Wednesday, 24 May 2023

rooftop archive 12 - the noughties

I think this might be the last post about the rooftop archive. For my penultimate rooftop archive post visit here and within that post are links to all the previous posts of the archive. Though this sketch is probably from 1991, I forgot to process it and post it in the correct decade of the archive so I decided I would include it in this post anyway! Although it is an undated sketch, I remember creating it in my studio in Toronto before I started the second group of paintings in the My Tower of Strength series. I have long since discarded the rest of the sketchbook (either an A4 or 8.5x11 inch) this sketch manages to survive all my various purges. I used a variety of media to create this sketch – metal leaf, oilstick and some turpentine brushed around some areas of oilstick.

In 2000 or 2001, I was still living in the middle of Bray on Florence Rd and was enjoying creating large plein air sketches in my tiny backyard. In this one I was regarding the upstairs window and the strange pipes surrounding it. I was sketching with watercolours and charoal on paper, 84 cm x 60 cm.

There was also a geranium plant out the back that had managed to survive untended for years before we moved in. Again this is mixed media on paper, 84 cm x 60 cm.

I think this painting of the flower lesser celandine is from 2001 (though I'm not entirely sure). It is untitled, acrylic on card, 88 cm x 50 cm.

One of the reasons I think these works are from 2001 is that I also did a very large painting of dying tulips on canvas that year, before I became pregnant, and these remind me of that work.

untitled, acrylic on card, 88 cm x 50 cm

untitled, acrylic on card, 88 cm x 50 cm

I haven’t eaten any physalis in a long time (I don’t know why) but for awhile I loved the fruit itself and also enjoyed drawing it – I especially loved the material contrast between the solid orange fruit and it’s delicate, papery wrapping. 

untitled, mixed media on paper, 60 cm x 84 cm, 2000

untitled, mixed media on paper, 60 cm x 84 cm, 2000

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

more from the "Lost" series

I am still working away on my Lost series of contact monoprints. So in addition to what I blogged about here and here, I am posting more in the series. Because the process can be very random, I can never be quite sure if the print is successful until the final lifting of the paper away from the plate. Sometimes I may have either over-inked or under-inked the plate so I put the print to one side to study if there is anything I liked about it and perhaps make more attempts with the specific image. I have limited myself to three tools for mark-making: a sharp pencil, an eraser and an old credit card. These three tools are giving me crisp sharp lines, soft blurs and sharp areas, respectively. I am very happy with my choices! All of the works are the same size, 12.5 cm x 18.5 cm (or 18.5 cm x 12.5 cm if they are vertical images), printed on Japanese mulberry paper.

Many things went missing from the shared studio

After thirty years abroad, they never regretted their return home

Despite the isolation, we made the place our home

There were only a few occasions when the whole family was together

The kitchen window offered a great view of visitors in the back yard

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

lunch pastries

I used to buy spinach pastries from a local bakery to have as my lunch, but then I found that too much salt was added and the poppy seeds were getting annoying as they always stuck in my teeth. I thought it would be simple enough to make them myself and regularly make them to take to work with me for lunch. Store-bought puff pastry makes it easy of course, and a roll of it provides enough pastry dough for four lunch pastries. They freeze well too, so I always make four at a time.

Unroll the puff pastry and cut into four pieces.

Decide on what you want to put inside: slice some cheese (I like cheddar or feta), some pesto (wild garlic is in bloom now, so here is my simple recipe for that!), and cherry tomatoes.

if including spinach (which I sometimes do if I happen to have it), be sure to steam it first in order to get out some of the water. In the past I have also whipped up an egg and divided it between the four pastries.

When the pastries are all folded and closed, I turn up the sides and gently slide the baking paper of pastries onto a cookie tray.

They bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, till nicely browned and puffed. Please note, they do deflate a bit once they are cooled.

Sometimes I add too much cheese, or I have not properly closed the sides and the contents spill out. This is okay as once the pastries cool, any spillage (which is cooked) hardens and can just be cut and included with the pastry in the freezer container, to be re-heated later. These are always delicious and appreciated at lunch!