Obdurately Simple.

At heart, I am a simpleton.
Not to be confused with non-cunning,
(Is that even a word?),
Or guileless,
Or naive
Or any of those things, words
that imply innocence.
Innocent I am not.
Nonetheless, a simpleton, I am.
Though there is much guile in my make,
Use for it, I have none.
I do not wish to conquer worlds,
nor even hearts.
I do not wish to topple kingdoms
nor yet shout slogans at doors.
Though, perhaps I should.
For I am of this world
and partake of it willingly
and there is much that needs changing,
looking after.
But there it is. I am a simpleton.
A simpleton set in her ways.
Obdurate. That is what I am.
And alas, obdurate I shall always remain.

Autumnal reverie.

IMAG2420-2

The warm hay, all shadow and gold, gold and shadow, a rustling remnant of warm summer days but moist now, at the roots, where lingers an aroma of decay and turning soil. All Autumn and turning of seasons. It shivered and shimmered and huskily spoke of things long past. It stretched and pulled at things buried in my bones and in my trailing fingertips that knew their touch. But my heart, my heart though it was moved, and thudded painfully under their assault, knew not their song. They seemed strange, those unspoken things, intangible, mere impressions that traversed over my skin and under it, and left me bereft, grasping with a strangely laden heart. But for what? I gasped, I clutched, I laughed at something uttered by my companion. What? What was that? I could see her lips move but words were beyond me. Intent upon unraveling, I took a step. An infinitesimal second of wonder…whither would it land? Backward or forward? Where did I want it to? Forward ….or back? Forward into the magnificent russet sunset, or backward, where it was rising just beyond the hills, salmon pink and white gold, scattering shadows in its wake.

IMAG2444-2

A learning curve..

I have always maintained that every canvas has a soul and that that soul has a definite voice.

I stared at the blank white canvas in front of me and saw, in my mind’s eye of course, a turban. Yes, a turban. Of course it wanted to be a turban! What else could it be?! :D

Picking up a brush, I began painting a turban (yes, I have been promised a hefty sum of money for every time I use the word turban and so onward and forward with….the TURBAN! HA! Gotcha!) So where was I? Ah yes, the turban.. *giggle*

So I slap dashed my way through…wait for it…wait for it….the turban (!!!!) and a face began to emerge. I spent 30 glorious minutes fiddling with the shadows and then had to close shop because it was time to put away the paint brushes and pick up the spatulas.

IMAG2357

Now, I am part of an artist’s group, a group of wonderful, wonderful ladies, each one talented and funny and kind and supportive and much loved, that meets once a month to share art and food and funny little tidbits and anecdotes. But the main objective of the meeting is the Critique. We bring in a piece (or pieces) of art that we are working on, or have finished, or are stuck on, and ask for advice or we simply share it. I shared this piece yesterday and they helped me see that the shadows were all wrong!

I have attended 4 wonderful and immensely informative Artist’s workshops taught by the prolific artist, Barb Smucker, but I have not studied to be an artist nor am I even a prolific one. I dabble every so often when the urge to feel the paint on my fingers is too strong. And when I do paint, it really is in a slap dash manner. I never know where I am going next or what I aught to do. I never stop to consider the light and shadow effect. I just paint. :P

So fortunately for me, they were able to guide me in the right direction.

And as I began to work on the shadows, she emerged more fully. But as she emerged, her eyes began to trouble me. They looked like empty sockets.

Ghostly, alien…

Eyes

{I wish I had taken more photos during the process. They really did look weird.}

I had no choice but to open them because I tried every which way to make them look ‘non-alien’ and failed. Maybe she was done meditating and wanted to look out upon the world? To say hello? And so, after much scraping and dabbing and polishing and smoothening, this is what she looks like now…this is who she wanted to be….

IMAG2360

 

My first, somewhat life like painting, of a person! YAYE!!!

{There is something about the nose, too, that is bothering me, but I cannot quite put my fingers on it. Any ideas???}

But this….

Lips

 

….is my favourite part of the painting!!

This painting was a learning curve for me. Every dab of paint was an AHA! moment. All those little nuances of light and shadow.. I never knew until now how every brush stroke can make a difference to a painting. It was a revelation!

I am so happy with the way it turned out!! And it was all a happy accident too!

A very happy accident! :)

Cheers to revelations and happy accidents!

Simple meals.

Some days, one’s palette craves for something simple and elegant. Unpretentious, soulful and deeply satisfying.

IMAG2342

Pasta with olive oil, garlic and fresh parsley.

1/4 cup olive oil

{We use Pompeian Olive Oil which is hands down the best we’ve had so far.}

7 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise

4 Morning Star sausage links, at room temperature and finely chopped

1/2 a bunch of parsley, finely chopped

1/2 package of Angel Hair Pasta, cooked and drained

Heat oil, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.

Add the sausage and stir quickly for a couple of minutes. You will have to stir or the sausage will stick to the pan.

Add salt to taste and the pasta. Toss until well coated.

Add parsley and serve.

Accompanied by…..

IMAG0764

Rosemary, Olive oil Focaccia.

Mixing

2 3/4 cups lukewarm water

2 tbsp (2 packets) granulated yeast

1 1/2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbsp dried rosemary

1/2 cup olives, finely chopped

6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil, rosemary, olives with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you are not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

{I usually make only half this recipe.}

Baking

{Using half the recipe}

Twenty minutes before baking, pre-heat oven to 425 F.

Grease a cookie sheet with a little bit of olive oil or line with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.

Dust the surface of the dough with a little flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.

Gently shape it into a rectangular shape using your hands and place it onto the cookie sheet. Continue pressing lightly and spreading the dough across the sheet until you cover most of the surface area.

IMAG0759

Drizzle a wee bit of olive oil over the dough and let it rest and rise, uncovered, for 20  minutes.

After the Focaccia has rested, place the cookie sheet on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust is medium brown.

{I only have to bake it for about 20 minutes.}

Cut into slices and serve warm.

This recipe is from the book ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day‘ by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

{With a couple of modifications by moi.}

And this was followed by……

IMAG2344

Banana Almond Milkshake

2 ripe bananas

1 cup Vitamin D milk

1 cup Almond milk

1 (5.3 oz) Dannon Oikos original yogurt, any flavor

A dash of vanilla essence (optional)

Put in a blender and blend. It is yummy!! Not too sweet, but sweet enough. <3

So sayeth the grasshopper.

IMAG2334

Come,

rest your wingtips

and quench your thirst

with me

for I am much weary of travail;

The blades were long

and many;

Now I would rest

by you

and pay heed to your tales

of which there must be many;

And yet,

you must hasten

for the moon is nigh

and soon,

all shall be silence.

Mirror Mirror…

ha! who was that?
said i to the mirror
from the corner of my eye.
look me in the eye
said the mirror
and i might tell you.
oh no you wont,
you sly thing said i….
you never do.
ok then said the mirror
who would you like it to be?
why, me of course.
you? said the mirror..
you are more than i know
and less than you think.
so what does that make me?
said i to the mirror, utterly perplexed.
show me your heart said the mirror
and i might tell you.

Just one of those things…

It was diluted, the day.
Walking,
rows of vines between us
and the summer haze.
Washed out skies
and pale silhouettes
of mountains
and things…
withered, robust.
Drifting closer
and apart
the crunch of soil
beneath our feet
and the mad clamor of our souls
reaching,
reaching for one another.