Eight Years | Thursday, January 31, 2008AMERAUCANA EGGS AND KUMQUATS--DAILY PAINTING | Tuesday, January 29, 2008THE SHACKELTONS & SKELETON BREATH | Monday, January 28, 2008INTERNET SCAMS AND KUMQUATS | Saturday, January 26, 2008A CUT BLOOD & HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BROTHER PAT & HIS DAUGHTER LAUREN! | Thursday, January 24, 2008Great Weekend--Blood Orange & Araucana Eggs | Monday, January 21, 2008BLOOD ORANGES AND MEYER LEMON PAINTING OF THE DAY | Friday, January 18, 2008HAPPY NEW YEAR 2 WEEKS LATE-HAPPY BIRTHDAY PENNY BIRD & CINE BRAXTON | Thursday, January 17, 2008
I met with a couple tonight that were married eight years ago. I was the photographer that shot their wedding. A beautiful bride and handsome groom. So much in love. They still are, and also still beautiful and handsome. Gabriel was just born. I had just given Jay Jr. , his first SLR camera. Look at how far he's come.
After my appointment with the couple ordering their wedding photos, I met Jay Jr. for dinner, you guessed it, at Georges'. It was good, being with Jay and the dinner. We actually got to really talk without all of the distractions that we usually have.
He loves working at Georges'. The new menu comes out soon...maybe tomorrow and Jay had some input into it.
My wonderful husband is upstairs playing "Soul Eyes", that's my cue to quit.
I'll leave you with a photo of Diane, the beautiful bride.
Our art group meeting at Church of the Savior went well last night. We're planning a group art show from the 28th to the 30th of March, 2008. I'll include more details later. I'm really looking forward to it. Deb Sarles and I did meet for dinner and then went to the meeting. She's a potter and also makes soy candles. Sometimes she puts the candles in her pottery, which I really like. She's custom-making something for me. I'll have to get a link to her website for you. She does beautiful work. Tonight's painting di giorno, or daily painting, is of the blue and green eggs from my girls, along with the kumquats that I bought last week. I like this color palette much more than I thought I would. I've done the eggs with this lighting and color background before, but I wasn't sure if the orange would work as well. I think it's because I'm using a new brand of indigo oil paint and also the orange and yellow is subtly spread around for color harmony and that appeals to me. "Ameraucana Eggs and Kumquats", 7"x5", oil on linen, $50. framed. SOLD
I have an art meeting at Church of the Savior tonight, but I'm going to meet Deb Sarles for dinner in an hour and a half. I'm working on a painting of sheep from Chester County. It's 14"x11" and I'll probably take the rest of the week to finish it. At some point I'll photograph it so you can see the progression. Last night we met Jay Jr. and Celeste in Chinatown for a duck dinner. I thought the wonton soup was the best, the wontons more thin-skinned and like shumai dumplings. Lots of fresh vegetables too. I also discovered how much I love the vinegared chili paste in the bottle. That stuff is great. I've seen it many times, but now I'll have to buy some. We left there and went to "World Cafe' Live" to see Jay Jr.'s long-time friend Mark Redding and his band "The Shackeltons" perform there. "Skeleton Breath" opened for them. I've never experienced anything like Skeleton Breath. http://www.myspace.com/skeletonbreath I can't tell you how much I enjoyed them. A sort of older, frumpy and weird looking guy came on with a Bill Cosby type sweater and messy hair. When he tool the sweater off, he transformed into an amazing, very lean and trim, albeit, spastically jumping all over the stage, with wild hair, musician! I was totally fascinated with his gestures, movement and facial structure. His bow took on a puppet-like persona, also frantically jumping on his violin, the strings breaking and looking like the hair the puppeteer's head. All of this aside from excellent musicianship. The Shackeltons, http://www.myspace.com/theshackeltons were better than I've ever seen them. I like the story behind their name. The band was very tight. Mark's movements were restrained, fine-tuned and original for this genre of music, partly because of the space restrictions. His lyrics are very emotional, even though they're comical at times. I know how sensitive he is and the pain in his experience is real. There's really brilliance in all of it. Gotta' go--I'll be back tomorrow.
I tried to post yesterday, but this computer is on it's last leg and wouldn't cooperate. That reminded me that I've been meaning to warn you about Internet scams. I belong to several artist's sites and have been contacted at least seven times by supposedly interested buyers. The thing that they all have in common is that they want to send you more money than the amount of the sale. This could be for shipping costs which are to be paid to their shipping company, or for the price they will sell the painting for and you have to send back their commission. The bogus "shipping coordinator" that contacted me, said he was from Global Pacific, but he had a Yahoo account. That's a warning right there, even if it did have Global Pacific in the email address, it wouldn't be through Yahoo. The clever thing that he did was to have a link to Global Pacific in all of his emails. Of course when I contacted Global Pacific, they didn't know who he was and said the address in his email was a residence. A good source for help with this kind of info is "Scam Busters". They have a free newsletter that they'll email to you. The outcome of a couple of these scams with Jay and I was that with mine, the person sent an order form for a check, it looked like a check, but it was not an actual check. There was no account number or routing number on it. It was mailed from the Ukraine, but the "check" was from a bank in Vancouver, BC. The "client" was supposedly from the UK, with an estate in S. Africa, where the paintings would go. The sale was for $2300., she sent me $4350. Of course the balance was to be paid in cash to the "shipping coordinator". Jay had someone who wanted piano lessons for his son who would be moving here from the UK. The father was going to send money in advance for his lessons and a flight for Jay to go to the UK to meet him, as well as money for accommodations. We got four fake money orders in the amount of $950. each from a woman in New York. When Jay told him not to contact him again, he tried a different approach, with a bleeding heart message that his mother was sick and that if he got the money to her, God would bless Jay. Fortunately, being my father's daughter, the only negative thing that happened was the delay of sales on a couple of paintings. So, with all of that said, be careful, especially if you do anything on Craig's List, or other, items for sale sites.
I went grocery shopping on Thursday and found kumquats with stripes on them in the exotic produce aisle. I thought they'd look nice against a blood orange, so the daily painting is,
"Blood Orange and Kumquats", 7"x5", oil on linen. $50. framed.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
I'm embarrassed that I forgot to publicly wish my brother Pat and his daughter, my beautiful niece Lauren, enormous HAPPY BIRTHDAYS, especially on the one year anniversary of this blog. I apologize Pat and Lauren, I love you nonetheless and you know it. January 18th is his birthday and Lauren's is the day after. I know they had a nice lunch together with Nick. Wish I could have been there.
It must have been this cold coming on that did it. I spent the past two days in bed, barely able to hold my head up. One of those sinus infections that worked it's way to laryngitis and bronchitis, or as Isabella would say, "a cough in my mouth". Man do we miss her like crazy. I'm feeling so much better today.
Speaking of which, the very exciting news. This year on July 1st, Jay and I will be married for 30 years. OK, so, on Sunday, Derek gave me a card. In it...I'm so excited I can hardly type....really, my hands are shaking...anyway, it read that for our anniversary, Jeanie and Derek are sending us on an all-expense, paid trip, out to California, to stay in Sonoma....and are you ready...have dinner at THE FRENCH LAUNDRY!!! Honest, can you believe it?! We can stay out there for as long as we want with Derek's family who has guest quarters on their property, and we get a guided tour of the valley by our very special tour guide, our daughter Jeanie, and...we also will be going to "ad hoc" and "Bouchon", which are two of Thomas Keller's other restaurants and chances are excellent that we'll actually get to meet Thomas Keller himself, because he's usually at the French Laundry, cooking everyday that it's open! Here's a link if you want to know more about him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Keller#Other_restaurants_and_pursuits
I am so impressed and grateful and excited! It makes being married for 30 year worth it....just kidding. Well, what I mean is, I'm thrilled to be married to Jay for 30 years. I'm so blessed. I'm living the dream and that's the truth.
The painting of the day, is of some more blood oranges. The colors are not exaggerated. I couldn't wait to finish this painting, knowing how sweet and juicy the cut half of the orange would be. Right after I photographed it I ate the cut half. It was just as I anticipated. Perfect.
"Cut Blood Orange", 6"x6", oil on linen. $50. framed. Sold.
We had a great weekend. We did go to Krista and Carter's on Saturday. Josie's sitter came and we went to dinner at the hot spot place in Baltimore, Woodberry Kitchen. It's in John Waters' neck of the woods and is a very cool, industrial-style, revamped mill.
We had a 9:00 pm reservation, but since there was no hope for us getting seated at 10:00 pm, the hostess said that if we sit at the bar for dinner, they would pick up our dinner tab.
Since there were people there who had waited to be seated for two hours--now this is with a reservation-- we sat at the bar.
The menu is interesting, but the food was generally disappointing. I think that if they got Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen he'd straighten it all out. I suspected that it was chef-owned and it is. The chef is co-owner Spike Gjerde. He and his wife Amy, along with Nelson Carey are the proprietors.
There were bowls of popcorn around and it is very, very buttery, which equals delicious, but greasy, especially since they don't give you napkins with it. It's also just there on benches, etc. with anyone and everyone grabbing handfuls. Not very sanitary.
Krista and I ordered small plates--deviled eggs, which we never got, chicken liver parfait, which was served in something that looked like a candle jar. It was smooth and creamy, but so bland and the green gelatin on top literally had no taste at all. We ordered a dozen various Chesapeake oysters on the half shell that were outstanding. Fresh, briny and had that delightful taste of the ocean. We ordered oven roasted oysters, which we never got. The crab pot was a dip, which was tasty. We also ordered the pork belly which was barely the size of two pieces of bacon in a can of baked beans. That was on top of cheese fries....really lacking. I mean pork belly isn't an expensive cut of meat. What I could taste of it was like the soggy bacon in the can of beans. The pepper gravy that came with it tasted like gelatinous fat-free vinaigrette. It was cold and nasty.
Carter ordered the pork buns for starters, but didn't say how they were. He also ordered a burger for his main and said it was overcooked. Jay ordered the whole sea bass at the bartender's recommendation. It was overcooked to burned. The salsa verde that came with it was lumpy and gelatinous and tasted like fat-free vinaigrette dressing with non-descript green herbs in it.
The wine was good, the apple martinis were made from house-made, apple-infused vodka. Good and reasonably priced.
The desserts were terrific. Jay had the pumpkin cake, Krista had an apple dumpling and I had the sticky toffee pudding. All tasted fresh and homemade. Their absolute strongest point.
We tried to pay, but they really did cover our dinners and even our drinks, which redeemed them enough that we'd give them another chance.
Yesterday, Krista had a nice, kosher fish brunch. Jeanie brought her wonderful apple dumplings. All of the kids and some friends were there. It was cozy and relaxed. We hung around for a while and left around 2:30 pm, we took the scenic route home, which was a real pleasure.
We drove straight to George's for dinner. The lobster bisque was better than ever! The new bartender Jose' has been coming up with some very innovative drinks. Jay also had the Tilapia, with lobster mashed potatoes, which he said was great.
We left, came home and since we were in John Waters neighborhood, watched "Hairspray". John Travolta and Christopher Walken were hilarious.
Finally, the painting of the day is of another blood orange and the first eggs of our Araucana/Ameraucana hens. The green one is the first egg ever, from the little hen Linda, laid on Christmas Day and the bluer one is the first of this season from the hawk- attacked, but fully recovered, Flavia.
"Blood Orange and Araucana Eggs", 7"x5", oil on linen. $50. framed.
Tomorrow some really exciting news. SOLD
It's no wonder that citrus fruits, especially oranges are associated with the morning, they're such happy colors and energizing to look at and smell, not to mention the taste.
My first project today, after Isabella's breakfast, was to zest the blood oranges and Meyer lemons for orange and limoncello. Such a pleasant experience. The oranges fill the entire house with their fragrance, then the lemons back them up with their floral perfume.
The oranges from http://theorangestore.com/ were darker red on the outside this time. Very beautiful.
The lemons from http://lemonladies.com/ were a gift from Karen the orchardess. They arrived with a jar of Meyer lemon marmalade. I hate orange marmalade, but the Meyer lemon marmalade that Karen made is so delicious. Smooth, not too sweet and so lemony. The lemons were more beautiful than ever. I don't know what makes the skin so silky smooth and that warm, golden color, but these were perfect. Someone walked through my dining room and was wondering what smelled like flowers since there weren't any around. It was the lemons. Thanx Karen!
So, the painting di giorno is "BLOOD ORANGES & MEYER LEMON", 6"x6", oil on linen, $50. framed.SOLD.The bowl in the painting is actually a darker, cobalt blue.
Tomorrow we take Isabella back to Maryland and visit with Krista, Carter, Josie and Angus.
Krista and Carter decided to take Josie to the Baltimore Aquarium for the dolphin show last week. They went in to the arena and got their seats. Krista was talking with Carter and when she turned back to Josie, she (Josie that is) had taken off all of her clothes. Apparently she thought she was going swimming!
I'll leave you with that. Enjoy your weekend.
OK, what have I been doing for the past three weeks since I last posted?...here goes:
Penny's birthday was on the 27th of December. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PENNY -- a wonderful friend of many years.
We went to Georges' for New Year's Eve...it was over the top--veal cheek ravioli topped with sweetbreads--the lobster bisque is back!...we had that too, then shared the cote du boeuf entree.
Danny paired great champagne and wine.
New Year's Day, Flavia, the hen that was attacked by the hawk, laid her first egg since October. It's a sign for a good year.
Then, as is the tradition for I don't know how many years, we went to Rich, Dee and Lillian Mattis' house for brunch..you won't find any better. Just fantastic. I'll spare you the drool, but for instance there was homemade creme brulee french toast. Exactly...oh, and the hand/homemade chocolates they make with caramel and fleur de sel. I'll stop there... well I should mention Verna from Eye Q, shucking oysters and then the champagne. I know I need not say more.
After that Jay Jr. and Celeste came over to finish preparing the pork belly, Gordon Ramsay style...unbelievable, really. Although, Chef Frost also did one with an amazing sauce that could be eaten by itself and make us all happy.
We watched movies after. A great day.
The following week I finally got out to the Art Group meeting at Church of the Savior. We have a group show coming up at the end of March.
Then Tuesday, the book cover design at the Gryphon. I'm going to redo my cover since my hand looks like a foot with an egg on it. It was really fun and helpful.
Jay Sr. met up with us and we went up to Teresa's Next Door with Sean, Matt and Rich. The hot pepper chocolate ice cream was better than usual. My Aunt Jeannie used to make something similar for my Uncle Nickie called "Heaven and Hell".
Saturday, the 6th I took my exhibit at the Gryphon down. I'm just thrilled. I sold 35 plus paintings! Really terrific. I'm still trying to mark all of the sold paintings on this site. I'll get to it.
Sunday I took Danny and Laura to the airport, then took a nap and Jay took "Land for Sale" back up to the Gryphon because a couple came back to buy it. Thank you Lord!
Wednesday I had dinner with Penny and Cine at Georges'. The Veal Osso Bucco was just outstanding, but the lobster bisque cappucino is beyond words. I left early to get Danny and Laura from the airport.
Friday Danny and I had dinner at Susannah Foo's. It was pretty empty, but the food was enjoyable, not amazing.
Jeanie Derek and the kids came for "Christmas" on Saturday...that's right, my decorations are still up. We had a really wonderful day. We took the kids to Pat's Steaks, 9th Street and Termini's Bakery. Since Gabriel wasn't here for his birthday, we got him and Danny their birthday cake and cannolis, etc. What an experience! I love tradition.
We got to keep Isabella for the week since Jeanie had school stuff to do with the boys.
On Sunday, I had an art project for our church's prayer week, so I finished that and played with Isabella.
Monday was Cine Braxton's birthday---HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINE!
I started organizing paintings and the blog.
The rest of the week I've spent playing with Isabella, who is so stinkin' funny and cute. She goes back on Saturday, if we don't convince Jeanie and Derek to let us keep her.
Yesterday and today I painted. I finished one tonight. I'll post it tomorrow.
If I forgot anything...well, if I remember, I'll post it.
Above is a photo of Danny and Isabella at Termini's. Isabella is holding her cupcake in that bag. They must give hundreds away to all of the children. It's a joy to go in there. You can't beat the live music (accordian players) which kids never see anymore. Danny and Isabella, the long and the short of it.
- "Honey Bees and Honeycomb" & "Toad in My Yard"
- Terrific Reception!
- Sneak Peek For the Gryphon Cafe'
- More paintings and YOU Are Invited--December Artis...
- New Paintings for the Holidays
- Getting Ready for the Weekend--Chanticleer Koi #2
- Such a Slacker
- Toad In My Yard--Congratulations to Danny!
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