I chuckle a bit when I see a gorgeous bunch of Rainbow Chard at the farmers market. I was one of those kids who didn’t like vegetables—at all! “It’s good for you, a rainbow of love,” one of my mother’s hippie friend’s said to me once. My answer was, “It’s very pretty” as I dumped my plate into the dog’s bowl when the adults weren’t looking (the dog didn’t eat it either). Anything related to the beet family seemed like eating dirt to me. Living with rabbits who treat chard like it’s crack cocaine has given me a few second thoughts about this beautiful vegetable. A subfamily to the beet, it’s very good for you. Especially your kidneys. Instant energy. And, often used in Mediterranean cooking I just have to try this recipe—soonish. Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Basil.
Okay, so the fieldwork alone for the June showcase of paintings is something to salivate over. I really should have raised funds at kick starter for all the restaurant-eering that I ‘just have to do’ to get the details. Food painting is a science you know. Grant worthy. : ) What I dearly love about food and wine is how they kick off something primal in us to relax and follow the thread of conversation and allow a pocket of pleasure to end our day.
So, here’s what’s up:
This is the 6 month point. End of June marks the 1/2 way point of this project.
I’ll kick off the paintings in Ashland. Partly working from photographs of food & wine in restaurants, the farmers Market and local wineries. I will also be researching food and wine from all over world. Mid-June, I’ll be in San Francisco, living right in the heart of fabulous food excursions. On top of it, I’ll be living with a Chef. Cynthia Sasaki is truly gifted in many ways, but her food combinations? Just, wow. I’ll get some first hand tastes of foods I have never dreamed of. I’m not a chef at all (I swear I’d eat my basketball sneakers if they were edible). I’m a wanna be. Which is why this month is especially exciting. I also plan to head up to Napa Valley. I particularly want to meet Margrit Mondavi and study her food/wine culture sketchbook.
Ironically, I will be 180 degrees from my kitchen this month. In the next couple weeks, I’m packing my home up into storage, selling about 65% of my stuff and traveling all summer. I have been thinking of this for months. To paint the themes on site, live. I’m angling for “Barns” in Vermont in July and “Seascapes” in August location, TBD. I’ll be shutting down the print shop in July and Aug. Looking forward to the adventure. And the challenge of painting and posting “in motion” — that should be interesting.
A few thoughts to wrap up May: Bunnies & Bicycles:
I want to thank you, subscribers and passers by… for being sooooo supportive during a difficult time. It was a shock to me to lose my rabbit, Molly. But what’s more… to lose her while painting for the rabbits theme. That was a big challenge. I’ve never painted during grief like that. It was satisfying and helpful. And you all jumped right in with insights and heartfelt support. Thank you.
Artistically, I’m excited about many of the rabbit paintings—the discoveries. Lots of finger-painting. The mono-printing class was fabulous.
Prints: Lots of print sales this month. I guess I’m not the only bunny lover. To see the full gallery in thumbnail view, you can do that here: store
Donations: May’s print sales donation is going to the Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. I have a soft spot for ginormous dogs. June’s donation will go to a homeless shelter in San Francisco. I’ve decided to have the donations be directed by the theme. Food & Wine proceeds should help those who are hungry.
Inspirations from FOODIES: Please post photos of food and wine on the Story Paintings Facebook page. I love the energy and inputs.. and who knows. It all gets dialed in somehow. I also plan to feature some chefs and foodies. One of my favorites is Georgeanne Brennan who wrote the book, A Pig in Provence and her new book, The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook looks wonderful.
My overall project notes: I just love the luxury of being able to obsess about my favorite subjects in color and share them with such an enthusiastic crowd. It’s happiness every day. Even on the very tired and grumpy days. I’m here, I’m in, more adventures ahead, I’ll sleep when I die, etc.!