Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Still Life: Irises and Ice Cream Cones

Here's a little glimpse at the past week in my quiet life as an artist and locavore.

It's iris season...I want to paint them all.
Playing with my little monkey on Mother's Day morning.
Three-colored baked potato chips...the best idea I've had all week.
Purple scallions from Migliorelli Farm are my new obsession.

There's something magical about singing in Latin.
Goats are cute...the end.
Staring at the shiny hospital waiting room floor. 
Sitting down to work on Monday morning.

We went to King Kone twice last weekend...I have no regrets.
Blogger in training.
Ed's the master of playtime.
Don't forget to look up!

It's been a great week... I took trips to two farmer's markets (Gossett's and Muscoot), had a picnic in the park, Dylan ate his first King Kone ice cream, I saw the Avengers with my honey, cooked some amazing locally grown veggies, finished the graphite pencil study for "Triad", took my mom to have knee surgery (she's doing great), made some new blog friends and rehearsed with my lovely little church choir. I hope the past week has been full of beauty, joy and inspiration for all of you too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Artwork in Progress: "Triad" Part 3

I'm so darn excited that I finished my black and white graphite pencil study for "Triad" this week! I feel like I learned so much in the process of doing this study that it was totally worth the time it took. 

Time to play with lots and lots of pretty colors. I don't think I can possibly express how much I love my giant set of Prismacolor pencils. When I take the lid off of the box it's like having access to my own private rainbow. They look like a thousand possibilities and smell like hours spent in the art studio.

Here's what I always surprises me how few green pencils I use when drawing green things. You think something's green, but then you really look at it and it's actually green with burnt ochre shadows, Spanish orange highlights and blue lake reflections.

I'm excited to get started on the color study for this piece so I can figure out how to layer and blend all of these gorgeous pencils!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eat/Art Local Links: Food in Jars and Shades of Jazz

Here's a roundup of some of my favorite food and art links this week....enjoy!

It'll be so much fun to play this with Dylan when he gets older!

What the World Eats (Shocking Photos) 
I was flabbergasted by these photographs of what families around the world eat in a week. I'm proud to say that what my family eats looks nothing like what the U.S. families shown here consume (we eat very little packaged/premade food and a lot more fresh produce).
Drying Herbs in a Solar Dehydrator 
I'd love to have one of these Solar Food Dehydrators in my yard someday...I'd also love to have a yard to put it in (I'm currently an apartment dweller.)
USDA is spending millions to give farmers markets technology to accept food stamps, serve more 
I love the idea of low-income families now being able to purchase fresh healthy food at farmer's markets!
Food in Jars 
This wonderful blog might give me the inspiration I need to finally use my canning equipment for the first time. Just in time to make jam during berry season!
Westchester County's Farmland: A Pictorial Guide 
It's amazing that all of these beautiful farms are just minutes away! I hope to visit some of them this summer.
I'm excited that John Scofield's Shades of Jazz concert series will be back this summer at the KMA. Tickets cost only $10 (for museum members), a great price for picnicing in the museum's sculpture garden, drinking complementary beer and wine, and enjoying some amazing music. Can you say "date night?!" 
I'd love to stop by the the Main House Artist Gallery  at Muscoot Farm to check out this show when I go to the Farmer's Market on Sunday. (I'd really love to exhibit my own work there someday!)
ArtsBash 2012 
Wishing we had $150 to spare (and a babysitter) so Ed and I could attend this AMAZING looking event held by ArtsWestchester (it's part of Westchester Magazine's Wine and Food Weekend). There's going to be a sculpture exhibit, fine wine, art studio tours, and food from over 20 local restaurants...essentially the best party ever. We'll definitely plan ahead to attend ArtsBash 2013!
Family ArtsBash 2012 
And if Dylan were older, we'd totally be attending this FREE event with art workshops, games, yummy treats and prizes for kiddos!
Lori McNee Fine Art & Tips 
I discovered the wonderful blog of artist Lori McNee this week...Lori posts all sorts of amazing tips for creating art, building an art business, and using social media effectively. Plus her artwork is amazing. I'm her new biggest fan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Portrait of the Artist: Why Local?

I've read lots of articles discussing the environmental, economic, and health benefits of eating local food. These benefits are wonderful, and I like that I'm helping out the planet, local farmers, and my own health with my locavore lifestyle. But these aren't the reasons why I choose to buy local. 

I buy the majority of our food each week at farmer's markets for one simple reason...because I enjoy it immensely.
Local Goodies!
First of all, I love farms. When I was a little girl, my babysitter moved her family from the suburbs of New York to a farm in Pennsylvania. I have fond memories of visiting the farm, shelling peas for dinner and eating grapes still warm from the sun directly off of the vines. And then there was the summer when my parents sent me to Farmers Camp at Muscoot Farm. I milked cows and collected eggs from chickens and worked in their was the best camp ever.
Old Barn at Muscoot Farm
There's something magical about eating with the seasons. I love anticipating the first sweet strawberries of the springtime, the gorgeous rainbow of heirloom tomatoes in the summer, and delicious squash of all different shapes, sizes and textures in the autumn. Having to wait until foods are in season makes them seem so much more precious and special.
The First Asparagus of the Season
It makes me happy buying eggs and milk and cheese from farmers who talk lovingly about their chickens and cows and goats (and often have photographs of their wonderful animals to show me!) I've seen enough documentary footage of the inhumane treatment of animals living on large-scale factory farms to haunt me for a lifetime.
Local Cheeses
I often discover things at the Farmer's Market that I haven't seen anywhere else...purple carrots, golden beets, colored eggs, unusual herbs, hand-crafted raw milk cheeses...every trip to the market is an adventure!
Purple Scallions
The food just tastes better. Fruits are sweeter, and veggies are crisper when they are picked the day before you buy them (instead of being picked and then shipped across the country or around the world to then sit on grocery shelves for who-knows-how-long, waiting for you to buy them).
The Most Carroty-Tasting Carrots I've Ever Eaten
And last (but definitely not least)...I love shopping at farmer's markets because it inspires me as an artist. It's amazing all the brilliant colors, unusual shapes and remarkable textures that can be found in foods that are locally grown!
Yellow Oyster Mushrooms...I'll be drawing these!
Every locavore has their own reasons for eating locally grown foods....these are mine. Hopefully I've inspired you to eat more local foods!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

At the Market: Mother's Day at Muscoot Farm

I had a wonderful Mother's Day which included a trip to Muscoot Farm for a picnic, a stroll through their farmer's market (which opened for the season today), taking lots of pictures of old buildings, and talking to all sorts of farm animals.
Beautiful Red Barn and Blue Skies at Muscoot
The market at Muscoot has a great range of vendors, including some of the same wonderful vendors as Gossett's Farm Market. I really like going to both markets each weekend so I can get as much variety as possible.
So Many Vendors to Buy From!
Meredith's Bread immediately lured me in with their tables brimming with gorgeous baked goods. I somehow managed to resist buying one of these pies (but I was definitely tempted!) I can't wait for fresh fruit to come into season at the market so I can start baking my own pies again :)
Assorted Pies
 I DID cave and buy a loaf of their bread husband requested the 12 Grain instead of the 7 Grain arguing that the 12 Grain is obviously 5 grains better....that's just math.
Fresh-Baked Bread
We stopped by Hudson Milk where I picked up some local yogurt, cheese, and half & half. Their selection is amazing AND they do home delivery! My son Dylan was very excited that he got to sample some of their cheese.
Assorted Locally-Made Cheeses
The real excitement of going to multiple markets with lots of vendors is having an assortment of produce to choose these beautiful purple potatoes from Healthway Farms!
Purple Majesty Potatoes
Muscoot Farm is such a lovely place, I look forward to visiting their market again next Sunday!
Old Farm House at Muscoot
This Week's Harvest:
Organic 12-Grain Bread - Meredith's Bread
Stoltzfus Dairy Creamline Maple Yogurt - Hudson Milk
Battenkill Valley Creamery Half and Half - Hudson Milk
Maplebrook Cheddar Cheese Bites - Hudson Milk
Purple Majesty Potatoes - Healthway Farms

P.S. I want to thank my husband, Ed, and my baby boy, Dylan, for coming to the market with made my Mother's Day extra special!

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