Paint Schoodic

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Start with the canvas!

Autumn leaves.... as done by a painter.

When the gifted Shibori dye-master Jane Bartlett offered to help me make fancy cookies for an event, the planning revolved not around the baking, but what array of icing colors would yield the most natural fall colors.

“I suppose I have to get up early and make the dough,” I sighed.

“Yes, you must start with the canvas!” she answered.

The canvas: my mother's Christmas cookie recipe.
My trusted assistant Sandy Quang (who has a BFA from Pratt) also pitched in. At one point I was lamenting that the maples leaves I made with fuchsia and chartreuse looked good; the ones with fuchsia and green did not. “That’s because the pink and green are too close in value,” Sandy observed. I’m so happy that her pricey art education is paying off.


Jane Bartlett puts her dye-mixing skills to work, in a medium she's never used before.
“The reason male artists are more successful than their female counterparts is that they never get sidetracked into projects like this,” I grumbled as the hours stretched on.

She left the color streaky, to imitate the veins of the leaves.
“No, they get sidetracked into furniture-making. This is ephemeral art,” Sandy chirped.  

A good array of pre-mixed pigments speeds the job up.
I suppose that label could be applied to all good food preparation, which certainly gives humanity more joy than, say,  Mark Quinn’s Self, which is a frozen cast of the artist’s head made of his own blood. 

Sandy specialized in oak leaves; I specialized in maple leaves. Jane was a generalist, but nobody particularly liked doing the sumac leaves.
Each time I teach a workshop at Lakewatch Manor, my students react with joy to the artistic, delicious meals they are served. I observe that the innkeepers seem to take equal joy in making them.


One more workshop left this year! Join me in October, 2013 at Lakewatch Manor—which is selling out fast—or let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in 2014. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!

3 comments:

Laura said...

Why do you think your daughter's registry is 90% kitchen stuff? ;)

Jane Bartlett said...

One of the best days I've had: wome wokig in a group to complete a family project. I give you te cookie baking bee done by three artists.

Carol Douglas said...

One of the bestest days I've had, too. And I gave up about half an hour ago when the last batch of beech leaves ended up looking more like slices of pizza. But Sandy is still plugging away.

I think we did about 30 dozen, Jane.