Sunday, April 25, 2010

25 Aprile,La Festa della Liberazione ed Il Mio Compleanno!

I am happy for so many reasons....I love that my birthday falls on Italian Liberation Day, someday I would love to be there, in Milano or Torino, on my birthday...and celebrate another year on this beautiful planet and also the liberation of Italy in 1945 by the Allied troops with the help of the Partigiani Antifascisti ( the Partisans in the Italian Resistance ).
Grazie a loro.
Today, the day before my birthday.......I barely painted at all...I am loving replenishing wherever, whatever it is that holds the key, the repository of dreams, daydreams and flights of fancy that are the fodder of the imagination. After four years without a day off basically.....a day without drawing or painting feels peculiar but I know that next week the deadlines begin anew so I am luxuriating in the planning/planting of the little garden.
This evening I made Vinegar Chicken, a rustica dish of a whole chicken hacked in 2" or 3" pieces, sauteed in olive oil and then, when brown, salt and pepper. Two large pans are necessary so the chicken pieces are in a single layer, and they can brown. Then scatter chopped garlic and red pepper flakes and about 2/3 cup of good red wine vinegar in each pan, scrape all the brown bits up, turn the heat down a bit and cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes to half an hour. Cook until the chicken is falling off the bones and a delicious vinegary, garlicky, spicy mess.
I had this with a bowl of arugula and peppery olive oil and lemon juice and salt.....heaven.
For my birthday I treated myself to a new pair of cowboy boots.......for some reason they are my absolute favorite footwear and while I didn't have the budget for these boots...YET:
I was able to put an end to my boot drought...a dog ( NOT Baci! ) chewed my last pair, tooled Old Gringos with red roses, to irreparable disasters and purchased these, on least these Lucky Stars by Tony Lama have rhinestones and pink stitching until I can splurge on something a bit more over the top, and!
They arrived today and along with the eight tomato plants that will begin spending their days outside tomorrow.....Striped Roma, Fourth of July, Sungold, Black Plum Roma, Dona, Sweet Millions, French Carmello and a new one to me, Odoriko.....I think my kitchen table looks quite festive!
Who knows what tomorrow may bring! I'm excited and looking forward to the coming year......magic is afoot, surprises too, I can feel it.
Baci appears unimpressed by this...his birthday is May 11, the same as my Dad's was, perhaps he will be more interested in that one. He will be 3. My Dad would have been 87......I miss him.
Next time........some painting.....drawing, art.
For the moment, the rest of life is what is going on. Feels good, a long time coming.
 alla prossima

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Spring, so happy to be here!

     Finally.........the towering mountain of work is behind me ( for now )  and I'm allowed the luxury of dipping a toe into the pool of thoughts unrelated to the project at hand or the painting currently on the drawing board, so posting on this sadly neglected ( since December 12! ) blog or updating my even more ignored website  or....reading books, working in my little garden, spending time with real human beings, painting my toenails scarlet or doing something spontaneous all become options.
    The slightly spooky thing is that part of me actually likes the schedule I've been accustomed to for the past 6 months, year. couple of years, ummm, a lot.....what does that mean? Nothing probably...other than that I love painting, am a bit of a recluse...probably from being an only child and working mostly all the time makes life very simple...
     Since the last time I was here, I moved.....just about 4 miles from where I was living before. I've been having fun taking some pictures while taking Baci the Fluffy Corgi on his morning walk.
I noticed several small silver metal disks, maybe 2.5 " in diameter....affixed, kind of bolted, to the paved road, before it turns to dirt.....I'd never seen anything like these before and took a photo of one. It seems as though I've truly been in a world of my own....along with some inevitable nearsightedness from a lifetime of drawing and painting small details......I  thought I was seeing something curious and remarkable ( to myself )  and ironically amusing. This is what I was seeing:

"Why" I wondered to myself "why would there be a silver disk in the road reading "Perfect Control"?
 Needless to say, I seriously doubt the very existence of "perfect control" in our happy, messily ordered Universe and so passing it made me giggle ( obviously, so much work made me exceedingly easily amused! ) but then also wondered about who would place, bolt these disks into the road and why would they read that? It was entertaining pondering this every morning and the whole idea of control, perfect or imperfect. Well....when I download the photos from my camera, I could easily see that actually this is what I was seeing, while believing I saw the disk above:
So, much less interesting and much less romantic and a lot more mundane....this little disk reads "Perteet Control" It seems Perteet is some sort of engineering concern that has to do with water  and roads and that sort of infrastructure and nothing that would normally cause one to ponder Universal Truths.....or X File types of imaginings. In the spirit of complete transparency, I admit to altering the Perfect Control disk in PhotoShop so you could see how easily one could make this fanciful error!
 Here are a few more photos of burgeoning Spring on this sweet road:
This is Lucky. He was given as a gift to the man who "owns" him for his 50th birthday by the man's wife. He is sort of the mascot of the road.......we stop and give him some carrots or an apple every morning and now Lucky comes running to meet us at the fence , licking his "lips". I never had a steer joyfully run across a field to meet me before.....

I especially love this gate. is some of what i have been working on:
 This 28" Uber Cupcake will become a shaped jigsaw puzzle
.........and here, below, are all 12 of the finished Animal ABC illustrations. The client will add the letters to the artwork and there will be a half inch border around each one with all the words depicted in each image, that start with the letter /letters in the square. I put them all together here like this, for fun:

So there you have it.........a bit of what I've been doing.
I also finished two picturebooks and am finally getting to painting the art for a third that's been patiently,,VERY patiently, waiting to be finished.
.......Happy Spring