My blog, this blog, is about all the things that affect my art. What I discovered through writing this blog is that music is a top factor. I always knew it was important, but now, I know I could not paint without it; and so I just wanted to share my latest music obsession:JJ Gray & Mofro. I went to my very firstJJ Gray & Mofro show and it was on fire! The funk sound ignited everyone. His voice reminded me ofJoe Cockerand his band of the Blues Brothers; big horns, electric base playing & steel guitar were awesome. The long pieces reminded me also of theGrateful DeadorWidespread Panic concerts. The beat got the crowd off their feet and you could not stop bouncing around. Their opening band was the Revivalists who complimented the whole show. Both bands had a wonderful southern charm that made everyone want to back up and leave this bitter cold city for the French Quarter or Florida. By far one of the best concerts I've been to this year.
FOR THE COOKIES: 4 cups type "00" flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 7-gram package active dry yeast 3/4 cup lard 1/2 tsp. anise extract 1 tsp. baking powder 1 cup raisins 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, finely chopped 1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
THE ICING: 2 egg whites 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 3 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles
1. For the
cookies: Preheat oven to 475°. Combine flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a
standing mixer. Add lard and anise extract and beat with paddle attachment on
medium speed until mixture is flecked with pea-size pieces of lard, about 1
minute. Add baking powder and I cup water and beat until mixture is crumbly,
about 30 seconds. Add raisins, vanilla extract, and I cup water and mix well.
Add walnuts and almonds and mix until dough forms a ball.
dough into thirds. Roll each piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface
into 6" x 9" rectangles. Cut each piece of dough in half lengthwise,
then crosswise at 1" intervals. Use your fingers, press corners to round
off edges. Put cookies on un-greased baking sheets about 1/2" apart.
Transfer cookies to oven, reduce oven temperature to 325°, and bake until pale
golden, 20–25 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake
until cookies are golden brown, 2–3 minutes more. Remove cookies from oven and
transfer to cooling racks. Cover with clean dish towels and set aside until
completely cool, 30–45 minutes.
3. For the
icing: Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium
speed until stiff peaks form. 1 1/2-2 minutes. Add sugar and lemon juice
and beat on high speed until icing is glossy, 1 minute. Spread about 1 tsp.
icing on top of each cookie and sprinkle with some of the sprinkles while icing
is still wet. Set aside until icing is hard.
For Chicago Artist Month I participated in Sunday Afternoon At La Gran Manse, curated by Tricia Van Eck.It was a lovely fall afternoon in a grand old mansion at 6018 North Kenmore. The event was an artist talk with three artists. Our work was shown and the guests had a discussion about the work and asked curious questions and dissected the art and artist. I was very happy about getting to join this event and I got to meet brilliant artists, Phil Peters and Gregory Chapuisat. Here are a few photos from the day.
Save the date for my next exhibit: November 1-30,
LaGrange Park Library 555 North. La Grange Road LaGrange Park, Illinois
Please enjoy this recipe. A great treat for the morning of Day Of The Dead.
Atole De Nuez
8 cups of
milk ½ cup cornstarch
1 cup cold water
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups sugar
Place the milk in a saucepan
over medium-low heat.Bring to the boil, add the walnuts.Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and slowly
add it to the boiling milk in a thin stream and stirring constantly with a
wooden paddle.Stir in sugar gradually until
it is as sweet as you like.Let simmer for 7 minutes,
stirring constantly. Serve in small soup cup sprinkle nutmeg on top.
2 1/2 cups
sugar 1 egg white from an extra large egg, or 2 from small
eggs 1 teaspoons light corn syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla Cornstarch, about a half cup, for powdering surface Colored sprinkles Food coloring Fine paint brush Colored icing
Sift sugar into a large mixing bowl.
In another bowl, mix the
egg whites, corn syrup and vanilla.
Slowly pour the liquid
into the powdered sugar. Mix with your hands until a sandy dough forms.
Form dough into a ball.
At this point you can continue or you can refrigerate dough for later use.
Lightly dust surface with
cornstarch as well as your hands. Pinch off a heaping tablespoon of dough and
shape it into a skull.
Lightly press colored
sprinkles into the soft candy.
Let the candy dry
When candy is dry; use
the paint brush with food coloring to decorate the skulls. Or you can use
frosting (one that will dry hard) with a find tip to decorate them.
The skulls may not dry
completely on a humid or rainy day. If you use themolds,you should follow
each manufacturer's instructions as some molds only work with certain recipes. The
"dough" should be the consistency of damp sand, just moist enough to
hold together. If "dough" is too dry and crumbly, add 1 teaspoon of
water at a time to moisten. If "dough" is too moist, add sugar one
tablespoon at a time until "dough" is the right consistency. If the
candy has trouble drying completely, place in a 125 degree warm oven until dry.
On a random day I started watching LA Ink.All I knew was it was about tattoos (yes I am slightly a recluse). I had no idea whoKat Von D was either and let me tell you that’s a girl who makes
you feel like you can do anything; conquer the world motivation. What really got my attention were all the Day Of The Deadtattoos. I loved the skull art work. Being an abstract painter I don’t ever paint
realism or even cartoons. My work is mostly color, texture, design and patterns. I decided to take a stab at drawing skulls,
which I have never ever done. So in
honor of the fast approaching Day Of The Dead holiday I am posting one skull a
day. It will show my beginner attempts
to draw an actual subject.
back every day to see my skulls done simply with pencil and ink on paper.