Monday, March 29, 2010
Today I made matzoh (if I keep this up, I'm going to have to change my name to something with a little more Catskills flair). It was a perfect storm of events - I've recently become obsessed with breadmaking, and it's Passover (which, as an adult, I typically don't celebrate), and we are attending a Seder tomorrow night. What better hostess gift than homemade matzoh? Okay, almost anything would be a better hostess gift, but it's the thought that counts, and I'll wrap it really nicely and present it like it is the latest rage. Everyone's making their own matzoh this year. Martha Stewart even did a piece on it. In fact, there's a store opening up at the Biltmore called Matzoh Luck. See? I could be convincing about this...
And in an abrupt about-face to any hebraic tradition, I also made baguettes again. It will be the sequel to my autobiography. I will call it Pain and Matzoh.
Bagels and Baguettes might have to be the name of my autobiography. Of course, if this blog is any indication, an autobiography may not be warranted. In my latest baking venture, I have successfully conquered the baguette (in my own humble opinion) and to a lesser extent, the bagel. I won't bore you with the yeasty details. Suffice it to say, the baguettes disappeared so quickly, I couldn't even get a photo of them. Instead of a photo of bread, I'm posting a photo of the accordion book (I would say "aforementioned" but blogs seem backwards to me - perhaps "aftmentioned"?) as it looks in its folded state. Tomorrow, I'm going to try my hand at matzoh. If you are on a low-carb diet, I apologize for my starchy content.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
After many, many hours spent painting some tiny, tiny portraits, my first (possibly my only) accordion book is completed. It's called Royal Flush and it depicts portraits of the Jack, Queen and King of each of the suits in a deck of cards. If you have no interest in ever making your own accordion book (you don't, unless you do, in which case you know who you are) you may stop reading here and begin dreading my next blog update. If, however, you think you might make an accordion book, I have one word of advice. Don't use a circular page design, especially if you plan to connect them with grommets and rings. If you are a skilled bookmaker, you have my permission to roll your eyes repeatedly at this point in my story. You may even utter the word "Duh" and I will have no recourse. Well, Kalamazoo (that's where this "book" got shipped off to) is going to have to deal with an accordion book that does not accordionate (this is not a word, so don't try using it in Scrabble). They are just going to have to dangle it from a wall, roll their eyes and say...well, you get the point.
You can click on the photo to the left to see it a bit bigger. You cannot click on the actual paintings in real life to see them bigger, which is unfortunate, since they are quite tiny when you look at them in person and could use some magnification.
Friday, March 12, 2010
After seeing some amazing pencil drawings by an artist online, I vowed to improve my drawing technique (this is in addition to the other hundred things i resolved to improve this year). So I started this drawing of a sister wife, and then attended a drawing workshop at SMOCA in conjunction with a Chuck Close exhibit. I tried white pencil on black paper for the first time, and copied a Chuck Close portrait (in my defense, the subject in the original has a strangely shaped mouth and nose, so while I'm willing to take responsibility for poor technique or a lack of control, in this instance, it is actually accurate). Of course, the toughest part was getting out of the chair that they provide (a nylon and metal pole contraption that seemed unlikely to support me).
Sunday, March 7, 2010
As promised, here are the soft pretzels I baked today. They would have been a real hit at the party I went to, if only there hadn't also been marinated skirt steak and green rice burritos, the most tender pork loin and chicken ever created and grilled, homemade macaroni and cheese, an antipasto platter with the most amazing tomato and mozzarella pesto salad, homemade locatelli cheese popcorn, outstanding cocktails, tuxedo cheesecake, and a white Irish cheddar and beer cheese sauce (for my pretzels, which at this point are coming in behind the Good-n-Plenty's as far as popularity is concerned). What is the plural of Good-n-Plenty? Anyway, the caloric intake tonight was more than a typical Hollywood actress consumes in a year. I'm beyond full. I may never eat again.
I've recently completed some small projects, and according to the blog bible (the Bloble), I'm supposed to report everything that I do as if it is of interest to everyone. So today, before I embark on making soft pretzels (I'll post a photo later), I am exhibiting my knitted items like some midwestern crafter at a state fair. One item is an IPOD holder (which I love, but can't imagine it eliciting excitement in anyone else). The other item is a pair of socks I made for Robrt, loosely based on a pair of childhood socks that he has some inexplicable affection for (pretty run-of-the-mill tube socks from the 60's). There's also a hat, which I wear despite the fact that it makes me look like Rhoda Morgenstern.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This is a detail of "Santa's Last Supper." The actual size of this detail is roughly equal to a nickel. I'm really pleased with the way the watercolor maintained a large portrait aspect (in other words, everything didn't just run together into one big mess).
This is a detail of a miniature watercolor portrait I'm working on. As you can see from the comparison photo, the portrait is quite small (and I have to say, it looks better here than it does in person, at least without a magnifying device). A little gold paint in the iris went a long way...
Wow. I'm really not a very conscientious blogger. It's been at least 6 months since my first and only post. If you've been following me (you haven't), then I'm sorry. Mostly for you, since you've been following nothing. I promise I'll be better. Of course, you would be wise not to believe me, since there's no evidence supporting that I've improved as a blogger. Still, sometimes you just have to take someone's word for it. And I'm going to post some art, so at least you have something to look at, if all else fails.
Ocotillo on Ice. Just a study in using various textured papers to blot a design in the watercolor cubes. Then I was left with a boring abstract, and it seemed cold and icy, so I painted the last thing I could think of that would be kept on ice. A piece of a cactus.