The Goods

So many goods… Here in Savannah, Ga. Good atmosphere, sights, food, shopping. spending the weekend, loving the weather and the company:) and that it is only a 5 hour drive from home, but it’s the “Deep South”.

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The Last Fresh Leaf

2014-02-19 17.22.17-1Sun… yes

70+ degrees… yes
Waiting till for Spring to plant my garden boxes… no
Luckily, they can be protected should we have a freeze here in sunny Florida.

One thing leads to another; That defines my cooking style. Go to the produce market and see the loveliest of plums or peaches…make a tart. Fresh stalks of lemongrass = a Vietnamese influenced dish… and so it goes.

Yesterday was really lovely and warm and my earthboxes were not so lovely; stringy 4 ft. tall tomatoes plants with 3 tiny blooms at the very top, bright yellow dill flowers and woody basil stalks. Time for re-planting. I like to wait till the very, very last possible harvest before tearing out everything and starting new. Even the tiniest of gardens can add so much wonderful flavor to home-cooked meals. So… I planned to make spaghetti, my husbands favorite, but as I picked the very last of the sweet basil and purple basil and picked some of the last meyer lemons from my tree I decided to keep it light and fresh; basil chicken with mushrooms and artichokes over porcini mushroom egg pasta. Bon Appetit :)

Earthboxes great for small, super productive gardens!

Is This the Secret Sauce?

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Why yes… yes it is.

I always make a “secret sauce” with rack of lamb; sweet, savory and sometimes with a little heat and au jus. My husband always ask, “is this the secret sauce?” And of course it is… secret for the day, not the same as last time though. I’m not one to stick to a recipe. Cooking for me is a creative endeavor… just like painting. I look at the possible ingredients for the meal, find some inspiration in my pantry and fridge and go with it.

Rack of lamb looks a little intimidating… I finally bought it a few years back after enjoying it at a restaurant. I decided it was just red meat and I can cook most any other kind, so why not. Not much pre-cooking preparation is needed. I like to make a mix of freshly ground peppercorns and kosher salt, freshly minced rosemary and lemon zest… that’s it, add  enough olive oil to make a thin paste and slather the racks on both sides. Let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer.
My “special sauce” will remain secret… ha ha. seriously, it will. I will again say that I love sweet and savory, like garlic and shallots and red wine, honey…cherries mmmm. Make a sauce from the flavors you like and after you have cooked your racks of lamb either on a med/hot grill or in a 425 oven for about 25 minutes (if you have a convection option, use it) , let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice between the bones and add any jus or meat drippings to your sauce.

I usually make roasted potatoes with rosemary and pepper… tonight I used pink and wild black peppercorns :) I also made one of my favorites… garlic green beans.

Buy good quality ingredients, season with fresh herbs and good quality spices, and you will have good food!

next time… musts for your pantry!

Painting with Patterns

20140217-232514.jpgWhen I switched from oils to acrylics several years ago the primary reason was the fast drying time. I don’t like waiting, preferring to make changes as I go.
Currently, I am LOVING incorporating collage into my paintings. I keep coming back to the best description I can think of; painting with pattern. Where I would traditionally paint lights and darks and mid-tones… I am collaging with painted paper, or in some cases, applying paint in a pattern directly on to the canvas or board.
I love challenges in my art. I create them to try and keep my work fresh; sometimes with texture applied to the substrate before I have any ideas of subject matter. Most recently with using pattern.

The first step is to paint the papers I will be using to collage with. Some days that is all I concentrate on. I use acrylic paint, stencils, rubber stamps, bubble wrap…etc. on lightweight paper.
I like to first “prime” the paper with either white, black or gray gesso. Then lay out my palette and get started covering each paper with design .

here is a short video at my studio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCfwfZHEdos
I promise, that next time… I will record footage with the camera rotated to fill the screen properly. Work in progress :)
I would love your feedback.
Interested in a mixed-media workshop at my studio? Follow me on Facebook for artnews or join my mailing list. HERE

Thank you!

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Artistic Growth Can be Challenging.

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Wow! It’s been a year.

Last February 16th was the most  artistically challenging 24 hours for myself and a small group of very talented and brave artists here in Brevard County. It’s kind of hard to believe a year has passed… 

This was such an exciting exhibition! I love putting projects together, BIG PROJECTS. It is a wonderful experience to work with other artists from all types of backgrounds and mediums and watch a plan come together. The very best part of the our 24 hour challenge was that it was captured on video then edited as a documentary, thanks to the generosity and creative energy of our collaborators; Brandt Ronat & Company, a creative design and advertising company, located  in Brevard County .

See the Documentary here 

My blog post from last year.
2013 What a Difference a Day Makes; 24 hour art challenge

It’s been a very busy time lately… I’m just finishing up a project that has been “challenging” but extremely rewarding. I organized What A Difference A Day Makes; 24 Hour Art Challenge for my gallery; Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Melbourne Florida. (March 1-31, 2013), go see . This exhibition challenged 24 artists, including myself, to create a piece of artwork within an assigned 24 hour period… oh, and just so you didn’t pre-plan everything down to the last stroke, you were given a list of prompts the morning of your workday. One of the most exciting parts of the project is the collaboration with a local creative marketing and branding company; Brandt Ronat & Company. They partnered with us to videotape a portion of each of the 24 artists workday and created an incredible video documentary all about the project, see it online. Our goal, along with the experience of the project was to raise money and awareness for Very Special Arts Brevard. They bring art to children and adults with special needs. It’s a great local organization playing a very important part in enriching lives through art.

I used the challenge to push myself not only to complete a piece of art in 24 hours, but to use the techniques I have been “playing with” over the last year or so. I love the work of Anne Bagby and also love printmaking! The process includes aspects of painting and printmaking with texture, stencils, stamps; designing patterned paper by hand then using the paper as a element of the composition. I am enjoyed the tactile experience of layering with gesso and paint… getting very messy in the process and then playing with the design of the composition. My finished piece, Girl with Papaya was definitely challenging to complete in 24 hours… I looked up the list of prompts and chose the three that I would work with: rare, metamorphosis and flourish, then starting working on ideas for the composition. I am happy to have finished it… in 17 hours, and happy with the comments I have been hearing about the work; it’s very encouraging.

I’ll be finishing my second piece soon and working on many more ideas for this new direction… I still love working with paint, and the stencils and patterns are finding their way into that work as well.

Prints of Girl with Papaya are available here.

Expanding

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These girls keep showing up in recent work and this week they are beginning to take new shape… 3-d form. I was looking through my “inspiration file” and ran across some dolls that I saw somewhere on the internet. I knew when I saw them that they would translate to the girls I have been painting. I had all the supplies necessary; purchased after the initial inspiration, and now I can include all the lovely ephemera I have been “stockpiling”. These girls are strong and confident, they are caring and nuturing too. They are inspired and inspirational…at least that is the message I want to send. 

I am having a great time sketching all the possibilities, then cutting, sanding and crafting their faces and attaching their bodies together. Another list is also taking shape; names and personalities. This week I hope to get a few close to finished.

  • balance
  • blessed
  • fragile
  • fearless
  • seeker

The Title Eludes Me…

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NOT

Maybe it is due to the exuding energy of new creative ventures… but usually, the title for a new piece of art or in this case blog titles,  pop right up. One of my artist friends said in passing, “I never stay with the first idea because it’s the one that everyone thinks of” hmmm… that could be true.

For me, I love spontaneous! Starting a new “project” art, event, even cleaning out a closet… which I said I would never talk about, is often exhilarating. It’s that starting thing… big white canvas, planning an adventure, even creating a fabulous dinner, I LOVE it.

I have the weirdest (in a healthy fun way) thoughts. Usually the first thing that comes to mind when I have an inspired idea for art or writing, is either very strange or funny.  Sometimes, I crack myself up… thoughtfully. Most of the time I can control the circumstances of silliness. Occasionally not.

SONY DSCgirl in the blue dress! if you don’t stop laughing I will stop this bus (schoolbus) and you will be removed! luckily, I was not the girl in the blue dress… but my best friend was, and whatever I was talking about was very funny and the more I said, the harder she laughed. I would have walked home with her…of course. For some reason this event comes to mind when I think about fun and funny things and being silly and happy. I know exactly why this has been a significant personality trait throughout my life…hmm, another title to add to the list.

I am excited today. I LOVE the direction my mixed-media art with painted paper is taking. I am happy to have finally started this new blog :) So… out for a run this morning and I should just be listening to music and breathing, but I have titles. Titles for new blog posts, and titles for the 3-d girls that I was cutting and sanding and gessoing yesterday.

COMING SOON

  • seriously…it’s good to not always be serious
  • flower child
  • ferret dog
  • head in the clouds
  • open-hearted
  • bird-tamer
  • pink=love
  • dancing queen
  • teaching Grace to swim
  • we’re gonna need a bigger studio
  • top three… ten is boring

Okay,You Asked For It

OKAY… not everyone asked, but at least 3 people I know asked why I’m not blogging about food… and gardening and some of the other activities that I get involved in, besides art. So here I am. This new blog will be replacing my art blog and including so many other things.

  • cooking
  • the beauty of ingredients; peppercorns, mushroom, shallots (one of my favorites), did I say peppercorns?
  • cleaning  no, no
  • birds and bird activity
  • weiner-dogs
  • baking
  • canning
  • ART OF COURSE