The movie industry lost a screen legend today. I was a huge fan of Irish actress Maureen O'Hara, who made it to a ripe old age of 95. Maybe it's because I watch the Turner Classic Movies channel and have seen nearly all of her older films, or maybe because I've been to the area in Ireland where she filmed The Quiet Man with John Wayne, or maybe just because I'm a sucker for a beautiful redhead. In any case, she was feisty and I liked that about her.
She was stunningly beautiful in The Black Swan, along with Tyrone Power, and she portrayed a gorgeous gypsy Esmerelda along with Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Even if you don't watch the old classic films, surely you saw Miracle on 34th Street art least once in your life, in which she played little Susan Walker's mom. Maureen did a great interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio in the past few years, and her spitfire and spunk was showing even in her nineties. Hail and farewell, Miss O'Hara.
“I loved Mary Kate Danaher.
I loved the hell and fire in her.
She was a terrific dame, tough,
and didn’t let herself get walked on.”
— Maureen O'Hara
about her character in The Quiet Man
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This is another "Hide & Seek" piece that I am putting in the upcoming Crane Estate / Castle Hill show. The painting is my interpretation of my friend Elissa's patch of poppies in springtime. The buds are just about to emerge into their orange-red blossoms. It looks like a mad tangle, but the blues and silvery greens are so very lovely. Can you find the hidden something?
Snake heads rising through a wicked tangle of silver foliage,
This is a new work painted for the upcoming Crane Estate / Castle Hill show, whose theme this year is called "Hide & Seek." (Click on paintings to see them larger.) In that spirit, if you look very closely in this painting, you may find a certain something. It's difficult to see in this small photo, so hope you can make it to the show to see in person! More details on the Castle Hill show to come soon.
Let's talk beans, shall we?! I love the annual pink borlotti bounty that I harvest from my garden each October. These beans are super easy to grow, and their pink speckled shells always remind me of Lily Pulitzer. They are the the last thing to ripen in my garden—long after the cucumbers and tomatoes have waned—and just as the last of the pears have fallen from the trees. My routine is to shell them while sipping a glass of wine... the way an Italian nona in the Tuscan countryside would do. Sounds nice, doesn't it?
I simmer the beans in a porcelain bowl filled with chicken broth, a good healthy drizzle of olive oil, garlic cloves, sliced tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary, and salt and pepper. I also add some crushed red pepper flakes. I cover and cook in a 350°oven for about an hour. The beans come out soft and the garlic is like buttah. The flavorful beans are fabulous with a piece of crunchy bread, or sometimes I make a borlotti bean bruschetta. The word bruschetta [pronounced bru-SKET-ah] is from the Italian word bruscare, which means to char. I urge you to grow these beans next summer!