’ll eventually find out why I’m Twittering…or Tweeting.

That’s it. Plain and simple, just the way I like it.

Blog Triage to the Rescue!

The subject: BLOGGING

The question: WHY DON’T I DO IT MORE OFTEN?

The canned answer: I’M TOO BUSY

The real (long) answer:

I am probably the most scattered person I know. I don’t think of just one thing at a time to do, and then do it. I think of one thing to do, and then a million other things flood in all at once, and then my brain gets all jumbled up and I do none of the things! It reminds me of the (dis)organization joke, “Everything in its place, and everything all over the place.”

The thing I WANT to do all the time is paint. I also want to blog. But then life happens, and I end up getting a little of everything and a lot of nothing done. If all I had to do in life was paint and blog, it would be as wonderful as getting to eat ice cream all day. (I’ll take Pralines & Cream or Cold Stone with two mix-ins: Oreos & brownies…mmm.)

Enter ArtBiz Coach‘s “Blog Triage” class. Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris have come galloping in on their strong white steed (they’re sharing), sidesaddle of course, to rescue me and help keep me focused on my blogging for the 4-week class.

So, after fumbling through my entire first day of class, which was yesterday), trying to track down the kick-off e-mail and instructions and then doing all of that (all the while trading a USB modem back and forth with my husband so that we could have Internet while in Arizona for a couple of weeks), I will hurry up and do yesterday’s assignment. Consider this my kick-off blog post.

Okay, my assignment yesterday was to figure out who I would like to have visit and read my blog. Well, everyone – duh. Bad answer. Let’s say instead: anyone who wants to be friends and have a good time.

That’s probably not good, either. I’ll think some more. They either know me or want to know me…and have a good time. I’m on a roll now.

They are any age, as long as they’re young at heart and are looking for, or want to share, something new. New ideas. New work. Keep challenging each other to improve. Always growing, ever evolving.

And, oh yeah, they are interested in my art or in the creation of my art. Or they want to know some of the things I know about painting, some of the tricks I have discovered, or some of the thoughts I have about painting and my art. And I guess they would want to see the art I am working on. And enjoy watching my evolution.

That all sounds really boring to me, but it is all I can come up with at the moment. I guess my answer will grow and evolve as I go along.

So, maybe my blog is about discovery.

I also want my readers to leave comments so that I know they’re out there, and hopefully I will figure out how to make it easy for them to leave comments!

Blog Triage Graduation Day

Well, we did it. The Blog Triage class is in its last day. (Oh great, just in time for me to be gone for 2 weeks and away from a computer. Probably.)

But I have my Outlook reminders in place for my return, and I will finally have time to implement  the rest of the things I learned in the class. Here are my fellow Triagers:

Kim Bennett, Pudsey, United Kingdom

Marge Bennett, Sarasota, FL

Angela Bounds, Norfolk, VA

Magdalena Castaneda, Brooklyn, NY

Connie Chadwell, Junction, TX

Marlis Egger, Pregassona, Switzerland

Ruben Esq Los Angeles, CA 

Marilyn Fenn, Austin, TX

Dora Ficher, Philadelphia, PA

Jodi Flood, Warrenton, VA

Nancy Giere, Williamsburg, VA

Peg Gyldenege, Puyallup WA

Annie Heckman, Chicago, IL

Tricia Hutchinson, North Yorkshire, UK

Katherine Kean, Tujunga, CA

Moira Mallison, Louisville, CO

Vickie Martin, Decatur, GA

Carol McIntyre, Black Forest, CO

Krista Meister, Monroe, MI

Mavis Penney, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Dianne Poinski, Sacramento, CA

Marianne Post, Vacavile, CA

 Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, Milan, Italy; Los Angeles, CA

Caroline Roberts, Houston, TX

Beth Rommel, Oviedo, FL

Barbara Techel, Elkhart Lake, WI

Kit Vincent, Elizabethtown, Ontario, Canada

Elizabeth Wank, Twin Lakes, WI

Denise Bellon West, Indian Hills, CO

As Arnold would say, “I’ll be back.” TTFN

Blogging Anew!

For some reason, blogging seems so easy this time. All last year when I had my original blog, I rarely made entries. I had good intentions, but it somehow seemed too hard. I was not a very good blogger. This time is different – it’s effortless!

It reminds me of when I was studying Taekwondo several years ago. Everything was difficult, no matter how hard I tried. Every part of my body hurt. For my Black Belt testing, I had my knees, ankles and hands bandaged. I had liniment rubbed on my shoulders. I wanted nothing to get in the way of me passing!

Well, the moment I had that Black Belt, I switched to T’ai Chi — and never looked back. Suddenly everything was easy! I had the best balance in my class, whereas in Taekwondo I could never balance. I could finally remember every new move immediately, whereas with Taekwondo I could never seem to remember, even with a month to memorize. And all that pain just melted away.

Analogy: my previous blog website was my Taekwondo; my new blog is my T’ai Chi.