Monday, June 28, 2010

I Like Lemons

Sunny yellow lemons are a delight to paint; in fact I don't know if there is a realist painters out there that has not , at one time or another, used them in a still life...The cheery primary color is irresistible- in fact even when I see them piled up in the grocery store, I linger, and enjoy the color.
This painting, "Siracusa Lemons"is a slightly different take on the subject. This small grove is in an ancient quarry , in Sicily.
It was delightful to see them on the tree.
Now that it's summer, and I do like to cook,I like to go for dishes that are minimal fuss, can be made and chilled ahead, and use the wonderful things that are now available. A lot of summer dishes call out for lemon. Here's one I use for green beans: ( I'm not a chef by any means, so things are approximate.)
It will serve two.
Two serving of fresh green beans, washed, and trimmed
Juice and zest of one lemon.
About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
One clove garlic, finely minced ( if desired)
A tablespoon of provencal herbs.
A sprinkling of salt, pepper, to taste.
Cook the beans until just tender, and still retain color.
Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. add to this the garlic, herbs, and salt, pepper.
Place beans in bowl, cover with mixture, and chill.
I like to take this out of the 'frig a bit before serving- flavors are fuller at room temp.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ups and Downs

Riding my bike is something I've always enjoyed; it's a plus that there are health benefits.

When we moved to Arizona, I didn't count on there being so many hills let alone that we would be living on a hillside...I suppose that it's good I have a nice down hill ride if I want to go any where. When I do get to my destination, there's an " uh-oh"when I think about the ride back.

"Black Hills study", plein air pastel
This art career, and surely, life in general follows a path of ups and downs. This spring has especially been a roller coaster ride. A joint project that I had high hopes for fell through, a workshop at a popular art school was cancelled, another joint showing opportunity was nixed, plus the usual rejection, and, of course, absolutely dismal ( well, nonexistent) art sales.

Amazingly, and wonderfully, other opportunities materialized almost immediately!
A new friend invited me to partner with her on an exciting project. Two established galleries asked me to participate in their new season group shows. I won a best in show at the Arizona Pastel Artist's exhibition. I won a top award at the Pastel West Coast exhibition. Another friend
suggested that we apply next year for a joint show. Another, dear, fabulous artist friend will be visiting , to scout out local galleries with me.
And then there are the every day blessings. I revel in the blue skies , big vistas, and brilliant sunshine. I'm thankful every day that I'm in the beautiful studio, and that I have a wonderfully supportive mate, a beautiful son, and as aforementioned, great friends.
It's nice to live on a hillside.