As a recipient, I'm supposed to list seven random things about myself and then list other blogs to receive this award.
So, here's the first part:
1. I was in FFA when I was in high school, and was on the poultry judging team. So, I know how to candle and grade eggs and the qualities that make the best laying hen
2. I ran track and x-country in high school, and still have my varsity letter these many years later
3. I know how to weld (both oxy-acetylene torch and arc, though I was much better at arc)
4. I love to bake artisan breads
5. I have hiked and backpacked most of the named (and a few un-named) trails and routes in the Grand Canyon, some on multiple occasions
6. On my 40th birthday (which would be 5 1/2 years ago...eep!), I climbed to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion NP
7. I'm a huge science nerd, obsessive reader and collector of books, and I like reading about subjects such as quantum mechanics and geology for recreation, as well as everything art
For the second part - passing this award on to other blogs - I had to give this one some thought. The original instructions were to give the award to 15 blogs, but that seemed like a bit much, so I stuck with 10.
It would be easy to pick blogs based on all the wonderful blogger peeps I feel I have a personal connection with and who also: 1) post regularly, and; 2) have consistently high-quality and interesting content. But, in the end, I decided I also wanted to include a couple of bloggers who don't even know I exist, and subsequently, they won't know of this award.
If you read this post and see your blog here, and are so inclined to pass the award on, that is great. So, in alphabetical order from my blogroll "follow" list, here they are:
1 - http://artandinfluence.blogspot.com/ - Armand Cabrera's blog. He occasionally posts his own work, but his blog is weighted heavily towards discussions of artists and paintings of past and sometimes present, as well as practical issues facing working artists today.
2 - http://apastelpainter.blogspot.com/ - fellow pastel artist Dan Michael's blog. Dan always includes his musings and thoughts on his painting process, which I love, and his rendering of the landscapes of Virginia where he lives are, in a word, masterful.
3 - http://crystalcookart.blogspot.com/ - watercolor (mostly) artist Crystal Cook. In addition to having a magical way rendering light, color and shadow in her medium of choice, regardless of subject, she's a talented writer to boot, and her posts are always a delight to read.
4 - http://brushandbaren.blogspot.com/ - linocut printmaker, nature observer and sketcher extraordinaire, Sherri Y. Sherri has a wonderful writing style that always makes me smile or laugh when I read her posts. Bonus: she's a fellow Coloradoan.
5 - http://www.dailyartwest.com/ - artist Don Gray. Seriously, Don switches back and forth between oils, watercolor, graphite and occasional encaustics and makes it look easy. Plus, he not only paints in all three of the main genres (figure, still life and landscape), but he also does non-representational work and murals. Versatile: this man shows how it's done!
6 - http://darlamcdowell.blogspot.com/ - oil painter Darla McDowell. I found Darla's blog through the DailyPaintWorks site and her DPW Challenge entries. She is another artist who moves from still life to landscape and portrait (some human, more animal), while bringing her own personal style to each painting and making them look effortless in the process.
7 - http://lizhamptonderivan.blogspot.com/ - my friend Liz Hampton-Derivan. I met Liz when I was in Bisbee two years ago, and was in awe of her mixed-media encaustic paintings, as well as her photography, and she has the ability to take the ordinary and makes it compelling and 100% unique. She is always exploring new creative paths, which is something I really admire.
8 - http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/ - oil painter Stapleton Kearns. "Stape" devotes much of his posting to the discussion of artists and the elements of paintings that make them work (or not), and I always learn something from each of his posts. He also does workshops, paints outdoors in NH in sub-zero temperatures, so he gets a bonus for that.
9 - http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/ - Seth Apter's blog. I'm not a mixed-media artist, but this is a blog that is worth reading regardless of your medium or painting style. Seth's blog focuses on surveys of the artist community in a variety of subjects (favorite artist, favorite tool, etc.) that never fails to be informative and interesting.
10 - http://thecolorist.blogspot.com/ - pastelist Casey Klahn. Casey's blog is another of those which, in addition to featuring his very unique style of abstract-expressionism-colorist paintings, also discusses artists and other things art in his blog. Always a good read.