Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Treating Myself!

Rhubarb Custard Pie, adapted from Betty Crocker's PIE and PASTRY COOKBOOK, given to me by my future mother-in-law in 1968

I love the contrast between creamy custard and tart rhubarb...Much better than strawberry rhubarb, I think

Pastry for 10" pie crust--I mix up a little extra and use the scraps for topping...or you can use store pie crust. My pie crust--never scientifically-measured: 1 cup flour, some wheat germ, salt, sugar, vinegar, 1/3 cup butter-flavored crisco, some real butter, ice water to hold together. Blend and chill for at least an hour before rolling out.

5 eggs
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
3 Tablespoons half and half
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 heaping cups diced rhubarb.

Heat over to 400 degrees
Beat eggs slightly and combine the rest of the ingredients, mixing thoroughly
Pour into piecrust, putting scraps of crust over filling
Bake around 50 minutes until nicely browned, covering the edges with foil, if you like.
Serve slightly warm
Great for breakfast, too!

I bought the rhubarb at Chimacum Corner Farmstand, and Kristin Berg asked for the recipe. I had just made one pie to share with the family in Seattle, so had to do another for me--We have to take care of Ourselves, as well as others. It sure smells good. I'm going to have a piece now for supper.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Visit Seattle While the Sun Shines!

Approaching West Seattle on the Bainbridge Ferry
Northeast Washington state recently enjoyed a record-breaking 11 days of
sun in May (not since 1946). I was 
lucky to have a friend visiting from VT 
and had taken the day off to show him
around what I know of downtown 
Seattle. Actually Frank started out as 
a friend of David C, and they both
live in Montpelier, VT. We three share a
love of food, conversation, and Buddhism.

Closer, you can just see the Ferris Wheel in center

Frank has lived in California, but never seen Seattle, and since I live out on the Olympic PeninsulaI am not an expert in the Big City, but figured what I knew, coupled with what my patients recommended would be enough for a good taste (6 hours).

Meeting Frank in front of SAM

Since SAM and TASTE are two of my favorite places in Seattle, we met there. I recognized
Frank from his FaceBook page, and since we
have David in common, I immediately felt as if I had been friends with Frank for years, too. 

I must admit that although I can appreciate
the skill involved in the paintings of the 1600's, 
I didn't love this show as much as some of 
the others I've seen at SAM. I think every one
in my family is a member now, so we go and 
see Everything...and check out the book store.

Bangers and Mash in honor of the paintings from England

 The food at Taste is AMAZING in appearance And flavor! I got Frank taking food pictures, too. Previously I had only seen wine pictures from his travels up the coast.

Pioneer Square...perfect day for sitting outside

The Underground tour in Pioneer Square was recommended, but it was too nice outside to study the origin of the that for out-of-town guests on a rainy day. I like just walking around downtown and looking at things.

It's fun to discover a new person via degree of separation, having David in common. IS there a difference between people who grew up 
in the Northeast, versus the Left Coast?
--conversation as an art form.

Pike Place Market, of course, the guys who throw fish

 We didn't happen upon the Gum Wall, but did watch the guys who throw fish at Pike Market...a never-ending show.

Frank wanted to see the city from someplace high...Space Needle, the Deco building downtown, but I voted for the Great Wheel, since I'd never been up, and had read the novel, something in the White City, about the Chicago Expo, when their great Ferris Wheel was built. 

High on the Great Wheel

We kept taking pictures of each other, 
to show where we'd been, but never
did do one together...maybe next time
I go to VT.

Fabulous views all along the waterfront from the Gi-normous Wheel.

It wasn't scary at all, and we had a whole car to ourselves.

Frank, high above Seattle.

David and I had been teasing Frank (via email) because he seemed to be specializing in pictures of motel rooms and bars from Sonoma up the coast....we took care of that. Unlike David, who didn't like the drop offs, Frank enjoyed driving up Route 1...'course he was on the inside lane.

Such an exhilarating first encounter on Such a Spectacular Sunny May day in Seattle called for a drink...or several.

The first Gin and Tonic of Summer!

What was that kind of gin--Bombay? Could become addictive, possibly hallucinogenic...especially on such a warm and sunny day. As you can see, we started shedding layers. I was talking about naked ladies when the waitress stopped by.

A magical day...a new friend to visit in VT

Before this meeting, I had asked myself, just because we are both friends with David, does that mean that we will be able to get along and enjoy a day with each other...the answer is YES!


Next visitor gets: The Underground Tour, Smith Tower, the Monorail, Chihuly Garden, EMP, and the Pie place, or maybe dim sum, or the Tamarind Tree...who's up next??? I haven't even been to the the Museum of Glass in Tacoma or the Quilt Museum in LaConner, or...


Saturday, May 04, 2013

Looking Closely: A different point of view

I think it's  wonderful, how small cameras
Moth, on the gravel in my yard after a strong wind
are now. Although I haven't moved into
the Modern Era to have a Smart Phone,
I do carry my camera with me all the time
in my purse, which also contains a book
for reading and a book for drawing.

I try to walk, rather than drive, as much
as I can, and to pay attention to what's
around me...moving slower, looking closer.

Paint textures on a column in Seattle

For Artists...and for people truly engaged with life...eyes, hands, brain are all tools to be engaged and honed on a daily basis.

Our famous NW rain enhances colors

Gravel makes so much more sense for a yard
where endless rain alternates with endless 
sun--101  straight days of it last summer. I enjoy 
sitting on the rocks, listening to the birds and
weeding much more than I would running a 
noisy and smelly weed eater. These are Donkey 
Tail Euphorbia, which are multiplying themselves
from one plant I bought several years ago.

The texture in a tree sculpture
 A two-story sculpture of a kind of a tree, made from pieces of old ships, at Seattle Museum of Industry and History...or some such name. David and I went there the last time I was in Seattle...all kinds of things to look at. It's extra rich for me to have both the city and country opportunities.

Wood textures and lines Phinney Community Ctr.

Wood and stone, person-made and 
nature-made. Below the collection of
stones I keep in my car. I use smooth
white stones like worry beads. They've 
been shaped by time and adversity
and I try to view myself that way, aging
in a positive light.

Car stones, pink one from India on the left

 My choices to work as an Artist, rather than at a Job when I was younger mean that I can't afford to travel far now...but I think looking deeply can be as rewarding.

Evergreen textures on my walk to the grocery store

Rust textures on a mailbox
When you can't go far, go deeply.

Lots of material for future art work. I only wish I still had the energy to produce from early morning until late at night. 

Doing Art Work generates more ideas, keeps our hand and eye in shape to continue creating.


Ella, 2010, acrylic on paper
On my Hot Flash Women Facebook page, I've started posting all my current portraits in one album, in preparation for a portrait show at the Museum and Art Center in Sequim in August and September As I was gathering material for a grant application, I looked back at my soft sculpture portraits from when I lived in VT, and see what a long thread this has been in my life. 

Katie, 2010, acrylic on paper

Soft sculpture boy with fish, 1980's

Soft Sculpture chocolatier

When I lived in Burlington, VT, I used acrylics to paint on muslin, then stuffed and quilted layers for my portraits. I did one of Ben and Jerry, Bernie Sanders, and other local

I had done some acrylic portraits when I lived in NY, then started again when I moved here. I work from photos, 
since I don't want the person watching me while I paint

Bertha Cooper, 2012
I first worked on paper, thinking to save 
money on materials, since I've had to
be frugal throughout my life.

But I learned that framing paintings on
paper is way more expensive than the 
canvases I use now.

Diana Somerville
After doing multiple portraits of family
members, I felt I needed to expand
my subject matter, and chose the 100 Hot Flash Women theme, to give me a structure that would last the remaining
years of my regular work life.

I'm limiting my canvases to 18" x 18", 20" x 20" or 20" x 24" and using women that I've met in my life, on the premise that all the women around us are outstanding on one way or another.

Dianne Drake

The Museum and Art Center, in Sequim, WA, is hosting a show of my Hot Flash Women to date, during the months of August and September, 2013, and I 
want to finish as many of the 100 portraits
as I can by then, as well as generate 
discussion about women and All that we do, including things that may not be celebrated, or even known.

Fran Sisson

Johanna Hays
For the show, I'll have you viewers write the stories you can imagine about each of these individuals, then have some actual information available, too.

There is such richness and variety in the supposedly "ordinary" women we see around us all the time.

Patti Gibbons, from the acrylic on paper phase

Anita Lecesse

Linda Crow

Lynne Armstrong

Marian Hastings
Lynne Armstrong 2

Sara Miot

Serene Mumar Hastings

Anna Wianko Chassman

Ann Grgich

Barbara DiPirro

Barbara Houshmand

Gloria Skovronsky
And the list goes on...and on. What a fascinating Process!