Friday, August 10, 2012

food as art - csa love

Warning: 

A new addiction has taken hold of me.  This addiction has the ability to resurface every two weeks.  I very well might annoy the heck out of each one of you because I don't know if I will be able to contain myself. 

You see...I just became the newest member of the Good Life Organics CSA program.  CSA stands for Community Sponsored Agriculture.  You pay a certain amount per week/month/season and local farms give you fruits and vegetables that are in season.  You don't know what you are going to get...and that is pretty much 50% of the fun for me.  

The other 50% of the fun?  Just look at how gorgeous this food is that arrived in my first box.






Ok, ok...so I might have to add another 50% in there even thought that makes for terrible math.  My other 50% of why this is amazing is because of the taste.  I just ate this:

 

And can now die a happy woman.  I am not usually a big fan of fruit...of any kind really.  But seriously...this was like candy.  So sweet. 

If this food isn't artistic...I don't know what is.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a farm to devour.


Related Articles
Food As Art - Taste of Japan - A great look into the beauty in Japanese food
Food As Art - Deep Ellum - Where my love of coffee leads to beautiful food
Food As Art - New Series - The introduction to this series



Thursday, August 2, 2012

children's book art - a theme

My daughter is only 6 months old. She doesn't understand pretty much anything that is said to her, but "the experts" all say you should read to your infants from birth anyway.  Really?  Does it make a difference to their growth and development?  I'm skeptical.  I mean, you try to read a book to a baby that can't sit up and cries every time you try to just sit with her and a book.  So, I honestly haven't found a lot of time to read to her.  I know...I'm a rebel mother.

But...I do try from time to time and am seeing a change in her ability to focus these days, so reading is becoming more of a priority.  As I have started to read a bit more of the children's books, I find myself really looking at the artwork.  I think about the artist that completed each page and why they decided to do what they did.  I enjoy figuring out what medium they used and trying to look for the details.  

Anyway, we don't have many books yet, so the same ones have been repeated many times.  Here are two of the books I tend to read more often:



As you can see from the covers, the style of these books could not be more different.  The alphabet book is extremely simple with a lot of solid colors and simple lines.  It was probably all illustrated on a computer.  The kisses book is full of beautiful watercolors.  There are a lot of details and there is a large color range on each page.

When reading through each book, there was one page in each that always makes me a little bit happier to turn to.  Each page makes me feel excited and especially creative.  Here they are:



Again...really different, right?  But, do you see something similar?  Look again.  

Exact.  Same.  Colors.

I obviously am drawn towards this color combination.  Here's a note to go into my artistic journal (if it existed).  
"Bethany, you love this color combination - spring green, royal purple, sunny yellow, tangerine orange, and highlights of white.  It doesn't matter what you do...just use these colors and you will love it."

Related Articles
Eclipse - These photos also inspired me to want to paint
Last Reminder - Some inspiration from nature
Hidden Artwork - Maps - Another place I was surprised to find some beautiful art
 

Monday, July 30, 2012

food as art - taste of japan

When I think of beautiful food, I often think of Japan.  That is why we welcome Becca to our series today!  The Food As Art series is simply about the many ways food can be artistic or creative or inspiring or beautiful or weird.

Hello! My name is Becca. I’m Bethany’s friend and I’ve lived in Japan for three years, and I’m about to start on a fourth.

Japan loves to turn their food into art. Sometimes visual and sometimes in taste – who else would create a wasabi kit-kat? 

 Here I am holding some carrot-grape swirl soft-serve ice cream. 

 
I currently live in Hokkaido, which is the northern most island in Japan. We’re famous for all kinds of produce, beer and . . . ramen! The restaurant below made the shape of the island out of ramen bowls. 

 
Japanese people can make art out of any foods.

Fish and veggies? Yes!

 
Indian food? Of course!

 
Quiche!

 
And of course they can make Japanese food into art as well.

This is Yaki-niku, which is Japanese style barbeque. 

 
Japanese pickles, taste entirely different from the ones in the US and they are made out of a greater variety of vegetables. In this picture, there’s eggplant, cabbage, carrot, daikon, and cucumber. 

 
I’d never even heard of tofu-cheese until we had it at a dinner party. It was very pretty and pretty good, too. It gets dipped in the sauce at the end of the plate. 

 
Onigiri (rice balls) are the Japanese equivalent of a sandwich – super convenient and people tend to take them for meals where they are packing a lunch. 


My favorite part of any meal though is dessert, and it’s also what I tend to photograph the most.

Japanese desserts are often found at tea ceremony. 

 
This one was found in Osaka. The dessert is yuzu-manju, which has a bread-like outside and has sweet bean paste inside with yuzu (a Japanese citrus). 

 
Then, of course, there are foods that aren’t necessarily Japanese, but have a spin on them I’ve never seen anywhere else.

My friend made this roll-cake when she came to my house for dinner. It has a giraffe pattern in it! 

 
Macaroons have suddenly become quite popular in Japan too. They’re easy to find at many convenience stores (though that’s not where these came from). 

 
Even the dishes can make a simple sesame pudding look stunning. 

 
The cakes are almost always spectacular as well and if you find yourself at a nice tea shop, you can usually get a good deal on tea with your cake. 

 
Less often, you can find absolutely stunning drinks. This one was found at a cafĂ© with a pretty delicious lunch set. It’s their berry “juice.” It’s more like an Italian soda with a bunch of fresh berries hanging out at the bottom. 

 
Japan is also a place to find food-related things to have a good laugh at. Like this Onigiri (rice ball) hat! 

 
I hope you’ve enjoyed this array of strange and beautiful foods from Japan! If you’d like to see more of my Japan adventures, my blog is here


Related Articles
Food As Art - Deep Ellum - Where my love of coffee leads to beautiful food
Food As Art - New Series - The introduction to this series
p[art]nership - a old series full of great guest posts like this!

Friday, July 27, 2012

i'm not gonna lie...

...I could use some help.

The blog writing part of my brain is all cobwebby (whoa...totally expected "cobwebby" to be noticed by blogger as a misspelled word with that little red squiggly line underneath it...but I guess it's a real word or something because there is no line).  I am sitting here trying to think of some ingenious things to write about and am falling a little short.  Wanna help a girl out?

I have some fun series going on, but don't want to keep repeating them too often.  The things topics I keep coming back to a bit too often when it comes time to write are:
See...adorable and amazing
  • The Written Artwork Series
  • The n[a]r[r]a[t]ive Series
  • The NEW Food As Art Series
  •  Behind the scenes looks into my own artwork
These are all great, but I need stuff to fill in the creative gaps.  Ideas I've toyed around with are:
  • Sewing - I seem to be doing a lot of it lately, but I don't want this to become a craft blog, so have avoiding sharing the fruits of my labor
  • Adelaide - My daughter is adorable and amazing...but again, don't want this to become a baby/mommy blog
So.....

Write a comment about something...anything really, you might feel slightly interested in me writing about.  Maybe a gem of an idea will help spark something in me and get the juices flowing.  

I'd certainly appreciate it.




Related Articles
The n[a]r[r]a[t]ive Series - the entire series
The Written Artwork Series - the entire series
Food As Art - Deep Ellum - the last post in this series

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

egg nests

I have two paintings that I am particularly smitten with these days.  So smitten, that I just had to do a highlight of them here.

I don't really have a witty story to go along with these or a cute little behind the scenes look at why I painted them.  They are amazingly simple, as are most of my paintings, and I just thought...hey, I should paint some eggs in a nest.  So I did.  Twice.

Egg Nest on Teal
Egg Nest on Dusty Blue


From afar, these paintings look pretty alright.  But it's the up close that makes you (well hopefully you...and not just me) fall in love.



 


 These paintings were done in 3-4 sessions.  First the base coat goes down and dries.  Then the nest goes on and dries.  Then the eggs go on.  With the teal painting, the base coat took two sessions with the under colors (mostly yellow) that show through (which I love and think it is SO worth the extra session).

These eggs were beyond fun to paint.  I loved getting the shape just right and then adding the shading.  The eggs on the dusty blue painting are my favorite. 

Anyway, there they are.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  And, just in case, here are the links to them in my shop.

Egg Nest on Teal
Egg Nest on Dusty Blue


Related Articles
Behind The Painting - Yellow House - A painting that actually has a story
A Favorite - An old favorite painting of mine (please excuse the awful photos...I was still learning)
When Paintings Fight Back - My favorite behind the scenes look at a painting

Monday, July 23, 2012

food as art - deep ellum

The Food As Art series is simply about the many ways food can be artistic or creative or inspiring or beautiful or weird.

I can actually remember the first time I had a cup of coffee and said "Ahhhh...this is amazing."

Coffee and I were not friends until about the age of 23.  My husband was also not a coffee drinker, but started when he got into grad school.  He forced himself to drink it until he liked it.  Then he decided I should do the same.  So he forced me to drink it until I liked it. 

Let's just say it took a while...

But then, on August 1, 2009 we moved.  It was a 5 minute drive between the apartment we were leaving in Brookline, MA to the apartment we were moving to in Allston, MA...but that day couldn't have been longer.  We have too much stuff.

So, on August 2, 2009 we woke up in the middle of a disaster of a new apartment, surrounded by boxes and said, "Uhhhhhhg."  Then we proceeded to find a place to treat ourselves to breakfast. 

And then we found Deep Ellum...and the heaven's opened, and God himself smiled upon us.

Deep Ellum is a fabulous bar by night with an unbeatable cocktail menu of prohibition era drinks, but my favorite time to go is for breakfast.  *side note: Why don't all bars have amazing breakfast service? I think it should be a law.

I remember exactly what I ordered.  It was the country fried steak.  And it was REAL STEAK.  Not that pounded flat, excuse for meat I used to secretly love in the cafeteria of college.  It was cooked to perfection with a bit of char on the outside and a touch of pink in the middle.  I don't remember what the husband got, because I didn't care, because my steak was so good.

And I had coffee.  Just their regular drip coffee with a bit of cream and sugar.  And. It. Was. Amazing.  I vividly remember looking out the window at the beautiful sunshine, feeling my aching muscles as they relaxed into my chair, and slowly sipping my coffee after devouring my steak of perfection.  It just might be one of my favorite memories of living in Boston.

And how is this at all related to art?  Well...it's not really.  But, this entire story was brought to mind when I was looking through some old photos.  We had dined at Deep Ellum other times, and one time someone ordered this:


I was like, "Whoa," and then I took a picture.  That is art.  And delicious.


Related Articles
Food As Art - New Series - The introduction to the yummy series
Wet Price Tag - This is a video of my old studio in Allston, MA
n[a]r[r]a[t]ive - Honey - If you liked my coffee story, maybe you'll enjoy this random one