333 Posts--Confetti Aubergines Finished | Thursday, April 29, 2010Aubergines and Sparkling Tasting | Tuesday, April 27, 2010Golden Beets and Tomato Sandwich | Thursday, April 22, 2010A Tribute to Alice Waters--Golden Beets | Wednesday, April 21, 2010Gnocchi Party and Heirloom Seedlings | Tuesday, April 20, 2010We Three French | Saturday, April 17, 2010Heirloom Seeds Sprouting and Millions Against Monsanto | Thursday, April 15, 2010Chanticleer Koi and Staying Busy | Tuesday, April 13, 2010Seeds the New Eggs | Wednesday, April 7, 2010San Francisco | Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We went to San Francisco with all of the kids on Sunday the 14th of March. I was tired and pretty cranky and felt like I was losing the kids because of all of the people. It was a beautiful day and really mobbed. We had lunch in the big market at Taylor's. It was great. I was getting napkins for 7 people, four of them kids and a middle-aged woman in a biking outfit came up to me and asked me "what the heck are you doing"? If I hadn't been so tired, I would have told her,"certainly not minding your business", but sadly my snappy comeback didn't occur to me until I sat down at our table. We ate outside and it was just delightful after leaving the weather here. After that we went to the Golden Gate Park playground, which was great, hence the photo for today. It's a cement slide, so the kids use a piece of cardboard to sit on. Sand helps to keep it slippery. Obviously, Josie loved it. After that we went to the botanical garden, just amazing as you can see by the other photo of Krista and Jeanie. At the end of the day we went to a Chinese Restaurant, very authentic and the food was terrific. We worked in the shed again today, assembling shelves and organizing stuff as we put it back. Then I started taking apart the old chicken pens, so far just some of the bamboo fencing. The heat just knocked it out of me, so I'm ready for bed. 'Nite.Happy 5th Birthday Isabella! | Monday, April 5, 2010HAPPY EASTER! | Saturday, April 3, 2010
This is my 333rd post. I finished the eggplants tonight. The two days of drying time was perfect. It's supposed to be 82 degrees tomorrow, so I'm excited about planting more veggies in the straw bales. I'm over anxious to get the garden in. Last night my friend Sue Silenzi and I had dinner at Georges'. It was good. Today I met my friend Kristin at The Coventry Tea Room to hand over Bryce's painting of lemons. That kid is amazing. The food there was good also. I have to get her down here and take her to a Taste of Britain. Here is "Confetti Aubergines", 10"x8", oil on linen, $250., framed. I'm finished for tonight. Gotta go. Sleep well.
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Saturday I went to the Upper Merion Farmer's Market, Meet the Farmers event. I was disappointed with only two real organic farmers, but hopefully they'll be more when the official opening happens. After that I went to The Wayne Art Center and renewed my membership and ran a few more errands, went home and had sushi. I spent the rest of the evening researching local art groups and joining. Sunday we went to Maryland because Jeanie and the kids came home for a couple of days. We all met at Krista's. It was so good to hug, kiss and squeeze them. The ride home was brutal, but worth it. Yesterday Danny bought 5 bottles of sparkling wine, two of which were French Champagne. He set up a blind tasting for us. I got the two bottles of French Champagne correct, but Jay Sr. and Jr. did better than me. It was really fun. I started the painting of Confetti Aubergines that I got at Whole Foods, but they're pretty challenging. The image is of them is about half way finished. Hopefully the painting will be completed tomorrow. Sleep tight.
My mouth is burning like crazy. I just had a tomato sandwich with hot peppers. We had some fresh, organic tomatoes from Whole Foods and I couldn't resist. I just couldn't wait for two or more months to get some from the garden. These tomatoes were very good and the peppers were dried and fried. Really crispy and hot, hot, hot.
Another painting of the beets tonight. Some of the leaf detail has been lost in glare, but I think you get the general idea. Jay and I did more cleaning out today. All of the overhead wire is off of the old chicken pen and in the dumpster.
The fox was around today at 2:30 p.m., yelling about something...probably the rabies that's taking over it's nervous system.
Karen, the lemons arrived today. THANK YOU!
Excellent news, Lemon Ladies made it on the Today Show as one of 15 great gifts to give for Mother's Day. So exciting. Congratulations Karen!
"Golden Beets", oil on linen, 10"x10" $250., framed. Sold
Now that the painting I showed you last night is finished, let me tell you about it. When I was in California about a month ago. We went to Alice Waters' restaurant, Chez Panisse. It was worth the lifetime wait. I've been a fan of hers since I was a young woman. I believe she's about five years my senior. We have a lot in common, but $ isn't one of them and I don't possess the amazingly sharp palate that she does. Still, I do have an adventurous palate and love making and eating interesting and good food. I've always had or helped with our vegetable garden, it's always been organic, what we didn't raise ourselves, my father taught me to buy in season-- our meat, dairy, bread, eggs, etc. from local farmers. We went to a family in Conshohocken for our tomato pies and oregano bread on Sundays, another family made our hot and sweet Italian sausages. Sam Bono from Phoenixville, raised and processed the rabbits, pheasants, chickens and turkeys for us. My brother Danny and his late wife Shirley, raised organic, polled Herefords back in the 1970s. So we were pretty much covered.
Back to Chez Panisse--we had a salad that included golden beets. It was sublime. Visually lovely and the taste just perfect. The dressing was smooth, creamy and subtle over the fresh, beautiful golden beets and greens, along with the rest of the salad. A relatively simple, delicious salad, yet it inspired the painting above of golden beets. Thank you Alice!
"A Tribute to Alice Waters--Golden Beets", oil on linen, 10"x10", $250., framed. SOLD
Tonight I'm posting the first go at my new painting. It's of beets and these to me are the most beautiful. It's larger than usual for a daily painting, 10"x10", so I didn't finish it yet. I thought it would be good to post it before I finish forming the beets themselves and the rest of the details. The glare on the left, hopefully won't be included in the next post.
Since I didn't get to sleep until 5am this morning. I'll keep this short and say goodnight.
Here it is almost 3 am and I'm finally getting around to doing this. I'm trying to post my painting but having trouble with blogger. I'll try again. Busy day varnishing the chicken painting and doing the new one, "Heirloom Beans--Seedlings", 6"x6", oil on board, $75., framed. SOLD. This'll probably be it for the bean paintings until we actually get some beans. Maybe not. We went to the Picasso exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art yesterday--well actually Sunday now. It was wonderful and frustrating at the same time. Really crowded, which is inevitable, but my biggest gripe is the number of paintings that were not by Picasso. I didn't mind a few by his two closest friends, but really it's a Picasso exhibit. There were more than enough of his works for a full exhibit. It's just too much stimulation and unnecessary intensity. I started to zone out, lose focus and then the crowd started to get on my last nerve so I left before seeing all of it. I experienced the same thing with the Dali exhibit. It was way too warm and uncomfortable. The best part was the inspiration and excitement. I have a much better understanding of Cubism now. I am happy that I went. The hen that was mangled by the fox a little over a week ago appears to be recovering. She ate and drank on her own today and actually stood up and moved around for the first time since the attack. It's tough force feeding and keeping a chicken hydrated for that long. I'm thrilled she's going to make it. I made a new friend today. His name is Chuck. He was a little shy, but I gave him some nice steak and champagne and surprisingly he kissed me. He's a Cane Corso. Dave Bragg is fostering him and brought him here for us to see. Wonderful dog and beautiful breed. I really need to get to bed. Hopefully I'll have a painting to post for tonight.
I know I rarely post on Saturdays, but I wanted to get this painting up right away. "We Three French", oil, 8"x 10", framed, commissioned, nfs. This original painting looks much better than this image. It's lacking some contrast and clarity. Started another bean painting today. Really chilly all day. I think I have PTSD from this winter. I saw some cherry blossoms flying around outside and thought it was snow! Tomorrow I'm hoping to see the Picasso exhibit at the PMA. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
So here are the bean seeds sprouting. I find them to be beautiful and kind of reptilian in their patterns. I love reptiles too. "Heirloom Seeds--Sprouting", 6"x6", oil on board, $75. Danny and I drove down to Roxborough today to get the organic grains that I feed to the chickens and rabbits. Even though the rabbits no longer live here, my friend Alison has them and I provide the feed for them. Anyway, it's a nice ride via the Harts Lane detour. Great little houses along the way. I watched the GMO Trilogy today. It's really upsetting. Made me want to cry for the situation that our farmer's are in. How in the world did we ever let it get this way. Even certified organic farmers in Canada are affected because their neighbors that do plant GMO seeds have plants that blow onto the organic farms and pollute their land by way of GMO seeds that germinate and grow. Now the organic farms are totally polluted and those farmers are screwed, big time. They usually have to go out of business after the huge expense and all of the work that it takes to become certified. How heartbreaking. Speaking of gardening--'cause we don't have enough land to consider it farming--the boys started turning the soil in the garden today. It's supposed to rain for the next couple of days, so it looks like we're going to roto-till on Monday. The wounded hen is still alive, but not eating or drinking. I keep dipping her beak in water and am giving her supplements, I feel so sorry for her. I examined her today for the first time because it was obvious that she was in pain. She's moving around a little, so I took a look. She has a big chunk out of her back, but it appears to be healing. I'm reading "Villa Incognito" and it is so on my nerves, but every once in a while he (Tom Robbins, the author) makes sense, or I start to understand his writing and I laugh. I read "The Help" before the Robbins book and really liked it. Anyone need eggs or have good egg recipes? The girls are laying up a storm and I stopped selling them before I went to CA. I had one for dinner tonight. They're really good. That's all for now. 'Nite.
I'm really enjoying this series of the heirloom beans. Tonight's painting is of the seeds as they break the soil and emerge. "Heirloom Beans--Emerging", 6"x6", oil on board, $75. framed. I worked outside again today. It was beautiful. As an experiment, I'm doing a few straw-bales as the base for some of my vegetables this year. The spot where we have the garden is surrounded by big trees, two maples and a mulberry. The snow knocked down the mulberry tree, so we'll get more sun, but all of the tree roots are really invasive, so I'm excited to try this. The mulberry tree is OK and I'm happy it's down, because now I'll be able to reach the berries to pick them. Today is day 1 of manuring and watering the bale. More tomorrow. 'Nite.
I went to Maryland on Thursday night so I could be at Josie's Grandparent's Day on Friday morning. Mary Charlotte and I went together. It was so much fun. Great school.
Friday night was the reception at Church of the Saviour for our art group. We had a nice turn out and as usual, Jay played the piano. We went to Georges' afterwards for some dinner.
On Saturday I sat at church for a couple of hours to babysit the art work and greet anyone that came to see it. We had dinner at the Mainland Inn after that. It was really good.
Sunday morning a mangy fox came and took three of my chickens and one is still hanging on. She stood up today but is pretty thin. This all happened in broad daylight. I'm pretty certain that it's rabid.
Sunday was also baby Alexander's christening. He's my second cousin--Larry and Marilena's son. Such a precious little boy. The affair was so nice. Very special.
I worked outside all day yesterday and last night finished two paintings. I was so sore and had an awful headache so I went to bed early.
Today I started a commissioned painting for the mother of a dear friend. It's of chickens. I'll post it when it's finished.
The painting above is titled "Chanticleer Koi", 36"x30", oil on Belgian linen. $1500. framed. Sold, than you Kristin and John.
I showed it at the church art show. I was pleased that I received so many positive comments.
That's it for now. 'Nite.
I really dislike the heat. The older I get, the more it bothers me. I say that after the high today of about, or at 90 degrees. That's crazy for the beginning of April. I said I wouldn't go outside to work today, but I got up early enough to do just that. The joy I felt at witnessing the new life bursting forth so soon in the season and with such power, was exhilarating. It was almost like seeing it in time-lapse photography. Sort of like the energy coursing through everything around me, was also including me. Must have been the gratitude I was experiencing due to the very miserable winter. After I returned from California, I started a painting of heirloom bean seeds. Jay Jr. posted on Facebook "Seeds the New Eggs", because of the painting and my excitement with the seeds. It was an inside joke, but thought provoking. There certainly is a strong connection between seeds and eggs. Maybe I'll paint some more. Tonight's image, "Heirloom Beans--Before", 6"x6", oil on gessobord, $75. framed. Sold.
How about this weather? I leave for California and there's snow on the ground and the weather is so mizzy. I flew out with Krista and Josie and arrived in California and it was spring there. So beautiful and just what I needed. Jeanie and I got some walking in, I planted her beans, watermelon and pumpkins. We made Isabella's birthday, princess cupcakes, which took days! What a great mother Jeanie is. So devoted to her kids. March has four birthdays for our immediate family. Isabella's is on the 16th, Krista's is on the 22nd, Jay Sr.'s is on the 26th and Jeanie's is on the 31st. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all. I love you. The weekend before this last one I made Jay's birthday dinner. It really was a tribute to Ernestine, because it was all of the foods that she used to make for him when she was alive and able. I just remembered that today is her birthday. Happy Birthday Ernestine, I really miss you. Anyway, Jay Jr. and I fried chicken, hush puppies and oysters. We also made buttermilk gravy, potato salad, shad roe and I made a German Chocolate cake for dessert. I forgot to cook the asparagus. Bailey Hale and the Murrays came by to celebrate with us. It was a good time. I'll add more tomorrow. We cleared out the shed today and I'm wiped out. I've got the windows open in the bedroom. Sleep tight.
There's so much to tell you about my trip to California, but it's just going to have to wait. I wanted to get this painting posted for your Easter greeting. Have a very happy one. I have an art show next weekend at Church of the Savior on North Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA The reception starts on Friday evening at 7PM and continues all weekend. Please come out. It would be wonderful to see you. "Chocolate Hen and Kristin's Marans Eggs", 7"x5", oil on gessobord, nfs.
- "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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