Tuscany, Part 2

  • Food + Drawing

    I don't know why it took me so long to start drawing food. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine my two interests somehow. In the last eight months, I've done lots of food drawings, beginning back in October with my Inktober recipes. I wanted to illustrate for someone other than myself, so I reached out to friends who have a coffee business. I'm working on a series of illustrations for different methods of brewing coffee. It's so much fun for me, and I find it satisfying to be working for "clients" other than myself.  

  • Chickens

    These chickens were modeled on my own chickens, Duck and Cluck. I took an online class from Anita Lehman through Carla Sonheim's website that was a very thoughtful look at composition. Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and see how structure influences outcome. And, on a side note, it's been nice to have fresh eggs to eat and use in baked goods!

  • A New (Old) Way of Working

    I don't know why it took so long for me to go back to making collage and mixed media pieces. Maybe I didn't think they were "serious" enough, or I forgot how much fun it was for me to work this way, or maybe I just forgot how to do it. Recently, I found some fruit that I painted simply on canvas paper. I took out cheap, thin acrylics, poured green and yellow on top, and pushed the paint around the paper. After it dried, I tore out the fruit and saved them for a collage. That's where my playing around with fruit bowls began the other day. For a slight change of pace, I took a yellow piece of painted paper and turned it into a French press. I've mainly been using really smushy media, like a soft pencil, conte crayons, and Faber Castell gelatos. These collaged pieces really feel like me, and I'm loving all the color!

  • New Things!

    I'm test driving some new products at the market this Saturday. It's so much fun to play with color and shape on functional bags and totes. I like the simplicity of playing with fabric, paint, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes! That's what I used to make my stamps......and, they're compostable!

  • Stretching

    I decided to challenge myself with an online course, Explore Florals, taught by Victoria Johnson. It was three weeks of design briefs, each focusing on a different way to think about florals, with an accompanying palette. It was harder than I thought to get out of my own way of doing things and try something new. Just like life, I suppose.

  • Creative Thinking


    I am so thrilled to have my very first drawn illustration in the current issue of UPPERCASE Magazine! 

    I drew this on Thanksgiving, 2017. We decided to stay home and celebrate, just the three of us. I wanted my daughter to feel like that even though we weren't going anywhere, it was going to be a special day. So, I let her pick the drinks!

  • Pushing Forward

    I'm trying to remember this and to boldly learn new things without getting bogged down by self doubt. It's hard!

  • Plugging Away

    I'm trying to enjoy the quiet stillness of winter. We've had lots of snow (and snow days) and rain, which has made for long weeks of nasty weather. I'm drawing daily and I can see myself steadily improving. 

  • Winter

    above image—not winter

    Winter is not my favorite season. It's cold, it's dark, it's icy....but with those restrictions comes permission to quiet your mind, think, make. It's the season when I have the most time. My daughter is in preschool, and farmers' markets are few and far between. It allows me to focus on my art and on all the other little projects that I think about during the summer. This year I'm stretching and taking Make Art That Sells, an online course from art agent Lilla Rogers. So far, I feel out of my element, which I'm taking as a good sign. Growth comes in fits and starts, and it isn't always comfortable.

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Tuscany, Part 2

[caption id="attachment_514" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This beautiful inlay and carving was on the floor of the Siena Duomo."][/caption]

I wish we could keep that newly-vacationed feeling for longer than a day after the trip is over (although, if you count jet lag, maybe a week). It already feels like our trip was ages ago, even though I'm still going through pictures and encouraging Matt to completely unpack his bags. The other way that our trip still feels fresh is that I'm still processing what Tuscany was for me. There was an afternoon in Florence that perfectly expressed Tuscan-ness to me. It was the day after Christmas and people were out and about, as they were every day. We went to the Bargello in the late morning to see amazing sculpture, and then Matt and I were off on our own to go to the Palazzo Pitti. Luckily, we decided to eat first or I would have fainted in one of the ornate palace rooms that stretched in long hallways for what seemed like a mile. After crossing the Ponte Vecchio, we walked down a narrow street, passing a few pizza and gelato shops. Then we came upon a tiny place with a chalkboard sign out front and the glass counters at the front brimming with cheeses and meats. It was a crowded little space that we had to squeeze ourselves into, awkwardly settling onto tiny stools at a small round table. People around us were eating off of circular wooden boards, piled high with cheeses and meats. Matt and I debated on what we would get if we used our extremely elementary Italian to ask for a plate of meat and one of cheese (piccolo, I added), but we ordered and hoped for the best. We got two of the most beautiful plates of thinly sliced meats and assorted cheeses that I'd seen. The meats included slivers of two kinds of prosciutto, lombo (which, when we asked the waiter about, he pointed to his side), and pancetta. The cheeses were all pecorinos of varying ages except for one cow's milk cheese. There was a truffle-infused(tartufo) pecorino, which was so lush with earthy truffle, and strangest of all, a chocolate-infused pecorino, which was an amazingly good match unless you bit into an actual piece of unsweetened chocolate, which was then too much. The bread that was served alongside was typically Tuscan, meaning lacking in salt, which made it perfect with the salty meats, especially the pancetta, and flavored cheeses. It was such a simple meal and so much what I was expecting to eat in Tuscany...but even more perfect than I imagined.