Friday, June 8, 2018

Color inspiration—dahlias

How lovely are these dahlias in shade of demure pinks and apricots? No bold fuchsias here—grabbing attention and stealing the show—just dainty ladies in their frilly dresses, all getting along at the ball. The colors remind me of frosty sweet sherbet.

To see more colors, click on the red "color inspirationlabel below.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Rhubarb, alliums, and irises

It's rare that both the alliums and irises in one of my gardens are in bloom at the same time. And if it does occur, it's a short window. Generally the alliums are waning and the the irises state blooming. But we have had an unusually warm month of May, so perhaps this window was extended this spring. Anyhow, here is how it looks.  The rhubarb leaves are enormous—the leaves are about 3 feet in diameter. For reference the white rhubarb plume shown here is about 7 feet tall.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Flaming Ipswich Marsh

Flaming Ipswich Marsh 20 x 16

This oil painting will be available for sale at the upcoming Art in the Barn Show in Essex.

Two Egrets

Two Egrets 5 x 7" 

Here is another small watercolor that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale. I painted this scene in oils as two large diptych paintings, called Egrets at Dawn. Click here link for more information on that painting.

Essex marsh

Essex marsh 5 x 7" 

Another sneak peek for some of my work that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale. 

Happy marsh

Happy marsh  5 x 7" 

Here is another small watercolor that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale. 

Gnarly old cherry tree

 Gnarly old cherry tree  5.75 x 8.25" 

Here is another small watercolor that will be for sale next weekend at the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale. Friday, Saturday, & Sunday—June 8 - 10.  Hope to see you there!

Spring marsh

 Spring marsh  5.75 x 8.25" 

I will be putting some of my oil paintings, pen and ink drawings and watercolor field studies (like this marsh painting), in the Essex County Greenbelt's annual Art in the Barn exhibition and sale, coming up next weekend (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday—June 8 - 10.  Hope you can swing by.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cucumber + hummus

This is a quick and easy lunch that I have at the office from time to time. It's creamy hummus on Persian cucumber halves, with slices of red and yellow peppers and a sprinkling of chive blossoms. I used to think the only way I could enjoy hummus was with Stacy's pita chip cracker (mmm, salty, crunchy!) but those carb calories add up fast, so I swapped in cucumbers and don't miss those chips at all. Much. Well...

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Painted river

I painted this small painting an hour before going to a friends party, you know, as a hostess gift for her. It was the first time I had ever delivered a completely wet oil painting to someone. Ha! This friend lives right on the edge of the river that winds through the marshes and goes out to the sea. Every day she gets to see these beautiful salt marshes! And oh how this view changes. About once a week for 3+ years this friend has been snapping a photo of this river view. I think she needs to make a coffee book with all of her beautiful photographs.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Beet salad with chives blossoms

Sweet earthy beets are anointed with a classic french vinaigrette. Other tidbits in the salad are French lentils, edamame, arugula, goat cheese, red onion, and oniony chive blossoms, which are in bloom this week. The cosmos flower decided to join the party.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Radishes, butter and salt—oh my!

The French do this marvelous thing with radishes. They serve these crunchy, peppery morsels with softened butter and sea salt, preferably Fleur de Sel. This much loved French hors d'oeuvre is so simple, yet so sublime. We've had these radishes served in a fancy presentation, as shown above—the butter even had chopped chives in it—but my favorite way to enjoy them is the rustic presentation shown below, over a soft bed of bibb lettuce, dressed with French dressing (of course!).

One particular restaurant served bread, so one could make a mini radish tartine. Mmmm... radish radish tartines—that's a whole other blog post for another day.


Spread (ok, slather) a little butter on the radish, sprinkle on some salt...
.. and crunch!

Good to the last, zesty bite.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Color inspiration—lilacs

The lovely lilacs are coming into bloom. Could spring ever be complete without sniffing the heavenly aroma of a lilac blossom?

I snapped this photo at a Market in Paris on my last trip there. This old woman was shouting her heart out for people to buy her lilac and lily-of-the-valley bouquets. If we weren't leaving in a few days I surely would have bought some from her.

To see more colors, click on the red "color inspirationlabel below.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May Day!

The month of May is named after the Greek goddess Maia. The zodiac sign of Gemini starts in May. This print shows the twins Castor and Pollux. Enjoy this very beautiful month.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Au Revoir Paris

Time to say farewell to Paris, but it’s nice knowing that there will always be two cozy chairs waiting for us at the Tuilleries or Luxembourg Gardens.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Have I mentioned the chocolate shops?

Don't bother trying to find any chocolate in Paris—we bought it all! This amazing store was founded by the royal pharmacist to Louis XVI. He invented candy coating for medicine to give Marie Antoinette and her pals, and from that a chocolate shop was born.

inside DeBauve and Gallais

At Meert, another old time Store in Saint-Germain des Prés. Here I am making my selections... "Two of those and two of those and ..."

We interrupted the chocolate store tour for lunch. 
Which included profiteroles, covered in chocolate of courses!

Below, the colorful squares are from Pierre Marcolini, another fancy shop right next to our apartment. I bought one of these for us and it was an awesome dessert for our picnic dinner at Luxembourg  Garden. Always a sweet ending!

Paris Sketchbook: The Notre-Dame Cathedral

The Notre-Dame Cathedral, with a splash of pink cherry blossoms — at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Paris Sketchbook: Macaron madness

All the pretty colors and flavors., but Psst... here's a secret. I don't actually like mararons. Well, let's put it this way, it wouldn't be my first choice in a French patisserie. I'd much rather have something buttery or chocolaty!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Paris Sketchbook: Aaaahh, choux!

One can find all manner of confections made with a basic choux recipe. Here is a delicious one—chocolate eclairs!

Paris Sketchbook: Qu’ils mangent du gâteau!

Let them eat cake!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Paris Sketchbook: L'opera gateau

Ode to Parisian opera cake!

Paris Sketchbook: Cherry blossoms galore

I simply can't resist painting the beautiful cherry blossoms again! April is Paris is glorious!

This pretty specimen was at the Jardin des Plants (which, yes, means garden of plants. It’s a pretty cool botanical place set up by I think Louis XIV; there’s a zoo and arboretum and geological museum too.)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Paris Sketchbook: A fine cartouche

The hammered copper cartouche on the Pont Alexandre III bridge in Paris is spectacular. They don't make bridges like this anymore.

Paris Sketchbook: Painting + picnicking

Painting + picnicking in the Luxembourg Gardens—that was a good day. I sketched this stag sculpture in the Luxembourg Gardens today. The tulips were standing at attention, the birds were singing French chanteuse melodies and all of Paris was ‘a moveable feast’ of picnickers—including Dan and me. Our own private stag party!

To market, to market...!

Yesterday morning our Paris apartment fridge had only the bare necessities (a bottle of champagne and some chocolate bon-bons), so off we went to the Edgar Quinet outdoor market (in Montparnasse) to stock up. There, we bought a cornucopia of fresh culinary delights, including these small, but oh-so-sweet Cavaillon melons.

The strawberries here are always so ripe, red and sweet. There are different varieties too, including the elongated ‘gariguette’ strawberries, which are the small sweet ones seen all over the markets, and available only from March to mid June.

At a market today—two types of strawberries.