Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Daze

I'm really not a "summer" person and dislike those hot days that leave me depleted and seemingly in a "daze."  With that said, I have no excuses for allowing my blog to lapse into neverland.  So I'll "summerize" the highlights of my summer thus far.  I made this Romanian Apple Cake apple cake for my daughter-in-law's July birthday.  Everyone loved it and my son asked that I make the same cake for his August birthday.

Another summer high was a visit to Sonoma, California.  I fell in love with this area noted for its vineyards, wineries and quaint downtown area of art galleries and boutiques.  To top it off, we had an amazing lunch at "The Girl and The Fig."  A very nice day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mothers Day and May Blooms

"A single rose, given by one to another . . . a single rose, be it a friend, sister, or mother."

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers, grandmothers and caregivers.

I love irises, especially this one bundled in nature's tissue paper!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stippling Technique

I enjoy experimenting with different techniques using ink. Here is my first attempt at "stippling" using a black Micron 08 pen. First I drew an almost invisible outline of the shells using an 4H pencil --- then I made small short periods and flecks with the pen point to produce the form and softly graded shadows. A really fun technique.

Here's a photo of the still life shell arrangement I used.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Joseph's Day

Did you know that St. Patrick's Day preceds another commemorative feast --- that of St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus on March 19. This day has been celebrated and revered by Sicilian Italians for centuries. Legend says that during the middle ages, Sicily was plagued by periods of severe famine and drought. Through prayer and petition to St. Joseph, rivers and streams suddenly sprang from the ground and vegetation became abundant on the island. As a gesture of thanksgiving to this great saint, the Sicilians promised to honor St. Joseph every year on the marked day of this miracle.
Generations since continue to honor St. Joseph by creating elaborate altars adorned with Italian breads, fig cookies and meatless pasta dishes (usually distrbuted to the poor). The festive celebration was introduced by Sicilian-Italian immigrants and continues to be an annual tradition in New Orleans and neighboring cities in Louisiana, my native state.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Under the Tuscan Sun

I must confess . . . I never tire of viewing this film, adapted from Frances Mayes' book about her life in Italy. "Under the Tuscan Sun" never fails to restore my spirit and evoke memories of my 2001 journey to Italy and the magical Amalfi coast.

These sunflowers remind me of those in the blue vase on Frances' writing desk in the film. I'll attempt to capture these amazing colors using Prismacolor NuPastels in complements of blue, yellow, gold and green. !

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts of Watercolor!

The American Heart Association devotes February as "Heart Health" month. Be sure to take care of your hearts!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Mourners

2011 marked the end of a challenging year. In late December I visited the Legion of Honor to view "The Mourners," an exhibit of 56 carved marble figures of grieving monks from the Dukes of Burgundy tombs. Pictured are just two of the figures, one seemingly lost in thought or prayer and the other weeping.

Mourning is a collective experience, common to all people and all moments in history. Ironically, the first week of the 2012 new year, I too, became part of the mourning procession as my step mother, who was two weeks away from her 90th birthday, passed on from this earth.