Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A New Challenge


This photo is of the entrance to our property. As it happens, it's right by the river we live on, which recently experienced the most enormous flood seen in decades! Which is the reason for the big patch of missing bitumen and the dead, flattened grass.

My blog feels a bit like our entrance...a bit tired, a bit worn, kind of neglected; all the necessary infrastructure in place, but in great need of some fixing up and some prettying up in order to make the experience a pleasant one (let me tell you - driving over that grid is far from pleasant!). SO, I've signed up for a "Blog Triage Class" with Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris. 4 weeks of first aid for my blog (or maybe for me - 'cos I feel in need of some first aid- or at very least, a kick start!)
And on day one there's homework! Today, I'm to describe the people I want to visit and read my blog, and what I want to get out of it. Well, I'm kind of outrageously excited if anyone reads this blog! But, if pushed, I guess I would hope that people from all walks of life might enjoy a visit. One of my motivations in starting the blog was to reach out to people through my art; people who maybe have no connection to a rural community, and give a glimpse into how we live and work and what motivates us. Kind of building a bridge between city and country. As I've written posts and received your treasured comments, I have been excited to discover some international visitors as well! Obviously, I love that I have some artist visitors, and I have begun to cultivate some lovely connections with artists as a result of this blog. I have also enjoyed picking up with old acquaintances here. I guess, I would like to attract a reader who appreciates art, creativity, family, simple pleasures and who recognises gratitude as one of life's greatest attitudes. I'm not sure if I'm answering my first assignment at all well...I might fail day one!!
As for what I want to get from blogging - Well, I love to write! I probably don't always make a great deal of sense, but it's a creative outlet that I really enjoy, and the opportunity to share it with anyone who is inclined appeals to me. I am a prolific journaller, and I see the blog as a visual extension of that (except that you will never get to read here the bad language and dreadful temper tantrums I sometimes have in my personal journal - I like you way too much to do that to you!!). There's also the aspect of 'marketing' for want of a better word, I'd be lying if I said that at least some of my motivation isn't to get my work in front of a wider audience. Maybe a better way to put that is 'to share my work' - I don't think many artists create without the thought of sharing their work and growing from the experience of peoples responses to that work. Also - I live a long way from anywhere! There is a social contact aspect to this blogging business that is a pure delight for a woman whose constant companions are manure covered men, dogs who love rolling in dead things and cattle whose vocabulary is limited to "MOO".
I hope that the next four weeks are fun for us all, and that over the course of the class, you will see some changes here that are improvements! I'd love to hear what you think, and have to confess I have no real idea what we're in for! I'm open to anything at this point!
As for our entrance, I'm not sure the future is quite as promising! Much of what's needed there is the responsibility of our Shire Council - and on past performances, I'm not holding my breath that we'll see that road fixed any time soon! I'll keep you posted!

17 comments:

Kym :) said...

Hey....... I read your blog and I'm going to come back and read more later...... hehehe

Karen McLain said...

As a fellow class member, I think you are off t a good start. I certainly relate to your companions vocabulary. When I'm not behind the easel, I'm riding a horse. Not much technology or verbosity there!

JOYita said...

Hey! I liked this post and I am definitely coming back to read more.
I think you are off to a great start and I am hoping I can achieve as much through this class :)

lynnbridge said...

Tracey, I'm from a long-time ranching family, although I never had the privilege of living on a ranch myself. I like your descriptions of the land and the critters. Being isolated can be extremely good for your artwork, as can communicating through your blog. I believe what your Mum said- if it isn't working, just add more layers.

Tracey said...

Kym! Good to hear from you! Hope what you come back to read more of is worth reading!! (love your little chuckle, by the way!)
And my fellow triage patients - Thanks for your kind words and encouragement... I'm heading to your blogs now! Looking forward to getting to know you better as we improve the health of our blogs!

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Tracey: I love the way you opened your post and tied it to the photo. Great job! It might not just be people who enjoy simple things who are interested in reading, but people who LONG for simple things and a rural life. Perhaps they could live vicariously through your blog.

merci33 said...

Hi Tracey
I so enjoy reading about your part of the world and I love thinking of something that I have not heard of before a "Shire Council".

I am an artist, writer and the keeper of a Gratitude journal and I look forward to visiting your blog again and again.

Tracey said...

Thanks Alyson! That's kind of funny...I long for a simple life!!! I guess appreciating the simple things is what makes it all OK. Here's to lots of vicarious visitors!

Tracey said...

Iona...thankyou! I suspect your equilavent would be a County level of government. Shire Council sounds so romantic - reminiscent of Hobbits! Sadly, the reality is nowhere near as much fun!

Dora Ficher said...

Hi Tracy, I am one of your classmates in the blogging class. I really enjoyed your post and how you write. A "rural community" is so foreign to me having always lived in a big city. I live in a high rise on the 26th floor...so it is so interesting to meet and communicate with you who is from the "country". Loved your work on Etsy! Keep in touch!

Tracey said...

Hi Dora! Thanks so much! I grew up in the 'big smoke', though not in a high rise...after 28 years of living here, I really can't imagine going back! If we get nothing else from our blog class (which I highly doubt!) we'll have had the opportunity to be in touch with one another - and that on it's own has been wonderful! I'm off to check out your blog now!

Susan Tantlinger said...

Hello, Tracey, I'm pleased to have found you. I also live in the middle of nowhere and adore the quiet life and the animals. I'm an artist so we have a lot in common, especially being new at etsy! Have been on the web for years, but changed web sites. Ebay was great for a while. Things change, so good luck to us both on etsy.......and blogs! I got started in this new direction thanks to Deb Trotter, and that is also how I found you. Susan.

Tracey said...

Hey Susan! I'm pleased you found me too! Do you live in the US? My husband & I travelled to the US last year, and especially enjoyed the smaller towns (no doubt we were more comfortable there!)Seems like you and I are on a very similar path...would love to learn more!

Gail said...

Hi Tracey, you have such a way with words that makes it compelling to read to see what is happening and what will happen next. I really enjoyed our workshop with you and have impressed many folk when I showed them my goodies. I enjoy coming to your blog and reading what you have been up to. Where do you find the time for everything. The blogging school sounds wonderful. How did you get onto that? Keep up the great work

Tracey said...

Thanks Gail! I had a great day at the workshop myself. I'm thrilled to hear you've been sharing your creations with the world...good on you!
I have subscribed to the ArtBiz Coach Newsletter for a while now - Alyson B.Stanfield is the 'coach' and she offers some great online courses, the "Blog Triage" course among them. Her website is: http://artbizcoach.com/
and she's a really motivating lady with a million great ideas.

Cindy Makelky said...

Hi Tracey, enjoying your blog! Love the photos of your work, which is fabulous! I love country life! I grew up on a farm and then married a rancher so my whole life has been in the country. It is such a spiritual experience! As an artist, I look for interesting "tidbits" of nature to draw and paint. Dried seed pods, leaves, basically dead stuff - but neat dead stuff, not icky dead stuff! Anyway, thanks for the link to the ArtBiz Coach. I will check her out!

Tracey said...

Hey Cindy, I laughed at your reference to 'dead stuff'! Only someone with an artists soul can really understand that appeal of it! I had the pleasure(?) of being the recipient of an enormous snakeskin some time ago...I blogged about it here: http://traceyhewitt.blogspot.com/2009/01/mum-we-found-something-for-you.html...my boys found it hanging in a tree and thought I'd like to add it to my collection!