Violet, Sienna and Gray

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nourishment for the Soul

        "Hope never dies in the heart of Gardener!"

           I'm not sure what nourish's the soul more, creating art or creating a garden.
                                                      I know I need both to live!:)

Last weekend, I spent an entire afternoon at leisure! I did spend the morning working in my own garden, but the afternoon was spent wandering through many private gardens on the local Garden Club tour.  All of the gardens were beautiful, and inspiring. However, I came back home to each of the trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs and flowers that I have so lovingly planted, and I felt very satisfied! 

Spend a moment wandering through my little garden with me, share a few thoughts about the beauty and peacefulness of nature, and perhaps be inspired to grow something yourself.... a new plant, a new start, a new's all possible:)

"There isn't a problem that can't be buried while digging in the garden."

David Austin Roses

My little prayer garden in the shade.

"There are only two ways to live. You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle."   -Albert Einstein

"If we could but see things as they really are, we would find divinity in everything."


 My cardinal friend!


          "Speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee."-the Bible     



                                  Glorious dahlia's!!

                                                     I love my summer bouquets!

The vegetable garden in full bloom.

                 "Live Gently Upon This Earth"

Seek the sacred in the ordinary...

 Leaf Quote

"Inside you there's an artist you don't know about..... Say yes quickly, if you know, if you've known it from before the beginning of the universe." --Rumi

Mr. Troll has a Gnome friend living with him now,  and a dog! Come see them sometime:)

The gate is always open!

Friday, May 3, 2013

It's Derby Time in Louisville!

Louisvillians', you know these recipes well! 

Corn Pudding, Derby Pie, the Hot Brown and Henry Bain sauce! But, I want to share these old tried and true Kentucky recipes with the rest of the world! Last time I looked my blog was being read in Taiwan, Peru, Moldova, France, Brazil, Denmark, Africa,  and many other countries; as well as thirty or more US States! So, for those readers, not so much for the Louisville gang, here are some iconic "Kentucky Derby" recipes! Because, THIS is DERBY WEEK!!!! Enjoy!

This is known as the "DERBY PIE"! It is  wonderful, decadent, chocolatey, warm and rich!

Saturday evening, after the races, we will stop by the Pendennis Club for a cocktail. A waiter there, decades ago, created this fantastic sauce. It is a Louisville staple! Try it, you'll like it---on just about anything! Great on tenderloin!

The old Farmington Cookbook, we look to it for the "classic" recipes! I have a half-dozen "Corn Pudding" recipes, all are wonderful. But, the "go to" recipe for most of Louisville, is the Farmington recipe! This dish is sweet, rich, and creamy. It's addictive!

    The History of The Brown Hotel's "Hot Brown"-from Louisville's famous historic downtown architectural masterpiece, and world famous hotel!

With so much to boast - award-winning dining, breathtaking turn-of-the-century architecture, and attentive, caring service - some may wonder, "Why the Hot Brown?" Here is the history behind this now legendary dish…
In the 1920's, The Brown Hotel drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. In the wee hours of the morning, the guests would grow tired of dancing and retire to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Diners were growing rapidly bored with the traditional ham and eggs, so Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests' palates. His unique creation was an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. Exemplifying our unending dedication to serving our guests, The Hot Brown was born!          

                      The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe
Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):
  • 2 oz. Whole Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 16 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
  • 4 slices of Crispy Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.


One of a series of paintings I did from the track last year! Churchill Downs is a beautiful place, and the jockeys and horses have so much respect for each other! A few more of my track series from Churchill Downs!

That's it for now, I'm off to the track for the Kentucky Oaks race today, and then again for the Kentucky Derby tomorrow!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Daring Greatly

"Daring Greatly"-
The theme of a wonderful quote, from Theodore Roosevelt, was the inspiration for Dr. Brene Brown's new book.

Oprah hosted Dr. Brown this past Sunday,  for Part Two of a "Super Soul Sunday" interview. Dr. Brown's book "Daring Greatly" gives advice on living vulnerably, courageously, and whole heartedly.

Helebores in my garden. The "Lenten Rose" growing peacefully with Buddha!

The book is full of incredible advice for my students, my family and my friends......more on that later.

Here is Roosevelt's quote in full.

Read and absorb......!

“It is not the critic who counts; 
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, 
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. 

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; 
who strives valiantly; 

. . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, 
and who at worst, if he fails, 
at least fails while daring greatly.” 

—Theodore Roosevelt

Bravo, Dr. Brene! Decades of research and counseling has inspired her to write numerous books and travel the country giving speeches on the human condition. Imperfection, vulnerability, courage, self-acceptance, connection and living a "wholehearted" life. I find her so inspirational. 

 Please, check on Oprah's website, the OWN network or youtube, for the full interview. Also, Brene Brown's "TED talks" (Technology, Education and Design) have gone viral at almost 10 Million hits! They are worth watching, too.

As a teacher and an artist, I see on a daily basis, the struggles each of us have with confidence, vulnerability, fear of imperfection,etc. 

As artist's we lay our soul down on canvas, for all to see. That's hard.

And, unfortunately, some students deal with critical voices when then return home. 

Artist's rely on each other for support, because we have been "inside the arena" together!

 I find it important to honor my students, for their courage, hard work and risk taking. Look at these paintings and see the results! 

 I could go on and on about how so many of them jump in feet first, striving earnestly, meeting challenge head on, and "Daring Greatly"!!

Child in the Dominican Republic by Kathi M.
Her FIRST original painting!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go, Kathi!!!

Coneflower and Butterfly by Andrea V.
I'm always proud of her determination, and effort!

Carol C., paints another grandchild with another challenge! A challenge for me, too! The first time I have had to figure out how to paint sprinkler water! Also, from Carol--frost on hat and mittens, sunlight on red hair, sandy baby on the beach, etc. Thank you, Carol, for the beauty of those kids and for sharing your challenges with us.

Fireworks, check that off of the list! Thank you Hollis W., for bringing in another challenge! Beautiful accomplishment!

Jenny! Jenny W.! We hope you are feeling better, get back here and paint asap! Always, willing to jump right in, we love your tenacity! We are enthralled with your natural gift!

AnneWB! More challenges than I can recall, how many years?? And always pursued with vigor and ultimate success! Bravo, Anne!! Keep it up, sharing your growth gives us JOY!

Little tiny Tracy B.! Never a dull moment for her-- if it ain't difficult, she's not interested!! Actually, this dog was an easy break, between difficult paintings for Tracy! 


A note to my dear students who are "Daring Greatly"; look around, INSIDE this arena, and you WILL find supportive voices--and it will count! Remember, being a critic, from the outside, is just too easy. Ignore that critic, you are terrific! Keep striving!

                                                       "Hen" by Jo G.
Ok, the works of Ms. Jo Galloway! Perseverance--no agenda-- creator of beauty and blessed soul--that's our JO!  Thank you for being an example to all of us, in so many ways!

"Caldwell's Cows"Caroline E! Starting a new business and determined to keep up her new found love of painting! We understand. It's a meaningful and fulfilling passion, and so therapeutic! So, glad you have given it your all, amidst the distractions. This painting was a real jump in difficulty level for you, and look what you created! Wonderful!

Remember: Cultivating Creativity  means Letting Go of Comparison!

Lee B., searching for her "artistic voice" and getting ever closer day by day! A great talent lies within! (And a great soul!) Thank you for being you!

"Tough Mudder"- A FIRST time painting for Lindsey H., her first person and face AND MUD!
Good job!

"Floating Bubbles!" by Beth S.
Another FIRST ORIGINAL painting! First one! Awesome.

SO, here's the wrap up---Art is Hard! 

Art Changes Everything! 

Art means barring your soul; do so in an environment of "like minded" beings. 
Ask yourself, "What's worth doing, even if I fail?"
Let go of perfectionism, love and accept the real you.
Don't listen to the critics, if they aren't in the arena with you! 
Remember it takes courage to be vulnerable. 
Encourage other artist's. 
Practice kindness, always........

Have you Dared Greatly today???