Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gee -- Thanks, Google!

I heard that changed some of its rules about how websites are ranked following a search. It used to be that my website (, if you Googled "desert paintings," would list as high as #1 or sometimes into the 20s or 30s. Now my site is hovering around #172!

And I don't know why! What did Google change? Is a certain group of us being "punished" for doing or not doing something?

I built my website myself, and I think I did an OK job, especially considering the high rankings I used to get. But web design is not my job. Making and selling paintings is. I just don't have time to try and figure out what Google wants from me so I can fix whatever the issue(s) is/are.

So all I can say at this point is: Gee -- thanks, Google! I hope you peeps understand that when you do stuff like this, you may be literally affecting someone's livelihood -- if not an individual's (like me), then even entire companies of people.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mount of the Holy Cross

I've heard some people express disbelief at paintings they had seen that featured a mountain with a cross etched in the rock. I'd hear comments like "No cornball...that would never happen in nature."

Y'know what? They're wrong! There IS such a mountain!

The mountain is the Mount of the Holy Cross. It's in Colorado, east and slightly south of Vail right off of the Interstate 70. There's even a turnoff for it. I've never been there myself (one of those things I always meant to do when we lived in Colorado), but others have told me there's a parking lot for it, and one has to hike in a little on a trail before it comes into view.

The Mount of the Holy Cross has been known to white explorers and artists since the 19th century. Since I don't have photos of my own, I'd like to share some historical photos so I won't violate any living photographers' copyrights.

 Here are two images by 19th century photographer William Henry Jackson. When there's just the right amount of snow, the cross stands in sharp contrast to the rock around it.

To the left is a stereoscopic (3D) photo of the Mount. If you know how to look at stereo pictures without a viewer (your eyes must be looking straight ahead as though staring into the distance, not crossed as when you look at things up close), you'll see the rock outcroppings at the bottom seem to push the Mount itself back away from you.

Now we're looking at some paintings by my favorite 19th century artist, Thomas Moran. I never read how many times he painted the Mount of the Holy Cross, but here are four examples of his work -- all different, but equally impressive!

So, yes, there ARE mountains with crosses on them!