Monday, February 6, 2012

Celebrations Everywhere!

Somehow, without fanfare and without any particular attention on my part, Brush and Baren made it to five years of publication (in December) and 700 posts (today!). A lot has happened since December 2006: I shifted house (twice), shifted my studio (twice with the house and recently out and back), added a Darling Man to the household, traveled to both US coasts and stumbled along local paths. My work and the blog have evolved and continue to do so. It's been, as they say, a great ride.

Right about the time Brush and Baren was quietly turning five, Katherine Tyrrell at Marking a Mark was quietly tallying votes for her annual Making a Mark Awards. Among her many insightful categories is "Getting Out of the Studio," honoring artists whose work involves, well, getting out of the studio!

Within this category is the Going Greener Gong, awarded to the art blog deemed "most stimulating in relation to getting us in touch with nature and the environment." Roll a drum and bang that gong, Brush and Baren took the prize! To show my delight and blushing appreciation, I get to sport this lovely little badge all year long. I thought about having it embroidered on the lapels of all my jackets, but in the blogosphere no one can see you dressed. I'll stick with the badge.

Thank you, Katherine! And if you haven't ever visited Making a Mark, I encourage you to do so. Long among the top-rated art blogs originating in the UK, Katherine provides myriad resources and inspiration for artists and art-lovers around the globe.

A blogoversary, an award, and a postiversary all in the first 5 weeks of the new year? It's the blog equivalent of the rockstar lifestyle. Look... I even have to deal with paparazzi!

Oh wait, that's just the sun glaring through my window. Nevermind.

It's customary to make speeches when one wins awards or achieves significant milestones, (I'd like to thank the Academy....) but my list of thank yous is so long that we'd be here until the next awards season. Top of the list, of course, are Brush and Baren's readers, commenters, lurkers, cheering sections, and obligatory-laughers-at-bad-jokes. Hey... that's YOU! Thank you.

Since February is the month for celebrating those we care about in addition to celebrating blog achievements, it seems like it's time for a giveaway! The first year we were together I made this little linocut as a valentine for David, and he has generously agreed to let me share it with the big, wide world.

It's not a new sentiment, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Naturally I didn't get things together in time to give us a big headstart on Valentine's Day (now just a week and a half away)... so here's the deal. Leave a comment on this post until midnight Thursday, February 9. I'll assign the comments a number in the order they are made and then use an online randomizer to pick a winner on Friday. If you're in the US, it might get to you by the 14th. But, hey... who wants to only celebrate the people they care about one day a year? After Valentine's Day is good, too.

I printed several of these in a variety of colors... you can see them in my Etsy store, Rio Salida Art. Where, as blog readers, you get the extra-special whammy of a coupon code good for 20% off anything in the shop through the end of the month! Just use the code THANKS20 at checkout. 'Cause you all are my valentines. Really. I've got a big, green gong to prove it.

UPDATE: It appears that Blogger might not be accepting comments in a timely manner today. We're also without cell service here in the Heart of the Rockies, so perhaps that solar flare is flaring. And the moon is almost full. Whatever. Don't despair if you can't comment. Try again later!


  1. Today is our 53rd wedding anniversary (unbelievable!) I love those sentiments and yes we do. Wish my arthritic wrists would let me do what you do .
    Congratulations on your blog anniversary.

  2. Congrats, Sherrie! You deserve all the recognition and "marks" you're making in the art community! You're an inspiration.

  3. You totally rock the world of nature! Congrats on being recognized and better yet, being such a great role model.

  4. Congrats on the award!!! Well deserved. Gee your valentine will look great next to my Oak Leaves of yours. :-)

  5. You are such a rockstar! The last 5 years have really been a great ride huh? Love your post and your writing style, not to mention your fabulous art. Thanks for all your hard work, sharing it, and inspiration. Are you going to start wearing sequins?

  6. Congratulations on your award! You deserve it. I enjoy reading about your outdoor adventures and how nature influences your art. I, also, learn a lot reading about your printmaking experiences. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Congratulations! Thank you thank you for all your inspiration and honesty. I'm sure many readers would love to have that print. I'm one of them!

  8. You are indeed an inspiration!

    Congratulations on all the good things happening in you life -- they are well-deserved.

    (I hope this doesn't post twice -- must be holding my mouth wrong...

    Margie Joy

  9. Thanks everyone,... Happy anniversary, Penny! 53 years! That's amazing. Comments for the contest are now closed. I'll do the drawing and post the winner later today!