Patiently Waiting

It seems sometimes that so much of life is filled with errands and maintenance.  The summer-like day today propelled me outside to the little house though, so I put off all errands and maintenance.  I decided to practice some drawing before I go to my next class in a couple of days.  I have never been able to draw people or animals (that would include faces, hands and feet) so I don’t know why I decided to give that a try.  Well, maybe.  I was thinking about my beautiful sheltie, Jasmin, and thought I’d make a really serious effort to draw her.  She passed away at 15 years of age a short time ago.  We got her from a rescue group, and she had been so tramatized by whatever she had gone through, that she had lost her hair.  It took her awhile to get comfortable with us and then people that came to the house.  But she became the most perfect dog.  And beautiful, physically and in spirit.

So this picture is NOT finished, and has a long way to go.  For clarification, she’s got her feet up by her face which is on a pillow.  I’m going to take it to class on Tuesday for some guidance from the teacher.  It was a major effort.  Art should be fun, but it is also difficult when you’re taking on something really challenging.  I’ll definitely post the finished piece when I get there…


My book club is starting an unusual type of story, called a graphic novel.


The title is Persepolis and is a memoir by Marjane Satrapi set during the Islamic Revolution In Iran in 1978-1979.  I like stories that give a first hand account of a specific period in history.  And the fact that it includes these comic book looking pictures makes me very curious.  Another thing I will post about when I have finished it.

So to add a little color to my so far black and white post, I’ve got a couple of water colors I painted in a class I took a while back with another excellent teacher/artist.  I have found that to be a rare combination.  Most art teachers are good artists, but they don’t know how to teach.  It’s a separate skill.


Everyone I showed this to, thought these people were sitting on the edge of a cliff looking at the sky.  But in fact they are sitting on the sand looking at the ocean.  Painting/drawing is an ongoing process.


This painting I attempted four times and I was still not satisfied.  But this fourth try was way better than the first three. I finally decided to leave well enough alone.

Here is a photo of beautiful Jasmin.  She gave us so much with just her gentle presence.  I think of her always…my Jazzygirl.


“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

WB Yeats







Just Add Water…Colors

I first read about an artist named Sara Midda in a magazine article many years ago.  She painted tiny detailed watercolors of flowers, fruit, vegetables and other garden delights.  In her second book, “Sara Midda’s South of France A Sketchbook”  the pastel stripes on the cover give you an idea of the soft colors to be found inside.  Upon opening it you discover whimsical paintings of her observations of the region.



It is not only an inspiring book that makes you want to get out your paints and paper, but it is a treat to browse through slowly from page to page and soak up the feeling of the Mediterranean.


I once visited the home of the artist Claude Monet in Giverny, France.  Although he painted in oil, his gardens looked like a watercolor painting.  I could see why he was so inspired by them.




Monet decorated his entire kitchen in blue and yellow.


I am hopeless when it comes to buying tiny souvenirs.


There is a beautiful book called “Monet’s Giverny” by William H. Gerdts that talks about the extensive colony of artists who came to paint there.


Inspired by my love of tiny things I’ve tried painting some small pictures with water color and also attempted some larger ones.  I find it very challenging.  It’s not one of those mediums that leaves a lot of room for error correction, especially if I’m feeling impatient and don’t allow the paint to dry before adding more color.





In my last post I promised to give the recipe for Norway’s National Cake also called the “World’s Best Cake,” so here it is.

Sweet Paul Eat and Make

1 stick plus 2 & 1/2 tablsps butter, 1 & 2/3 cup sugar, 1 & 1/3 cup flour, 1 teasp baking powder, 5 eggs, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 vanilla bean

Mix butter and 2/3 cup sugar together.  Add flour and baking powder.  Mix in egg yolks and milk.  Put the batter in an 8×12 inch baking pan, grease sides with butter or use parchment paper.  In a large clean bowl beat egg whites and remaining 1 cup sugar to soft peaks with a mixer.  Spread on top of the cake layer.  Sprinkle with the almond slices.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the meringue is golden brown and puffed.  Cool and transfer to a cutting board.  When the cake is cool, put the cream in a bowl with the vanilla seeds.  Discard the vanilla pod.  Beat to soft peaks with a mixer.   Cut the cake in half crosswise with a serrated knife.  Place one half of the cake on a serving tray and cover with the cream.  Place the other half, meringue side up, on top.  Let the cake sit for one hour in the fridge before serving.