All the Fruit That’s Fit to Tart!


Or, all the fruit that fits in the tart…?

Tonight was supposed to be our last night of the 8 week still life class, so Silivina gave us the challenge of doing multiple fruits. Bonus!  We each had our own tart to work from and we got to bring them home with us!

This leaves a lot to be desired, but I actually had a few moments of excitement when I worked on the blackberries and the blueberries and felt like I managed an effect I liked.

I still need to LOOSEN UP and not try to go for such definite lines..or something.


All the paintings so far. I missed one week, so there are only seven. I like the leeks and the lemons the best.

Like I said, it was supposed to be an 8-week class, but we workshop members are not ready to stop, so we’re going on through October at least.

Happy Plate


Today I finally took the leap and tried one of the many tofu scramble recipes out there.  This is from The Happy Herbivore Light & Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon.  I don’t know what took me so long!  This was super simple. Didn’t even press the tofu, just crumbled it. This time I’m enjoying it plain with fresh avocado, heirloom tomatoes and TJ’s European Style Whole Grain Bread (which is like tender whole grains miraculously held together in a toast-able slice. Mmm.)

Funny, my friend BMill and I just yesterday confessed to each other our mutual passion for a broad supply of spices. It was great to have cumin and tumeric in the cupboard when I needed it this morning. That wouldn’t have been the case a couple of years ago.

As some of you know, I got serious about eating a plant-based whole food approach to eating earlier this year. I’ve learned a lot and found new favorite foods. Lost weight, lowered my cholesterol and got off of blood pressure meds I’d been on for  decades.

The only really hard part is eating out. Not a lot of choice, almost always a compromise (I try to avoid added oils.) But less eating out is good for the budget in the long run! Spending the money I save on new, smaller clothes.




Inside the Artist’s Studio


The pomegranates kind of kicked my behind tonight.  I was excited about working with reds, but again I’m not feeling the colors as much as I’d like.

I did realise that when I draw I like high contrast. I’ve done a lot of pen and ink, sometimes even painting with black ink on white.

I find myself really wanting high contrast and detail, but I think it will be really good for me to learn to blur the lines.

As I prepped to go to the workshop I also realised that I look forward to the company about as much as the painting. Good little group.

Oh yeah, this is the view from my usual seat at the table

. Love it!

Food Focus


So yeah, I was cutting up fruit for a big fruit salad, and this happened.


 And then this.


It reminded me how Silvina, the still life teacher I’ve been taking a workshop with, talks about choosing a focal point for our compositions, something that we want to make pop, that will draw the eye.  I’ve become instinctively aware of this in photography, especially in close ups with this 1.8 lens.

Somehow, the concept sunk in while cutting and shooting fruit.  It’s wonderful how different creative endeavors play off of one another.


I took shots of this with both more and less of the bowl included. I liked the one with no bowl showing a lot, but somehow the context is important, too.

Context and focus happen somehow  in literature, too.  How else is it that the tiny detail we need to remember at the end of the book springs back to mind when the author conjures it? A touch of light in the phrase, a touch of color?

Moving on to Vegetables

P1010348For the first time, I really like the colors I made.

I will readily admit that I had a lot of help from Silivina, but I am, after all, trying to go from zero to sixty without a class on color theory in my engine. 

These are leeks. Short stubby leeks that don’t really celebrate the sensuous curves of the interweaving leaves. But, like I said, I am pleased with the colors, and that’s a big deal for me. 

I worked from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and was tired when I left for the workshop. Artistic endeavor always lifts me out of the day to day world, though, and I was invigorated by the conversation around the table and the opportunity to bond with some really nice vegetables.


Sometimes the Sky

P1010335Sometimes the sky just demands that you stop and look. 

Hydra and I stood in the driveway and watched the color fade away from this big dramatic light show. The air all around us felt infused with pink.

I recently reconnected with my (terrific!) high school Spanish teacher via Facebook, and he’s been posting photos of the sunsets over the pond behind his house in Indiana. I always enjoy them, and the great shots of birds and flowers and family he’s taking. He has a good eye.

 ¡ Éste es para ti, señor! 

P1010343The hillside behind the house. Gives you a hint of the glowy feel of the air.  I love that juniper tree up there. Must be decades old to be that size.