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“Wha?!” 8X10″ Oil on canvas – NFS

The above piece is a quick study I did the other day. Created from a photo that captured my attention.

My fourth of July will consist of the traditional food, fireworks, family and friends. This year it will be on a smaller scale since it falls on a Thursday.

I haven’t taken the week off.  But I guess I am giving myself a lot of leeway. As of the last two days I focused on painting and napping. Not necessarily in that order.  My husband is on vacation from his job this week.  So it is hear-by decided I can blame him for my lack of initiative!

In an attempt to get to know the readers better, let me fill you in a bit about myself.

  1. I turn fifty this year. I am actually looking forward to it. Life should be fun. As Huey Lewis said: “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”
  2. I have two grown daughters and four and a half grandchildren. The half being a new grandson due in Sept.
  3. I am not domestic.  So the chances of seeing any recipe posted by me is slim to none.
  4. I read a great deal, mostly nonfiction. I am a sucker for anything new on business, blogging, writing, or autism.
  5. I am on a continual quest for the perfect office/studio organizing system.  See eBook “Controlling Creative Clutter”.
  6. My office is in a small home I share with my husband, two dogs and a cat. I dream of having a rustic historic building found in most all of rural America.
  7. I am VERY introverted.  I need time alone in order to function well. So the item #6 is not practical in that it would most likely require me to be available to the public.
  8. I don’t eat as well as I should, nor do I often exercise on purpose. I tell myself I will get back to running. But sitting in front of the computer, easel or with a book almost always wins out.

So there you have it: A fifty year old out of shape hermit that paints, writes and blogs. And I am sure some would say a twisted sense of humor. It will surly rear its head before long!

 

Blogging Organization Notebook

Blogging Organization Notebook

In an ongoing effort to be organized and prepared, I have created a Blogging Notebook for myself. In case you are curious, and why wouldn’t you be curious? (Insert sarcastic expression here)

It includes the following:

  • 3 Pocket insert – 1. For goals (traffic and content, among other things) 2. Scrap paper/small notebook (thin moleskin type)/pen and highlighter. 3. Random notes in topic section
  • Monthly Calendar – Broad view of editorial plans.
  • Weekly Calendar – Break down of the week ahead.
  • To-Do Lists – Ongoing without any set time frame.
  • Topics – Outlines for series and notes for upcoming posts.
  • Blog Topic Forms – Helps me see I am meeting goals with each post.
  • Contests – Possible giveaways
  • Advertisements – Information on who, when, where and necessary steps.
  • SEO Information – Record of where I am and ideas on how to improve and get where I want.
  • Product Reviews – Ideas on upcoming reviews – once blog is better prepared.

For some people this may be overkill.  For me it is a place to start and see how it goes. :0) With it all in one place I can easily grab it as I am headed out the door.

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“Sunshine” 9X12″ Oil on Canvas – NFS

So this past week I have been focusing on creating a better schedule for blog posts, gathering and organizing my blog information, and of course painting. This includes taking an online course on blogging at Blogelina.  I signed up on a lark and didn’t have high expectations, but have been pleasantly impressed.  I am someone that has read all of the ProBlogger books and thought I knew what I was doing. The online course has been a eye opener.

I am still creating paintings for a show at the Bowlus in October, while also working on a book proposal.  I also came to the conclusion I was trying to juggle too many things at once. So the frame of mind here of late has been to simplify. No more following that distraction of seeing something shiny!

Some of you know I am a knitter. But, knitting has taken a back seat. For now.

How do you stay on task? Are you a list maker and scheduler? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

OK, what is a MOOC? “Massive Open Online Courses”, or free classes you can take online. That’s right, free.

Long ago Amazon.com offered courses you took for free. They had a text book of sorts that you purchase from them, or not. Then by way of a message board you did assignments, and had discussions with other students. It all has since gone way of Web 1.0. But, apparently the concept never really went away.

So I have been looking for a grammar/writing class. I could never find a fit. So last week I am reading a Money magazine article (May 2013) “College is Free”.

Long-story-short I am now signed up for “Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade”. It is being given by Mt. San Jacinto College, and yes it is free.

There are Art courses, Computer Science, Literature etc… Taught by professors at MIT, Berkley, and Harvard among others.  You can pay to get college credit for some, others you can only audit without charge. Some are self directed with no time limits, others are set up as a traditional online course with deadlines and discussions. Many that sign up do not finish.  I have read as high as 90%.

A few that may be interest readers:

At Coursera.org you can take a class at Penn State “Introduction to Art”

Saylor.org offers “Art History” coursework with a major

Udacity.com you can learn how to build a blog through “Web Development”

And at edx.org you can investigate the “Ideas of the 20th Century”

So if you sign up for one of these courses, please leave us a comment and let us know what you are taking and/or what you thought of courses you took in the past. Curious minds want to know!

I have been working on a series of small paintings of vintage cameras.  Yesterday I completed the 7th one. I randomly placed them on my studio wall, as seen below.

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8X10″ Oil on canvas – Studies of vintage cameras

This past weekend I was honored to have received ‘Best of Show’ in the Chanute Art Gallery Annual Neosho Valley Art Exhibit.

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Steve Greenwall critiquing exhibit

I am slowly catching up on the work I became behind on while ill this past month. (Cold gone bad) I have also started running again, in preparation for a 5K happening in three months. I am SO out of shape it is not funny. Would be nice to not be the last one over the finish line!

I am a fan of the Couch-To-5K program.  If you are not familiar with it, it is a running program that gradually takes to you running a 5K or for 3o minutes.  Much like running, I have not been blogging on a daily basis.  I could do it, but it would not be of good quality or look pretty.  It makes much more sense to ease into it and build up slowly.

So although I would love to be “blog shape” enough to do a program such as NaBloPoMo, it makes more sense for me to build up slowly.  So the “daily posts” will actually be coming more like every-other day this month.

Right now I am working on finishing the small series of vintage camera studies. There are at least two more to go. Then I will get back to doing portraits. There is also a portrait painting book about to begin. So thank you for coming around and keeping me on my toes!

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A vintage camera study on the easel.

The last few weeks I have had the crud.  The crud then became ear drama. Drama in that I could whistle through my right ear, and just felt like general crap for a while there.

To help get things back on track, studio wise, I signed up for NaBloPoMo. What this means is that I will be posting a blog every day this month. I am sure some posts will be more exciting than others. But, I am going to use the opportunity as a kick in the pants to get refocused.

So today is the first day I have really been back full time in the studio. First on the agenda is getting everything in order, and conducive to my usual working environment.

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Just part of the clutter and disorder….. (Hangs head in shame)

As I work through the piles, that is my work area, I will post them the following day. To give you an idea, there is another small vintage camera painting in progress on my easel, portraits to paint, notes that need gone through, webinars to complete, sketchbooks needing worked in, and outlines to be completed.

Oh and of course the usual posting schedule will continue. This includes the final installment of the Painting in Oil series!

Wish me luck!

 

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