Autumn has arrived with the switch to daylight savings time. The days are golden and tepid, the nights inky and chilly. In anticipation of the coming holidays I have built up a generous head of steam for all the projects that come with the annual celebrations of autumn and winter.
It has been a long time since I submerged myself into holiday inspired projects. In fact, tit has been 10 years or more since I bought a pumpkin and carved it. Yes, very sad indeed. My little effort was fun even if the result was not particularly the best carving to behold. I am proud of the fact that I plunged in and did it. So many childhood memories were flooding the kitchen as cider warmed on the stove, I watched a rerun of a favorite PBS mystery and carved away. I had fun with it, and I plan to try again in the following year.
My plan was to carve it so that the semi-transparent skin glowed from within when lighted from the inside. I was somewhat successful. The outcome from the experience was I relearned the process. I know what tools I need to get to a better job next time. I also figured out that to get more delicate carvings I may have to take away the flesh from in the inside first, then carve the skin. Because I didn't have the 'pumpkin' carving tools available on the market I used linoleum block cutters. Thus with the limited blades that I had, the process was labor intensive and not very flexible. Nonetheless, I had a fabulous time and this process rekindled my enjoyment of preparing for All Hallows Eve.
Recently, I have been watching crows and ravens in all their antics in flight and cawing from various points of view. I am fascinated by these intelligent birds. They are feathered thrill seekers with an abundance of curiosity and mischief. I am often sketching them and decided to attempt a pastel drawing with a background of glazing. Here is the result:
I loosely sketched in the figure with hard pastels, built up the body and texture after spraying with workable fixative. Then I applied a glazing using Ivory, burnt sienna and mustard yellow around the figure - again, not trying to be perfect. I think I captured the quick and spirited curiosity that is always in their eyes. What do you think?
Autumn, after a hot summer, gets me in the mood for cooking more. Salads are the meal du jour during the summer so I don't have to heat up the house with the oven or the stove top. During the fall the energy and spark to cook returns. I recently put together a small dinner for my parents which entailed: Baked grits, lemon lavender chicken and a pear salad.
|I used a recipe in The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. Mainly its marinating your chicken in honey, lavender and lemon. Yummy!|