Saturday, November 22, 2014

Restaurant Notes: Puffy Hair and Shitake Kale Rice Bowl

P and I went walking around WAsheville late this afternoon, found some neighborhood treasures, and ended up at King Daddy's for an early dinner.  It seemed to be puffy hair night at KD, except for pony tail man, whose hair was not puffy but was unusually long for the genre.
I had a spectacular rice bowl, perfect for after a chilly walk.  As far as I could tell, these ingredients  combined at home should yield the same results.  There were many, many shitakes, only two smallish stewed tomatoes, an abundance of kale cut into small pieces, a handful of pepitos (pumpkin seeds), and one poached egg.  Perfection!

Friday, November 21, 2014

On the Table at Crit Group

This morning was our monthly critique group.  Here are sketches of some in-progress work, a sketchbook, a work-in-progress built around some eerie readymades.  Always the best conversations, the most honest and essential exchanges.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gratitude for Soups That I Don't Have to Cook

I keep coming across people writing about the things they're grateful for, and I can tell you that at the top of my list is gratitude that  I live in grocery-store-rich Asheville with its endless supply of organic and non-GMO take out.  Yesterday around 5 PM  I went to the new Whole Foods with the lukewarm intention of buying Something to Fix for Dinner.  I didn't have to go any further into the store than the take out refrigerator case, which featured quart-sized containers of in-store-made soups of such wonderfulness that I brought not one but several quarts home, and everybody got to choose which two or three or even four to sample.  And not only that, but 30 different types of Kind bars---

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Plaster Fossils and Tangerines

When my eldest son was in fifth grade, he went camping with his class from McDonogh #16 in New Orleans, and he brought home a plaster raccoon footprint that he had made.  It's a very well-made impression, and thanks to the little piece of wire embedded at the top, it has hung in all of our many  kitchens since 1977.  Tomorrow is Mike's birthday, so I painted his raccoon print for him  to thank him for it and let him know that I think of him every day when I see that funky little print.  At the top right is a second generation animal print-- a bobcat print that Mike's son Tallis made a couple of years ago when he was a cub scout. 

Across the bottom some quick drawings of the tangerines that L brought over tonight for our studio work period. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Big Chunky Old Mostly Rusty Things

Hiking with my friend M today we went into some woods that I haven't walked in for a while.  M is great at finding things-- she's the one who found Owl Man as well as the hidden shelter last spring-- and today she showed me an old chimney that was so beautifully constructed.  All that's left of it is the last four or five feet and part of the fireplace.  We admired the moss garden that lives on the stones, and M found a rusty round lid to something, maybe an old stove burner cover or something to do with this fireplace.  I drew it, topside and flipside.

When I got home I spotted three nice heavy rusty objects that J and I found on our recent trip to the rail yard.  I had put them outside near the carport to rust some more, and it was fun to see them today and remember that trip.  They also reminded me of a many-years-ago trip that three-year-old J and I made one afternoon:  we went out exploring on the UNCA campus, walking around some old tennis courts that had been turned into a parking lot.  We played air tennis for a while, and then J found a rusty thing, some kind of a fastener maybe.  He was very interested in picking up the rusty things, so we made a game of collecting all the rusty things we could find in that place that afternoon.  We found several pocketsful of rusty metal things and brought them all home.  We wondered what these objects were and how they had ended up on the tennis court/parking lot.  J doesn't remember this afternoon, but he still likes to pick up stuff and so do I!  He's the one that encouraged me to bring home these rail yard treasures.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Obsession and Entropy

 While painting today's seedless persimmon purchase,  I took a break and googled seedless persimmons.  Apparently this seedlessness is a complex and misunderstood issue.  I copied down a few quotes from a thread on a persimmon growers' list. 
Meanwhile, down at the end of the road, the pumpkins in the silo are slowly returning to chaos.  Only two are still sitting in their windows, and their faces are scrambling and melting.  They're looking less cute and more like terrified prisoners in a tower.  I have to admit that I still like them.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Amateur Memory Drawing

I never draw out of my head, just can't do it.  This pitiful bird drawing, which looks a lot like a stuffed penguin with an elongated tail, or maybe a fat dove with a strange red tail, is a drawing that I made from memory of an astonishing giant bird that I saw today while walking in downtown Asheville enroute Whole Foods from the Y.  This bird must have been 18" from head to tail.  It zoomed in like a low-flying plane right overhead and landed heavily on a telephone wire very close to where I was standing with my mouth hanging open.  Two small birds were flying near it, but when it landed they took off.  I dug in my bag for a pen but worst luck-- no paper at all to draw on.  I stood there memorizing the shape of the bird.  It was silhouetted against a bright overcast sky, so it looked dark gray but with white belly.  After a few minutes it took off, and I saw its reddish brown tail.  The tail was blunt and not tapered or swallowtaily.  I saw the bird dive down between a house across the street and a garage, but I couldn't see what was going on.
I looked up giant gray-black raptors with reddish tails in NC on my phone right away, and I think this thing was a red-tailed hawk.  When I got home I painted from memory the painting on the other page (as well as the flying version, which was so surprising with that bright red tail).  Then I copied a red-tailed hawk from the web page, only I adjusted the illustration to reflect what I actually saw.  According to the page the grey-black top part can have white spots and streaks, but I didn't see any.  I hadn't even noticed the yellow feet and beak, but I believe that was what color they were.  At any rate, there was no other raptor on the web page that remotely looked like the bird I saw.  The real identifying feature for me was the red top side of the tail.

The little orangey moons are some that I carved earlier today for an book that I'm working on.