Saturday, April 30, 2016

Garden and Farm Walk

Someone asked me how I would ever find 500 more things to draw by June 15.  This afternoon 's walk through woods, college garden, greenhouses, and farm is my answer.  There is never enough time to draw this stuff!  A ceramic man's head filled with oyster shells and tiny sedum plants, mysterious pods, a greenhouse with long rows of last season's kale plants looking like eerie palm trees in the milky light, ducks, chickens, a milk cow in a little pasture with a few sheep (who have finally been shorn but are already loading up again).

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fagioli in Fiasco!

Several years ago I spent two summers in a little Tuscan village.  One of my favorite foods there was something called    
fagioli in fiasco-- an impossibly wonderful olive oily subtly flavored dish that featured plain white beans.  I looked up the recipe in an italian cookbook but it involved putting the beans and water and oil in a clay flask in the ashes of a fireplace for many hours.  I couldn't find a clay flask, and I eventually gave up on it.

Then last weekend B and L came over with a sack of dried fava beans and dumped them in a pot of water and simmered them for an hour with some olive oil and a little tamari--And made fagioli in fiasco!  

So today I found fresh fava beans in Greenlife, and herein you will find this ancient and stupendous comfort food recipe!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Clay Sketches

Inspired by Adelaide Hall's crocheted figures, I sketched a few more.  They made themselves in a way.
I started to notice similarities to Egyptian tomb figurines, among other small figures.
I am extremely drawn to these things but not at all sure why.
And below this one is the one I did a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Egyptian Walking Onion Arabesques

My Egyptian walking onions are doing this bursting out movement that looks like someone dancing inside of a silk bag.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wildflowers NOT on Jones Mountain

I drew in the UNCA botanical gardens this afternoon-- only plants that I haven't spotted on the trails on campus where I usually walk.
Many of these are very rough, quickly noted and with colors spotted in later.  Just field notes.  The yellow lady's slipper was breathtaking.

Monday, April 25, 2016

On Reaching 7000

Today I direct carved rubber blocks referring to some of last week's cows and steers.  On the right are three proofs, with the best one at the bottom.
A big calf nursing while his mother grooms his rump.
Very much like this frowny curly- headed calf.
And this contented one.
I went out to the woods for the rest of today's drawings, and decided to find something really spectacular for #7000;  but the first thing that grabbed my eye was a small patch of showy Orchis, never seen before on this trail!
I finished up with a tiny white violet and another of the showy orchises.  When I walked into our driveway I spied Jesse lounging in the window of P's study.  A good finish to this little book!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Woodland Stonecrop, Putty Root, Trillium , and Jack-in-the Pulpit

I'm stuck in the groove of these wild flowers!  Today we hiked up high with friends and found many more showy orchises, plus deep maroon wake-robin trillium,  and even one little jack-in-the-pulpit.
There were banks of wild iris, putty root leaves still lingering from their winter growing season, and bunches of woodland stonecrop.
Back at the house we were trying to make mourning dove calls (don't ask-) and I succeeded pretty well using this clay ocarina. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Showy Orchis!

Our prize sighting on Jones Mountain this afternoon:  a single showy orchis (6984), very hard to spot, singularly beautiful.  We didn't actually see putty root blooms, still only the odd striped papery single winter leaves;  but I drew it twice to remind myself of what it will look like if we happen to spot it in May.

Friday, April 22, 2016

You Will Love Green Vegetable Minestrone

I found a recipe in the Fifth Anniversary of Paleo on page 102.  I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand and even several growing in my little orto.  It took about an hour of slaving away in the kitchen but it was worth every minute!  I changed a couple of the ingrefients but it was a truly magnificent soup.

Read on if you want to try it:  first chop up a pound of chicken thighs and saute them in about a tablespoon of coconut oil.  Grind a little black pepper over them.
2.  Make pesto by pulsing in a blender or food processor a clove of garlis, 3/4 cup packed of fresh mint leaves,1/4 cup raw almonds, 1-1/2 cup baby arugula leaves, amd the juice of a lemon.  After all this is roughly chopped pour in 1/3 cup olive oil and pulse till the consistency is pestoey.
3.  In a large pot saute in 2 T of coconut oil the following: one medium yellow onion chopped, 2 chopped stalks of celery, 2 chopped up medium yellow squashes (the real recope says to use zucchinies), a medium fennel bulb that is thinly sliced, 3 cloves garlic minced, 3-4 cups packed thinly chopped kale, and a cup of frozen french cut green beans (or frozen green peas in the real recipe.
4.  After 6 minutes, add 4 cups organic chicken broth and the chicken that has been sauteeing.  
5.  Serve and add about 1/3 cup of the
 pesto   to each bowl.  Four generous and very filling servings.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Starring Yellow Celandine in the Front Yard

A few years ago I saw some yellow celandine in the herb garden at The Cloisters and I overheard a docent say that the golden sap of this plant was used as a substitute for gold in manuscripts sometimes.  I searched for the plant in nurseries and botanical gardens for weeks after I got home.  Then one day I realized it grows wild in our front garden!  

I broke a leaf stem for the yellow sap to paint this drawing of one of the blooms.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

More Blood Oranges, Dates, a Late Evening Bunny

Dates and blood orange segments at book club.  Then P and I took a late twilight walk up Jones Mountain to see the field of may apples near a dried up ephemeral pond.  We startled a large bunny, who stood still long enough for a quick sketch and then disappeared behind his enormous white tail into the woods.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tuscan Blood Oranges

M and I walked the west river trail this morning--little steers, a hay truck, the last of the trout lilies,
a cluster of bellworts.  And this afternoon Maya and I found blood oranges at WF, reminded me of the first time I saw them in a market in a village in Tuscany.  We squeezed a few of them for the wine red juice.  No fruit compares.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The REAL Business of Flowers

The tulips are languidly disrobing and getting down to the business of seed production.  Ditto the wild onion flowers, only not with such a trumpet voluntary--

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Urban Sketching

P and I went down to tiny Brevard, NC, this afternoon to do a sketch crawl with the Urban Sketchers group from BPAC.  I spent an hour standing on a corner on Main Street drawing this old building. My first attraction was the series of curved-top upstairs windows.  I found myself  
quickly lost in the details of the side of the building along the alley. Someone inside the building laughed maniacally the entire time I was there. I began imagining a raucous game of solitaire  being played, a hilarious telephone conversation, a fantastic novel being read. What could make someone laugh that much??

Later I went into the hardware store and quickly sketched these six onion sets!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Crit Group/Cow Gestures

M brought her new puppy to crit group this morning.
Crit Group essential as always, bread.
Our group has been meeting once a month for nearly ten years.  The same artists, amazing.
This afternoon I walked down through the woods to the big pasture where the cows and their babies are enjoying life.  Finally I was able to get some babies nursing and mothers grooming babies and even
this baby (6914) grooming itself!  Tomorrow I will carve some of these!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Barefoot Fun on the Barefoot Trail

From the left, a perfect preying mantis egg case in the old apple orchard, honeysuckle-like buds and then flowers on a small tree, a twirling tendril on a spikey vine, and a may apple bud on a tall may apple plant.
Higher up near the top of Jones Mountain I saw my first bloodroot bud.   Having done all these drawings on the way up, I put my sketchbook snd pen in my back pocket and came down the mountain on the wild switchbacks of the Barefoot Trail.  I whipped off my shoes and enjoyed the soft leaf litter, the tickly pine needles, the cool clay, and the sublime foot massage afforded by the roots of trees and occasional flat stones and mossy patches of the trail. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cola Pen

At Book & Print Art Collective tonight, A taught us how to make pens out of aluminum cans. This is right up my alley!
We fiddled around with the basic directions and made various models.  These things make beautiful lines.  
I did NOT use mine to draw with tonight as my strokes are very primative at this point. A said these pens are the anti-Christ of calligraphy.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Urban Trail Spring

Seen along the trail that skirts Montford along Broadway:  some kind of wild onion or garlic flower,  a faux honeysuckle that has no smell--
light green maple keys, a wild pea with crimson flowers, miniature maple key-like things, a clover-smelling white flower on a small tree, and another go at that pretty onion or garlic bloom.  There was also a guy on a bike wearing a staff tee shirt from a gym who was yelling obscenities to no one in particular.  I thought he must be on blue tooth but then he stopped a little ahead of me and looked at me and kept yelling. He said "You'd better thank god I'm not talking to you!" And I said , "I do."  He pedaled off and then a guy on foot met up with him and calmed him down and they walked off together.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Canoeing and Flute Playing Hands

M and I took the canoe out in blustery wind this morning. It took a lot of effort to paddle against the wind and the current, but we made it to a quiet backwater and enjoyed a boat picnic surrounded by red winged blackbirds and spent cattails.
On the bottom right are some mew cattail leaves emerging.
The view across the lake from within the sheltered backwater.
M in her great straw pith helmet, and then on the rigjt Maya's hand on her flute.
It's tricky to draw flute-playing hamds!
While Maya top -coated some air-dried clay flowers that she made last week, I did this clay sketch after Adelaid V. Hall's figures.  Moving into a new Charlotte-like assemblage maybe--

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Basketball Girl/Beauty Queen

In the Rules for Girls book that I'm editioning these days I've added a figure to illustrate the 1929 event in which a beauty contest was patched onto an AAU tournament.  She will be printed behind a red curtain.
To get there I carved a new girl, used a uniform from one of the other girls,?and carved a beauty crown.
Meanwhile Jesse ambled over to my other drawing table chair and rediscovered his recently-spurned fleece.
Nice to watch him sleep on it again.  We brought it to the boarding kennel the last time he stayed there, and I forgot to bring it home. When I went back the next day to get it they had cleaned it, and he thoroughly rejected it.
It has taken a month of me sitting on it and him assiduously avoiding it until now.  
It must smell right again because he is as attached to it as ever and slept on it all afternoon.