Greetings, WSI members and friends. Let me begin by wishing you the happiest of holidays. I celebrate Christmas, but whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanza, or you follow another faith path and just celebrate with the rest of us at this time of year, I wish you the very best joys of the season and a new year full of good surprises.
In my studio this month, I’ve been experimenting with painting on you. Why? That’s what I keep asking myself. Why? I think I do it because–as one of my artist friends reminded me–I like to play with paint and ideas. Yupo is a tricky surface, and people like Sandy Maudlin and Sandy Ezell make it look so easy. But it isn’t easy. Maybe I just need to change my name to Sandy. I love the flow and movement of watercolor paint on you, but I confess to being stymied by how to manage the shapes and colors that I don’t want to flow or move. I am very far from mastery of that step.
Are you aware that the author Stephen King locks away his newly written books for six months before he begins his final edits? (Read–or listen to–On Writing by King). When I was teaching writing, I told my students that a good piece of writing needs to rest a bit–sort of like bread proofing before it becomes the final loaf. Writing needs to rest, too. And then taken out and read aloud and finished. You can be sure that I never wrote anything at the last minute. I still don’t.
I’m thinking that the “proofing” part might be just as practical for a painting, so I have been going back into my files looking at some work that I’ve labeled “maybe finished” and giving it another shot. For me, the finishing strokes are the hardest because my work doesn’t always look as I pictured it inside my brain before I ever laid the first paint on paper.
My goal is to continue to try to improve and finish unfinished work until (1) I’m sure it’s the best I can do or (2) it makes its way into the scrap pile. Wish me luck! If I end up with anything I really like, maybe I’ll show you in my next blog.
I shared a recipe or two in my November post, so I’ll share a recipe in this post, too. I only make Chicken Liver Pate‘ once a year–at Christmas–and I share the pate‘ with our son in Michigan–he likes it–and a few friends and family who enjoy the richness (and ease) of this recipe. Here it is:
Chicken Liver Pate‘
1 small onion, peeled, cut up 1 small clove garlic, peeled, quartered
1 egg 1/2 lb. fresh chicken livers
1 1/2 T flour 2 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper 1/4 t. each ground ginger, allspice
2 t. butter 1/2 c. whipping cream
Put onion, garlic, and egg in blender or food processor. Cover and process until thoroughly blended. Add chicken livers and blend until smooth. Add flour, salt, pepper, spices, butter, and cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into well buttered 2 cup soufflé dish; cover with foil. Set dish in a pan of hot water. Bake at 325 degrees 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil. Cool. Cover and chill overnight. Carefully unmold on platter. Serve with cocktail rye and thinly sliced dill pickle. Or crackers. Or whatever you like.