Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me Plus a Contest

Mostly Sky, 6x6, Oil on Gessobord

So today is my birthday and I think that I am now considered in my mid-forties, rather than the not-much-better-sounding early forties. Sigh.

Well, not much to do concerning the march of time, and today is a very busy day so I must move the pity party along. I have to bake some muffins, get the kids up, and later, I have people coming by to visit my studio. This afternoon I will make my own birthday cake, which might sound pathetic, but I am a good cook and no one wants a store bought cake (OR a cake baked by Doug) on any of our birthdays around here, even me, and even if I have to do all the baking.

And I have also decided to have a little contest here today. Between now and midnight tonight, leave a comment, say happy birthday, tell me how awesome I am even though I am 44 and a bit crabby, or tell me who you are, how you found this blog, etc if you are a lurker.

Tomorrow morning I will put all the names in a hat (or whatever, who has hats anymore?) and my very enthusiastic daughter, Ginger, will draw a name. The winner will get to choose a painting from my sales blog and I'll ship it right off. The only limitation is that I don't want to ship it outside the US (see? cranky) so if you really want a painting and live in the Soviet Union, for example, you'll have to line up a US address for shipping before you say happy birthday to me. Heh.

Oh and the inventory IS a bit low over there, so I will be glad to let the winner choose something at a later date. I want the oh so lucky winner to have a painting they like!

PS. Read my birthday post from last year, it's still my favorite. mmmm, Donny, my love.......


Diane Hoeptner said...

Count me in. You ARE totally awesome, Tracy. Your tireless efforts to help your fellow artists do NOT go un-noticed or un-appreciated. The Fine Art Department is just the latest successful endeavor you've taken on-- you have a history of sharing information and links and well, the always interesting and amusing goings-on in your LIFE. See? And all that doesnt' even mention your breathtaking and gorgeous ART. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Deborah Paris said...

Me too. Happy Birthday and thanks again for FAD!

Lisa B. said...

Boy oh boy, mention a free painting and the lurkers start commenting. I found you via Making a Mark, when you introduced your new studio space. It's a totally awesome workspace befitting a totally awesome mid-fortyish artist such as yourself.

A very happy birthday to you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from a 62 year old artist who still gets a little crabby & wistful on her birthdays. I am enjoying your paintings and hope to see them for many years to come. Keep up the creative colorful work.

Deb Lacativa said...

I had a hope-y birthday this year but I remember best my Fabulous Forties. Best Wishes of the day!

(and thanks for the amazing resource of

Suzanne McDermott said...

Mostly Sky is quite nice! Happy Birthday. Why be cranky when your life is abundantly rich and you're sweet enough to share the overflow, out loud, with so many others. Rejoice. Anyway, life really begins at 50. You have something to look forward to.

Angela Wales Rockett said...

Happy Birthday! As I've told you many times, you are an inspiration(cranky or no), and your art is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I never, ever win games of chance, so this is simply a heartfelt birthday greeting. You make your readers and buyers feel like close friends, which is quite a gift from you. The least we can do is tell you how grateful we are for your fabulousness. Thanks for making the world a better place.

Have a great 44th year!

Helen said...

lol Tracy, I know the feeling.. my birthday at the end of the month and I refuse to believe, hang on a min... yes if maths means anything I'm 44 this year. Bah hum bug about not shipping out of US (grins). You are however wonderfully grumpy and talented and do make great art work, annnnd inspire other people, so consider this a really warm wish for you to have a happy birthday :D

all the best

Jan said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy! You are one of my *must clicks* when a new post pops up on Bloglines, no matter how late it is or if I'm in a rush and have no business peeking at Bloglines in the first place.
I admire your stick-to-it-iveness, your ability to forge ahead and develop your work while balancing it with a full family life...all seasoned with a good sense of humor. You have been an inspiration to me as I'm still trying to get it together here in my *ahem* mid-50s.
Oh, and I adore your work. I'm enjoying watching your pieces develop.

Jan said...

That would be *your new pieces* develop.

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!
I don't remember how I found your blog, but I have been reading it for a couple of years now, daily. I love your work and I really appreciate your honesty. I find your work ethic to be inspiring. Mid forties sounds better than late forties (I should know). Have a great day, and tell us about that cake, too.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy!
I found your blog almost three years ago, and it has inspired me ever since. And because of that... you're awesome! I'm so honored to be included in the awesome collection of FAD! Oh... and did I mention that you're awesome! Happy Day!

Sydney Harper said...

Happy Birthday from a mostly lucker! I've completely forgotten how I found you but I'm sure it was the usual way. I clicked on a link and then another link. Eventually I found myself here with your beautiful art and your beautiful attitude. I always look forward to reading your posts. Hope it's a wonderful day for you. Don't worry about how old you are, just enjoy the day.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday! I love reading your Blog. It's always the first one that I read in the morning (I'm in California). I guess I'm a lurker, my excuse is that I'm shy. Have a lovely Birthday.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Your Blog is always the first one that I read in the morning. I really like your work. So here's another lurker out from the shadows. Cheers.

Tracy Leagjeld said...

Your work inspires my and your blog makes me smile. Can't ask for more than that. Have a very Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,
I found your blog through "Making a Mark", and it is now one of my must-reads. I admire your work, and your willingness to share your life with your readers. Happy Birthday! from another "mid-forties" (although I still feel like 12....)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy,
Happy Birthday!
I've been reading your blog for a long time, but have never commented - just silently admired your work :)
I paint and photograph, and, sometimes, when I feel blocked I just look at you paintings and they get me really inspired. So, thank you for that.
(In case, I'll win your painting - although I was born in the Soviet Union :), I live in the states now.)

Warm Wishes,
Juliet Turback

cissy said...

Hi Tracy: Take it from me the Best is yet to come! You are only going to get better. I would give anything to be your age again..see it's all how you look at it. Guess I am a lurker, I have been looking at your blog for a year. Your work speaks to me on so many levels...You have inspired me to get a website and try blogging. I grew up in up-state NY, looking at your paitings transports me from the NW back to the fields of home.Thank you for your beautiful paintings, words of wisdom and kind heart. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Anonymous said...

Um, no, really? It's been a year since your Donny post? It's been a whole year since Steph and I were sitting in the gallery making sure to read your blog every day and laughing at your great Donny story? Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tracy! I hope you sell lots today and eat a yummy cake and have a great day with the family!

Vern Schwarz said...

Tracy, after lurking for a couple of months, I've decided to emerge from the shadows and wish you a Happy Birthday. I bookmarked your blog back then and find your art and wit absolutely wonderful. Wish I could win one of your paintings, but the governments of Canada and the USA feel we need a border and that's how it is.
Thirty nine years with five years experience ain't so bad. Keep up the great work that you do, and have a super day.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and many more!You know already how much we love your painting and you!!
Uncle Jim,Aunt Shirley and Gizmo,Smudge and Wally

Natalya Khorover Aikens said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!! thanks for being an inspiration with your art and hard work! .. and I was born in Soviet Union, now a fellow New York stater... oh and it's now Russia btw..

L C Godfrey said...

Hi Tracy,
Sorry to admit, but I have been a lurker for years! I love your blog and admire you and your artwork. I am finally commenting because I had such a laugh this morning reading about you making your own birthday cake! I'll be making mine on Thursday, probably involving chocolate and buttercream, yumm. (I'll be firmly in my mid-30s at that point) Your life is inspirational. I loved reading about your time at the VT Studio Center and about your studio creation. I live in VT in an old farmhouse and have JUST finished my studio. I hope you have a very happy birthday. Thank you for sharing your life on such a great blog.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Oh my goodness, so many comments! I am just going to high the high spots rather answer each one, if you all don't mind. Anyway, everyone is pretty much saying the same thing, concerning my awesomeness:)

That in itself is pretty cool, I didn't get much in the way of compliments growing up so even though I fished for a few today, I am feeling the sincerity here, so thanks to all of you for that.

I would like to say two things: I am not crabby because of my birthday and my age. That part is just surreal, and very odd, because in my head I am still 12, just like fieldsketching. The crabbiness is just a general thing-comes and goes for a number of reasons, all of which deserves their own post someday.

The other thing is that I actually did type Russia first, then wasn't sure and switched it to the Soviet Union, you know, back to its name from when I was younger. Anyway, didn't mean to offend or anything, mostly it just reflects my inability to keep up, or even to retain what I am reading anymore:)

Melody said...

Happy Birthday to a great friend and an amazing artist......I don't have to tell you how awesome you are cause you already know it and if you don't we'll just keep on reminding you!

Melody said...

Sorry I got so excited I forgot to read the "only in the U.S."part. Never mind! But regardless.....I meant every word of my message.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Tracy! Joyeux anniversaire! I often visit your blog that I discovered not long ago via Making a mark, and I like it very much!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I've been reading your feed long enough that I don't remember when I started. I've enjoyed seeing all your work. I like the simplicity of shapes combined with the more complex color overlays of your main work and have been enjoying learning about your explorations into other work with your portrait studies.

p said...

happy birthday tracy! i would say that even without the drawing :)
doesn't sound pathetic to make your own cake, you know you will get what you want!
mid 40's is a little hard... i've just turned 47 a few months ago and if i stay away from mirrors and too much physical activity i still think i'm a kid.
have a great day!
i found your blog surfing? through lisa? through jeanne?

Ellen said...

Happy Birthday! Oooo, the comments are coming hard and fast, although I'm sadly excluded from the draw. I don't remember how I found you, I think I clicked on one of your comments on Melody's blog but glad I did. And now I feel more kinship with you because my mental age is 12 too! That pre-pubescent angst and joy never quite go away when you're an arty type, do they?. Here's to never growing up! Enjoy your cake!

Cindie said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Who could resist a contest for your awesome work! I am a long time lurker and I own one of your small works.

M.A.H. said...

Happy Birthday Tracy! What a fun way to gather those Birthday greetings!
Welcome to the mid-40's. I'm milking them for all they're worth. Thanks again for the FAD hook-up.

Deanna said...

Happy birthday!

Mine is in a couple weeks and while thinking about it the other day, I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out how old I'm going to be. Now that's sad.

I hope you have a good day and that your cake is yummy!

Shawn McCann said...

Happy Birthday Tracy. You can for surely count me in on the contest. Here's wishing you many more!

Jul said...

Happy birthday and you're awesome. :)

I live in Germany, but have an army of minions in the US just dying to receive mail on my behalf, so go ahead and count me in. :)

Barbara said...

Happy, happy birthday, Tracy. I admit that I'm a lurker, but I've been reading your blog for a long time, and it's one of my favorites. :) And I love, love, love your work.

Hope you have a wonderful birthday and many, many more.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!

The very best compliment that I can give your blog is this - I follow close to 150 art blogs on a regular basis. Thats a lotta blogs, so I usually end up skimming the posts and focusing on the photos. (great inspiration fodder!)

Your blog is so much fun to read, though! I look forward to your little insights, your foibles, struggles and triumphs - as well as your gorgeous pics of work and home. I haven't missed a word since I started reading. :)

Hope this year brings you many adventures and loads of good cheer.

Anonymous said...

Okay, even though I live in Canada, I'm giving it a chance...I stumbled upon your blog months ago through Amber Lounder (Visual Literacy) and loved your ramblings and images so much that I went back through your old posts. You say everything that I think and wish I could say. You're not only extremely creative, but very funny, too. Happy Birthday.

Ann said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!!!
Your blog is one I always check in with, nearly every day. I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, some time ago now, but failing to check in here leaves me feeling I have missed something important in my day. I admire your art work, your dedication and commitment to being an artist. And I'm just a little bit jealous of your wonderful studio space! But believe me, 44 is nothing. Your are just getting started!

Binky said...

For the secind time in the last 24 hours I am coming out of the closet as a lurker.
I've followed your blog for some time now and really enjoy it but I don't remember how I found it. Would love to be an owner of one of your paintings.
Oh yes, my birthday is December 9 but I have had a lot more than Donny.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, beautiful Tracy, and hi to Deanna and early happy birthday to Binky!
Here's how I do the math: turn 40 - say you're 40 and get the sympathy you deserve.
Turn 40-44 and you've "just turned 40."
Turn 45-49 and you're "nearing your mid-40s."
Turn 50 or anything more and you are in your "very late 40s" and nobody with any manners will ask precisely how late.
Artists have to be creative in interpreting time, right?

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! You must be totally wonderful, or I wouldn't enjoy reading your blog, AND I wouldn't enjoy seeing pictures of your work. 44? It keeps getting better! Oh yes, I don't remember how I came across your blog.

CMC said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy. I so enjoy reading your blog and all the farm life mixed in with your art life.

I'll have a hard time choosing from all your wonderful work when I win! Ha ha...positive thinking for me.

Travveller said...

Happy Birthday, Tracy!

And don't fret the birthdays. Haven't you heard? Women over 40 are sexier, smarter, and more interesting than the younger ones.

(BTW, I'm also a December birthday... but not til the 21st.)

Mim said...

Tracy, with the ONLY other event of note on your birthday being that The movie "Ferry Cross the Mersey" with Gerry & the Pacemakers debuted in London.
I'd say you are WAy better than that. SO therefore you are the BEST thing that happened on that day! Hurrah for you!

Charlotte said...


Very happy birthday wishes to you. I found your blog from Lisa Call ( who referenced your Fine Art Department blog. I checked out your site,like your blog & added you to my blog reader.

n warner said...

Happy Birthday!!! are in mini-middle-stage....YOU are just hitting your
stride AND you have energy, humor,
and a mastery of your very expressive art.
And while age is subjective to the really still very cool.
(my bday is on tues...and I'm the next decade up...that's when you really start feeling it. I'm not-so-cool, but I really don't care to be....sign of age.) Does it count if I submit by 12m pst? (I found you via Neil Hollingworth...)
HB Tracy....!!!! Nina

Giselle C. Gautreau said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!

I can't quite remember how I first found your blog, but I remember the posts about the chickens, and the dog... those were great. And then I discovered that you painted, and that they were beautiful. I'm impressed & inspired that you've maintained a consistent website & blog all this time. I know people get burned out doing this stuff, and your work is really fantastic. Please keep doing what you're doing.
Enjoy your cake & your family.

Making A Mark said...

I'm so sorry I didn't see this until after I had posted "who's made a mark this week?" for this week

That mean's you're definitely getting a spot next week - and maybe the name of the lucky winner too.

Anyway, I'm too late to make a comment for your draw but I am really completely in awe of this truly awesome wheeze for making you feel good on your birthday!

Plus you know I like your paintings!

I hope you had a really great birthday. You can now look forward to being 50 which is of course the new 40 - so you're really still a spring chicken (otherwise known as the virtual equivalent of a 35 year old!)

Do we get to see the cake?

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through my brother-in-law Gary Rith.

Katherine Kean said...

Happy Birthday Tracy!

I don't think you need to be considered in your mid 40's until you are actually 45 - or at least 45 1/2!

And conratulations to Binky!