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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Life and the Journal


I arrived home from Oaxaca on September 14th and I leave for Australia and Bali on Tuesday. 


This interlude at home has been so sweet, so good with my family.


We had our Birthday month celebrations at Pacific City at the beach and our Birthday people were surprised and excited to be honored once again. 
Here is Stephanie feigning surprise and John all tickled with his cozy new couch cuddle.


It seems like the harvest will never end this year. A bumper crop of figs, plums, autumn raspberries, watermelon and cantaloupe along with the usual vegetables are keeping John busy.


Meanwhile I'm packing my suitcase and crossing items off my numerous lists. Writing in my journal to soothe my pre-travel nerves.


John's zinnias are a consolation. They're so unusually beautiful; at first I thought they were dahlias.


I admit I'm going to miss Autumn very much.


Meanwhile it'll be Spring in Australia. Summer in Bali. 


This is a small painting I did over a month ago. I've been shirking my painting duties.


Journal pages. That's what I've been doing instead.


If you have Facebook you'll see my on-the-fly posts as I travel in the coming weeks. Otherwise, I'll be back in November with photographs and stories.

Keep dreaming. 
Keep believing. 
xo


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oaxaca Wrap Up


 I made a montage of my photographs to give you peeks inside our Oaxacan experience. 
In the one above Ane Elena is showing us how to make Molotes, Tinga and Churros. 
Ane Elena lives in Puebla and owns three successful bakeries. 
She spent the entire trip with us as a translator and co-guide with Kathie Vezzani and even painted with us.


We visited the paper making place that Toledo set up in St. Augustine-Etla.


The potters who made the black pottery. Reduction fired in the pits shown in the photo after being rubbed with stones and graphite. 
The shop we visited was filled with brilliant work and many of us jumped at the chance to bring some home.


 At Susana Trilling's "Seasons of the Heart" cooking school we learned how to make cheese, 2 moles, rice with herbe congrejo, a fabulous salad and chocolate dessert made with mezcal and orange liquere. 


We visited a cochineal farm and learned about the dyes used in wool rugs the area is famous for. 
Got to see plants growing of cotton (green and tan in addition to white), marigolds and indigo. 
And a few other plants used for dye that I've forgotten the names of. 


We ate. Oh, did we eat. Mango omelettes, tinga tostados, moles and tacos.


We shared friendships.


We ate in the market and shopped and made necklaces.


 All the food in the image above was from one meal at Origen restaurant. 
Those are the courses with 2 desserts shows. I think there were five courses.
 And fancy cocktails. Swoon.


 Katie with her nahuatl totem the armadillo in the Painters Museum and more. Lots of art to inspire.


 More views of the paper making and former textile factory at St. Augustine-Etla.


 Las artistas at work.


Cooking up a storm at Seasons of the Heart.


 Susana Trilling and the cooks.


Precious memories. A whirlwind of color, flavor and art.

Next stop, Mexico City in March, 2015. Think about it. xo

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Paint Oaxaca Part 1


Kathie Vezzani. I have to start with her. Oh, man, if she is leading your group you are going to be well cared for. The best restaurants, calm demeanor, planner of surprises and knower of what is fun and memorable in your travels and art making. Just wow. Here she is looking out over the Botannical Garden from the Santo Domingo convent.


Here is our magnificent group of travelers. Artists. Jokesters. Twittering angels. What a compatible bunch we were. I'm smiling here at each face, remembering.


It was colorful. Fiestas around each corner.


Lots of green jungley foliage in the courtyard and the city during the rainy season.


A lovely welcome party to greet us.


Esquites, ceviche, tostadas, tamales, plantain fritters, mezcal margaritas. Ehole!!


The wonder of Monte Alban.


The lovely Indio children. So proud of their culture. Their gentle spirits are part of what makes Oaxaca unique.


The first day we eased into our painting classes with some sketching and walking around our neighborhood. Just getting into the slower and less demanding rhythm of our surroundings.


We sketched the outside of this church: Santo Domingo. Everything that looks like gold is gold. 


Michele Unger took this photograph of Kathy, Katie, and myself having a sit down in the Painters' Museum. 


Beautiful architecture and history everywhere you look.


This is how my Sopa de Guia was served. The ingredients here are squash blossom, string cheese, pumpkin seeds and chapulines. Then the waiter comes with a pitcher of hot squash broth that he pours over it. It looks like cream but I think it is liquified squash and some herbs. Delicious!


Our group walking home under the harvest moon on the safe and easy to navigate streets.


I'll add chapters all this week. I still haven't unpacked. In the meantime, consider seeing Mexico City with Kathie, Katie and myself this coming March. We will do everything in our power to make Mexico City a beautiful adventure as well.


I painted 3 abstracts before I left that I didn't have time to post.






And I came home to ripe melons!


More tomatoes.


Luscious kale.




Can it really be September 16th already?


Tomorrow we have a Birthday to celebrate but I'll try to have the next installment ready to post. 

Sending love and prayers to all.