Gray Skies, Carrots, and Lemons

Gray Skies, Carrots, and Lemons

It’s a dark and stormy day in Portland today. Surprising, huh?  I have to tell you, Oregon in February and March can be pretty grueling for this Southern Californian. While these winter days are cozy in my studio, I'm getting ready for some sunshine.

Here's a little bright spot. February is the month of CARROTS, according to my 2017 Vegetable Calendar, at least. 

12"x 12"
oil on 1" cradled panel
Click here to purchase
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed recipes and purchased a 2017 calendar. I’m pleased to announce I sold out—and am starting to plan the 2018 edition. More to come on that soon!

In the meantime, I’d love to share this month’s recipe and story with you. 

The recipe comes from my friend Pamela Dussault’s cookbook. It’s a collection of all the recipes she’s created in her catering business, Almatierra Catering. When a big group of us gathered on the beach for a February retreat year after year, Pamela always made our meals. As we bustled in from cold sunset walks, we’d find the table set with bright tablecloth, glowing candles, fresh cedar boughs. Pamela pulled fresh, golden loaves of bread from the oven and hurried them to the table with potholders on her hands. She’d glance to make sure everything was there—and then play guitar nearby as we ate. Her artful soul showed in everything she made—whether art, music or food. Warm, nourishing stews, curries, soups. But, oh, the nights when she brought out this salad. So simple, so complex. The bite of vinegar; the sweet, crunchy carrot; salty seaweed; woody sesame… Whenever I make it, I can taste love. 

- Madeleine Eno, www.inthewriteplace

Carrot Hijiki Salad

6-8 large carrots, grated
¼ cup hijiki, soaked (Find hijiki, a sea veggie, in health food or Asian food stores)

1 T. rice vinegar
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
½ tsp. crushed garlic
1 T hot Thai garlic sauce
1 T toasted sesame seeds

Soak hijiki in hot water until soft or bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let set until cool.
Combine dressing ingredients. Pour over veggies and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 



Conquering fear of the “blank panel”

Today, I want to use a current commission I’m working on to teach you a fear-conquering trick. This is a big panel, measuring 70 x 40 inches. It’s a commissioned painting – a fun one—of three big lemons that I'm painting for client’s large dining room.

I’m using water-soluble oil paint and a cradled panel. Now, it can be intimidating to start in on such a big project, so here’s what I did to make the process a little easier. 

First, I made a grid on the panel.

Then I projected the lemons onto the panel. That way I could make a decision about where to place them. 

Next, I sprayed water on the panel, then proceeded with a very watered-down version of the color.  I then painted my shapes with a two-inch brush.

I found this Speedy-Carve by Speedball, and use it to spread my paint around. 

This pink eraser-like material is designed for block printing, but I love it for painting. It's pliable and moveable, and I can easily move it around the shapes.

With paper towels, I then removed some of the paint, especially on the lemons. That way I can quickly get a basic value study for the work. 
The Speedy-Carve presents some lovely, interesting shapes that I can work with as I continue. 

Working this way is not so intimidating as just diving in and painting on a blank panel. 

Stay tuned for more lessons as I work on this project!

Listening to while I paint:


Building a Story Brand, hosted by Donald Miller
American's Test Kitchen, hosted by Bridget Lancaster
Online Marketing Made Easy, hosted by Amy Porterfield
Beyond the To-Do List, hosted by Erik Fisher
Artists Helping Artists, hosted by Leslie Saeta
Social Media Examiner, hosted by Michael Stelzner
Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Online Marketing Made Easy, hosted by Amy Porterfield
Pack Your Mics, Top Chef 


My iPod
Pandora - Music makes a difference on these dreary days! Spending time alone, I need upbeat, happy songs, like "Thanksgiving Radio", "Bing Crosby Radio", "Maroon 5 Radio", "Stevie Wonder Radio"...

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