I've been nominated by Casey Klahn on his blog The Colourist as one of 10 blogs he deems as excellent. Praise indeed from a man who's work is strong and intelligent, and is a true craftsman in the world of pastels. Now I need to ponder on who, in turn, to nominate for my 10 most influential blogs.
So here, in no particular order, they are, with the reasons why they have me hooked.
The first four are art blogs which I have learnt from and check on daily for more tips, ideas and just to see what they've been up to.;
Muddy Red Shoes - I love Sarah's work, and her writings have been so helpful to me, especially for her walk-through in painting Music Night at le Brasses du Bengale. She is the first artist I've found online from who I've bought a painting.
Paint and Pastel - Gesah isn't shy of sharing successes, failures, and everything in between, and is quite frank about her work. I admire her honesty.
Life Plein Air- Ed's paintings are bold, and I think if you cut him, you'd be slicing through layers of paint before you reached flesh. His work often takes my breath away.
Cougar Peak - throughout 2007 Jared Shear painted the mountain view from his house every single day, all weathers and seasons in a range of materials. I really really miss my visits to peek out of the window in his home in Montana. Check him out as he's still blogging on his other linked sites.
Eudaemonia For All - this is the writing blog of Lisa Mattlin, and I can't even remember how I first came across her. Maybe she had commented on another artist's site I'd found. Anyway, her observations on the process of writing tie in so closely with my experiences of painting, it's like she can see inside my head. And I've told her as much on many occasions.
Next I must include Lisa's husband Scott Mattlin. Not because of any sense of obligation to Lisa, but because Scott has become my light in the storm. He's received my occasional haphazard pleas for help by email, and never judges my immaturity or scattiness. He always offers both reassurance and, more importantly, constructive instruction.
Next comes my older sister's blog, Beansprouts, which has just been nominated by the Observer as one of the UK's 50 most influential blogs. Melanie never preaches, but speaks passionately about sustainability.
From Mel I found Musings from a Stonehead. Stoney (whose real name I don't think I actually know) has a croft in the cold wilds of Scotland and is the most hardworking, bloody-minded, caring, down to earth, belligerent bugger I have ever had the pleasure to know. And his blog is a pleasure, and a breath of fresh air - no pun intended, given the current weather up there.
Homesteading in a Condo is a relatively new blog, in which Ilex writes about her wormery. I've admitted it now, I'm addicted to reading her heartfelt accounts of life and death, love and war, and red wine consumption under the mulch. The worms don't drink the wine, as she drinks enough for all eight thousand of them. Only joking, Ilex.
And last, but no means least is Marvin The Magnificent - Marvin was eaten by aliens in December 2007, but I'm offering up goats and doves in the hope that he'll return. I need to know what happened to Jen, Moonchild, Diane, and the rest of the innocents he's endeavoring to protect, whether they want his help or not. Come back Marvin, I miss you terribly.
So there you have it. These are the sites that fan my flames and make me red-eyed and grumpy from staring at the screen hours on end.