Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Going places

Going places by 4heidi
Going places, a photo by 4heidi on Flickr.
I painted this at the July Paint Something workshop with Jenni Adkins Horne. I'm keeping this one!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's for dinner?

Cooking is more than necessity for me . . . it's a passion. I specialize in everyday meals with real ingredients, using as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible. My meals lean more toward homemade than store bought, but some pre-made items are time-savers that help round out the table. If I can understand all the ingredients on the label and there isn't much added salt and sugar, then a pre-made item can make my list.

My teenage son had friends coming over, so I needed a large spread. Pork roast tips, potatoes, fruit, and a few left over garden veggies from dinner the night before were available.

From The Yummy Life 

During my search on the web, I found plenty of recipes, but most weren't going to appeal to my family. I've read volumes of cookbooks, prepared countless meals, and tried multiple cuisines--I can taste a recipe when I read it. When I read Carnitas by Monica, I knew that this was soon to be a family favorite. I managed to get the meal on the table 3 hours after starting. Ideally, I would have let the meat spend more time in the oven as directed, but the kids were hungry.

I set up a Taco Bar so that everyone could fill their own tortillas:

  • Shredded Pork
  • Tortillas
  • Tomato Salsa
  • Mango Salsa (Costco)
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Shredded cheese (would have liked to leave this off, but the kids wanted it)
  • Sour cream
  • Black beans
  • Fresh corn cut off the cob (1 ear leftover made a nice little garnish)
Sides included:
  • Fresh Cherries
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Turnip Greens (leftovers from another night, which went to lunch with the hubby,who is the only one who really loves them in our house :-)
The pork turned out beautifully even though I cut the baking time. Next time I'll be more true to the recipe. Also, I'll cook more meat at once and freeze some for future meals. 

Try it and enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pages and Paint Starts Today

Today, I'm starting an online workshop with Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.  Squam is known for its artist retreats. I long to go to one of these soulful weekends where creatives come together to make beautiful things in a tranquil setting. Attending a live Squam is not possible at this very moment, but my desire to connect to creatives and to take a mixed media class is desperate for release.

Lucky me, I'm signed up for Pages & Paint. My month long creative journey is here. Everyday, Sarah will guide us. She'll share her techniques, will offer inspiring prompts and will fostering a community. It's the online version of squam.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Painted Something

A month ago I went to Jenni Horne Studios for the "Paint Something" Workshop. Her technique was perfect for a beginner like me and long time artists loved applying her techniques to a their own work. The weekend was filled with "puffy hearts" (I hear Jenni's voice when see the phrase).

My childhood phone was almost identical!
My first painting was inspired by a Carolina Tar Heal Blue phone with turquoise face. I owned a rotary just like the one I stumbled across in Newnan, Georgia at a vintage shop for toys and odds and ends. How I regret giving up the weight of the receiver, long conversations on the floor with my feet resting up the wall. Nothing to do but be in the moment while on the phone linked to a wall. I abandoned the rotary when cordless digital phones made the old school phone seem like junk. I miss the intimacy of time and space that the phone of my youth had.

Work in Progress

Choosing colors is one of the most important steps for this project. I used my bedspread as the inspiration. The phone in the painting was going to be turquoise, but the background vetoed the choice and called dibs on the blues and greens. The red, in the final, really pops. Funny how art has a mind of its own, if we are brave enough to listen.

I had the advantage of taking two classes back to back, so that when my mind was stuck on one painting, I was able to tweak the other.

My final projects are pictured below. The frames (not fully shown) complete the pieces. The technique and frames feel uniquely Jenni, but I love how they make my work shine. The phone is on my wall and the bug is at my Father-in-law's. He loves it.  I'm proud of my two beginning pieces. I'm looking forward to the next class in July (see the badge on the side to sign up).

"Call Home"
"Hit the road with the top down"