Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bags and books and featherweight things

I had to deliver two lots of artworks to two different places today, one early morning, one mid day, so this entailed getting out both artbags, one the ancient gray canvas one of student days, the other a more interesting one.

And it occurred to me that they were great canvases for painting on, as are my totebags for grocery shopping.  And that they might be candidates for transparencies.. so I took a pic or two, and here they 

Two sides of same bag, two moods!

Front and back of giant art bag.  The second one is a pocket, but it could be a bag in itself.  The only drawback to giant bags is that if you take advantage of the size, you can't lift them...

You know how easy this is, yes?  you take any old canvas totebag, tape it with masking tape to give yourself boundaries, then using liquid acrylics and a one inch cheapo sponge brush, you paint.  Then you peel off the tape. And you have a much more interesting bag than you had before.  You might also have something you could frame.

This could go in the art blog, but that's going to be a bit heavy with the shows and with the artist book capers, so I'm putting it in here.  And there's an invitation to create and teach a workshop, which I'm thinking about, and will get into over there, when I get there..

And I have two books to recommend, A Bird in the Hand, by Diana Henry, which doesn't sound very new and different, but it's great. She uses all the spices I learned to use from Ottolenghi in the service of chicken.  Really interesting stuff here. Worth a try.  

But, smugly, she doesn't have the one I invented I think, last Friday, chicken thighs, pounded thin, rolled up with sharp cheese and baby bellas sauteed with all kinds of interesting spices, spritzed with olive oil, showered with panko, and roasted at 400F.   Does this have a name? I probably only dimly remembered it from somewhere and thought I'd invented it, as you do.

On the food front, a neighbor stopped by to return a container, in which he had put two slices of banana bread, different recipes. Both wonderful, they became my afternoon tea. Nice chat on ingredients.

The goose feather resting on the chicken book is a find from today's marsh walk, probably a Canada goose. They're in nesting mode right now, so I was careful not to blunder through them.  They can get a bit short tempered if they think you're on their patch.

And the other book is one I really recommend, How to Read Water, by Tristan Gooley. This man is a wonderful teacher, brilliant and knowledgeable and capable of talking about his subject clearly and without reaching down. He has a great reading voice, too.  I heard his audio of The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs, and was very impressed.  He was on radio recently, and I got so engrossed in his anecdotes about water and how to study it that I'm now reading his book on it.  

So after doing the art deliveries and other errands, I took a walk along a nearby marshland, where there's plenty to see, and studied water patterns and little wavelets and how the shape of the banks and the breeze changed them, putting my newfound knowledge to work.  Anyway, do look at any of his writing, it's great.  

Today the birds were out in force, sunny, building time, and my favorite song of all, I heard the shout of the redwing blackbird.  It's not melodious, not a patch on some musical birds, but for me it's so redolent of Spring, and Shakespeare, and the smell of boxwood, and well, it's the real sign of spring here.  Other birds wander in early, but once the sound of the blackbird is heard, you know it's official.  Here it is, complete with rather fuzzy pic:

And that's a few of the things happening today around here.


  1. Love the bags! And you are so right about the really big bags. I have one very rugged canvas tote that was meant for heavy groceries, like cans and sacks of flour, but it's massive and if I fill it I have to sort of drag it from the car to the house, or else heave it into the garden cart. Much more work than two or three smaller totes. Maybe I can use it for recyclable cans and bottles - bulky but not weighty.

  2. So creative! I am always enchanted by the ideas people come up with. Well done!


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