I've been tagged! My friend and fellow artist Karen Phipps did me the honor of introducing me into the game. Here are the rules:

1. put a link in your posting about the artist that tagged you.
2. write 5 -7 unusual things about yourself
3. tag 5 - 7 other bloggers and let them know.

Okay, here goes. The link to Karen's blog is there in the first sentence of this post, so please visit and have a look at some of the daring work she has been doing with color relationships. Not only that, she has been painting outdoors in Chicago well into the cold months, my (fleece) hat is off to her!

Unusual things about me, hmmm.
1) I have a second degree black belt in Aikido. Here are links to dojos where I used to train:
Aikido North, and a photo from 1984, that's me at the far right, back row
The Aikido Dojo in St Pete, FL
2) I used to be a river guide on the American and Stanislaus rivers. (The Stanislaus run was drowned, alas, by the New Melones Dam. But that gave rise to the Wild Rivers movement in the US, so some good came of it.)
3) When I was 8 my family moved to Finland for 3 years, and I used to be able to speak Finnish. Now I can count, and say "hello", "see you later", "and Good Day Teacher!"
4) When I was 20 I worked for Mark Rothko as a babysitter.
5) I lived in World Famous Wasilla Alaska for 11 years.
6) I have spent many hours mincing mice and chopping salmon for the wild birds in rehab at Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage.
7) I can pick up an eagle without getting stabbed with a talon.

Please go visit these blogs, who are about to hear from me that they have been tagged!

Kelly Singleton, who does fantastic animal art and also allows you to follow her progress via photos at various stages of completion. She is an up and coming talent in a demanding field.
Mavis Muller, an artist in Homer, Alaska. Her blog is actually a page of her website. Scroll to the bottom and click on Reflect to see photos of a recently staged basket piece involving a giant celebration, basket-making, and remembrance event on the Homer beach, culminating in a glorious bonfire.
Jill Choate, an Alaskan basketmaker whose blog will give you a great feel for the life of an artist living and working in the bush. Beautiful photos! Fabulous baskets!
Amy Komar, whose swirling abstractions and delicate colors capture completely the feel of winter light, summer splendor, water, skies, and rustling leaves that are everywhere in front of us in the north, if we look.
Molly Ahearn, a photographer who generously hands out technical advice and other bits of useful information to other artists, and who is the most sophisticated blogger I know of.