- Who woulda thought I’d be wishing for warmer clothes?
Got back yesterday (at about 6 a.m.) from eight days in Honolulu. Even though the weather wasn’t the greatest (I ought to create an illustration called, The Wardrobe I Should Have Taken), it was nice to go beyond simply thawing-out, all the way to sleeping with the windows open!
I am enjoying the Open Studio that the senior center in my hometown (Keller, TX) is letting me host. We have been meeting Wednesday afternoons. January’s session is over, but February we’ll be back at it. This is the picture I started this past Wednesday and finished at home.
6″ x 8″ opaque watercolor (Dick Blick premium tempera) on 140 lb. Strathmore 400 watercolor paper. If you are wondering what the “stucco effect” is from: I’ve been experimenting with acrylic mediums on paper (and just a few days ago, on artist’s canvas). This is Liquitex (R) modeling paste, applied with a palette knife then textured by pressing & lifting a scrap of very heavy/coarse artist’s canvas (#8 or #6 I think).
Have also been experimenting with final acrylic glazes on my most recent watercolors. This one has one coat of Liquitex matte varnish. I believe that has solved the scanner-reflection problem I had with the gloss finish (which I do prefer, but not if I can’t scan things).
Three Pears experiment
I did this quote-unquote very quickly…just so I could see how cutting my own squares of canvas and backing them with a FLEXIBLE cardstock would work out “in the field.” The wrinkles you see here, there, and running across the picture will never come out: I was so smart back when I bought the stuff that I decided to pre-shrink the enitre role of lightweight unprimed canvas. In a swimming pool. On a length of PVC pipe “to KEEP it from wrinkling.” Famous last words.
Please, DON’T you DO THAT. Repeat: the wrinkles will never come out.
When I found this particular photo of pears on PaintMyPhoto with the wrinkled white tablecloth, I thought, “pe(a)rfect.” After sufficiently thick-ish color layers were dry I varnished it (and got smearing of the near-black background) and then did some touch-up with more tempera. Before a second matte varnish I used a spray “workable fixative” to prevent any more smearing. It seems to have worked.
Moderate flexing of the fully-dry painting does not seem to leave/make any cracks, etc. I feel very comfortable about cutting PRIMED canvas to 8.25″ x 10.25″ and stapling each one (within that extra 1/4″) to, say, 8.25+” x 10.25+” single-thickness corrugated cardboard for working on-the-go. Keeping them small means they might fit in document sleeves for further “travel protection.”
And the line was delivered by a sweet little (7-ish) actress, Mallory Mahoney. Made me teary.
Got (any) Liberty? Judging by most of the film’s YouTube comments, that’d be a big, “Not much and not for much longer, good buddy.” I think you can pretty much “guess” how I see the film.
“Dig” on YouTube here.
Come on, kids; it’s MLK-tested, MLK-approved. I know you’re off today, celebrating that multi-faceted cheater, Martin Luther King, Jr., but next time you have a quiz lean in and help yourself. If you get caught just say:
If it’s good enough to get “Doctor” King through school, then shouldn’t it be good enough for me?
Celebrate the Masculine. It’s the rare film out of Hollywood, these days at least, that can be said to showcase Masculinity positively, much less Boyhood as old-school rough & tumble, no ADHD meds in sight. Not since 1986’s Stand By Me can I recollect a tribute such as I witnessed a few nights ago in 2012’s Mud, with Matthew McConaughey in the title role. It was full of pleasant surprises which I can’t wait to enumerate.
Spoiler Alert and a Warning. There are giveaways in this overview though it primarily discusses Thematic elements rather than the nitty-gritty of plot-points. The “warning” is for movie viewers of the Men’s Rights persuasion: there’s blatant chivalrous behavior (a.k.a. white-knighting or “traditional masculinity”) exhibited within the film by both generations of the movie’s male leads and this is not presented as something to get past, over, or cured of.
If I learned nothing else growing up in Connecticut I learned, Waste Not Want Not. So, the other day my first non-problem was finding a 3/4 lb. chunk of unidentifiable frozen “white fish” at the bottom of the freezer (dated a year-and-a-half ago!). Actual first problem: it’d lost its seal, so was very freezer-burned. Logical (Spock-like/Yankee) Solution? Fish “Chowda.”
Pulled out my trusty old “American Cooking: New England” volume of Time-Life’s, “Foods of the World” series; modified their recipe for “Nantucket Scallop Chowder” on page 111, and later we were all saying, Yum-m-m.
…it goes and gets (and stays and stays!) really cold.
There’s just something about cold weather and soup. It’s brought out the soup-Liberator in me (as opposed to that other kinda soup-guy).
I hope you can read the recipe. While there are 14 recipes in the Gourmet Magazine/epicurious.com archives containing the phrase “Tortilla Soup” none are this specific one from May 1997. Over the course of my 15+ year subscription to Gourmet I’ve tried at least three versions. Seriously, this one is the best and it never fails. I do like to make homemade stock but it is a messy affair. And adds at least a couple of hours to the process.
If you can prep the veggies & chicken stock from concentrate FAST, this can be ready-to-serve in less than 90 minutes (and this time I cut a 1/2 chicken breast into very narrow strips and sauteed them with the onion/celery/garlic plus spices, rather than add cooked chicken towards the end). Yes, you really want to cook it a full hour!
Did two things different today: sauteed with lard + butter (vs. normal for me: butter + olive oil), and as I was short on tortilla chips I threw in 1/4 c. dry rice at the start, with the liquids. Yum. The latter helped make it “thick” so there are less splatters as you gobble it up.
Stay warm out there and maybe even pray that “Global Warming” comes true.
NOTE: The amounts on the post-it that say “1/2 recipe” are, for the most part the printed recipe divided by 2 (duh). When I make it, for example today, I used an entire medium onion and two inner-ish stalks of celery. How anyone could stop at 2Tbl. chopped onion or chopped celery is beyond me. I like my soup practically as much “veggie” as meat.