Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This past weekend another kind of feeding occurred. Not only were there plenty of opportunities to eat fantastic food at the wedding festivities we attended in Washington DC, but the galleries called......and I answered.
I'm not quite sure how I managed to see three galleries in the space of 48 hours between lavish celebrations and family connecting, but it felt too good to miss. My brother Greg and I took off for the East Wing of the National Gallery as soon as we had settled in. It was my second visit to the fantastic space designed by Pei, with a huge majestic Calder mobile gently moving above, that pays homage to the truly wonderful modern work within. It was like feasting at a never ending banquet.
Saturday morning was a visit to the Phillips Collection with my mother. Again, my favorite period of work, mid-20th century, was there in abundance. I was definitely getting full!
Finally, Sunday afternoon just before heading to the airport, Chris and I stopped in the fascinating Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian. Their invitational show featured four contemporary artists whose originality and wit made me laugh and filled me with awe. (Just imagine a guy who knits body suits for superheros, then sits and knits while wearing his outfits as part of performance art!)
Home again, I am inspired, hopefully not too much slowed down by all the imbibing over the weekend. Experiencing new tastes seems to be so good for the soul!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
(These colors are much brighter than in reality...I haven't been able to get it right with my camera, always a frustration.)
So the next steps will be adding final layers of paint, then playing with their positions to help them compliment one another. The possibilities are endless. Maybe the piece will end up being an interactive one, where viewers can move them as they want to. On second thought, maybe not! I'm not sure I'm willing to relinquish that much control.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Last month I received a commission to design a tattoo for a mother with two children: Ivy and Pumpkin. Normally I don't do this kind of thing, but she offered a good price and I figured it is pretty much like designing a logo, which I do from time to time. Here is the result:
Blacked-in drawing digitally inverted.
This is one version of the tattoo. A second version is a composite of the line and the filled version, as seen below.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Last Saturday was a quiet, rainy day. Rain meant no farmers’ market for me.
It was a perfect day to work on the unfinished painting waiting on the easel in my studio. When I saw our six tree orchard in the painting I wondered if our apples were ripe. From previous owners I knew the orchard had been a source of apples at least since the 1940’s when growing fruit and vegetables was a patriot effort. I walked to the orchard in the rain and came home with a basket filled with fragrant fresh apples from the old trees.
What could be more fitting, then, than to look for a recipe in the 1930 edition of the Chicago Daily News Cook Book that had belonged to my mother-in-law?
In the section titled Cakes and Cookies I found a recipe handwritten on grease stained piece of brown paper. Although, I had been planning to make an apple pie this very short recipe titled “Crumb Cake with Fruit” was intriguing. It read, “Use fingers to mix together one and a half cups flour, half a cup sugar, half a cup butter, and a pinch salt. Add spice. Save three-quarters cup of crumbs. Put rest into bottom of pan. Put sweetened fruit on top. Sprinkle rest of crumbs around. Bake until golden.”
Pretty simple. But how big a pan, how long should it bake and at what temperature? I would have to fill in the details. Here's how I did it.
Apple Crumb Cake
Although it was called a cake, with four cups of fruit it seemed more like a pie, so I decided to bake it at pie temperature - 425 degrees.
As suggested I used my fingers to combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the mixture looked like coarse sand. For the spice, I added half a teaspoon of ground cardamom.
I reserved three-quarters of a cup of the crumbs and pressed the remainder into the bottom of a nine-inch spring form pan. I peeled and sliced four cups of apples and stirred in half a cup of sugar. I put the fruit on top of the crumb layer and sprinkled the reserved crumbs on to the fruit. I put the pan on a cookie sheet to catch any drips, put the cake in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes and, hearing the oil paints calling, headed to my studio.
Five minutes later the house suddenly went dark and quiet. We had no electricity. It was too dark to paint and the cake was in an electric oven with no power. What to do? I decided to leave home, at least for a few hours and deal with the cake later.
When I returned, the electricity had come on. I opened the cold oven and saw the pale, unbaked cake. Rather than declaring defeat and putting the cake in the compost, I turned the oven back on, set the timer for 45 minutes and waited. When the timer buzzed, the cake was golden brown, bubbling with juice, and the scent of apples and cardamom filled the kitchen. Amazing – a cake that’s dependable even when the electricity isn’t.
I don’t recommend interrupting a baking cycle for four hours. I do, however, recommend this simple fruit cake. It is easier to make than pie and requires no special equipment. Served warm, with a bit of ice cream it’s perfect for dessert.
It can also serve as the centerpiece of a Yankee breakfast if you agree with this definition of a Yankee. To a foreigner, a Yankee is an American, to an American, a Yankee is a northerner, to a northerner, a Yankee is somebody from New England, to a New Englander, a Yankee is somebody from Vermont, and to a Vermonter, a Yankee is somebody who eats apple pie for breakfast.
You’re in for a treat whether you serve this cake as breakfast or dessert.
note: The oil painting at the top is not the unfinished landscape I planned to work on. I haven't gotten back to that one since the power failure..
- Carol Egbert
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I have painted pears, apples, lemons and peaches, landscapes, still life, dogs and fish, common subjects for many painters. I have also painted less common subjects - jelly shoes, umbrellas, hairdryers and blenders. I'm not sure how to list turnips - common or uncommon, but I can list it as soon to be appearing in a magazine.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Cynthia Emerlye: I cut this large mandala a few nights ago and photographed it this morning. It is a somewhat dreary day so I just set it below a window and figured I would photoshop it into shape later.
When I saw the result, I was intrigued. Hmmm. Blue! The blue tint the dim light gave to this is interesting. So I scanned it into Photoshop and replaced the blue with white, then red, then green just to see what it would look like. This opens up new possibilities. I may fool around with this technique in the future.