Monday, April 26, 2010

senses and sensibilities

That was the perfect week end. A crafted blend of art, friend time, exploration, nature, food extravagance, sun, outdoor eating,
yoga and photography.
Everybody agrees: we had the best weather.mid 70"s, low 80's, no cold wind ( the usual), and everything still green and flowering from the very long rainy season that we have had ( unusual).
First I was to meet C at GUMPS, a very upscale, somewhat conservative home decor store in San Francisco. My friend Rae Dunn had ceramic work in a group show there where flowers were the main inspiration. Paintings, collages, wood carvings and ceramics were displayed beautifully to echo each other, or complement, set around on various tables around a main sitting room that welcomes you at the entrance. Rae's work was, as usual, exquisite. Her layered vases give a sense of casualness mixed with reflexion, once you start reading her words , printed on a top layer that mimics a page of a notebook, just torn and pasted there, just so. perfect.

Then, it was of to Silvia Poloto, a brazilian artist, settled here in SF who does some incredibly strong abstract paintings.I asked her to pose in front of one of my favorites, second to the swatch of orange and black painting that was still hanging in her studio.

We needed sustenance,so we braved the mobs waiting in one giant line for ice cream at Bi Rite creamery and made our way toTartine where we had to wait outside before finally settling down to tea and treats. The chocolate walnut rocher was so dense that we both had to wet napkins and scrub our chins from choco stains.....while checking " 18 reasons " a food and art community gathering place where a Food Lit book club was taking place, next door to a wonderful jewelry atelier . The Mission can be so fabulous.
On Sunday,we had to go by the ocean, and when we are pressed for time, we head to Marin Headlands, a mere 40 minutes away, and walk the coastal trail. We have to take the classic view road to get there and back . so here it is, in all its glory of a sunny spring day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

parisian portraits

I missed the Lucian Freud exhibit unfortunately,because I love his art of the portrait. It is raw, it is emotionally powerful.
But I had fun working my fingers on my phone, trying to convey a style to my faces.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

stop over

Then it was off to Chicago where I had to work with all kinds of citrus. The beautiful colors of the fruits and the scents from zests were enough to make all of us happy.

In a very happy coincidence I got to meet one of my favorite photographer/artist Jenifer Altman of Nectar and light. It was a delightful moment, we exchanged tips on iphone photos applications, and after downloading her suggestion, I tried to shoot a couple of images:On my last evening, I sat at a sushi bar for a tidbit of dinner, and the next morning at the airport while waiting for my flight HOME.

Monday, April 19, 2010

first stop

After a very long, cold, dark, grey, wet, and windy winter, Paris does turn into magic when spring appears. The famous hedonists and indolent come out of hiding , the colors pop under a pretty sky, cold drinks are ordered at terraces , the parks are filled with sun and leisure seekers, the bikes for rent are taken up to zigzag through a more relaxed traffic and new produce appear at the local open air market.

I had to buy some of these morels, when they look so big and so fresh.I sauteed them sliced in butter with shallots and chives, and served them mixed with fresh pasta, topped with grated Comte ( a type of gruyere from France): phenomenal and so simple....
This is a view of the park that I had to cross to go to the market.It is also the park where I spent my childhood afternoons, first at the sand box, between the two lawns and then, on the paved paths with my scooter or roller blades.When I was a child, the lawns were fenced up and forbidden, now, teenagers from a nearby high school have made them their lunch time pique nique area, or fathers play ball with their children.There is more freedom now, and that is good.

Here are a couple of snapshots;
One is at the Tuileries gardens, next to the Louvre, where parisians strolled and soaked the sun on the first sunny and warm week end.The other made me smile and I hope it will make you smile too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

easter pastels

I am squeezing another post before taking off for Paris tomorrow.
The first time I cut into a chiogga beet some years ago, it was a whaooo moment.What is that wild looking vegetable doing to my Berkeley tie dye memories ?We love beets here,and we love the mild chioggas.The psychedelic veggie unfortunately goes pale when cooked, so I favored it raw, cut super thin, topping a green salad with a yogurt,cumin, dill based vinaigrette.

Friday, April 2, 2010

mellow yellow

Colors are a big guides in my inspiration, even though it is the muteness of greys, whites and blacks that I favor in my art. But when you work with food, you have to deal with colors :the intensity, the freshness, the appetite appeal, the composition on the plate, it is a lot about colors.
I have noticed a lot of yellows last week end as I ambled through stores aisles in search of Ed Hardy streetware clothing, a request from someone in Paris that I will see next week.
It is mostly of the daffodil tone, eye popping and springlike. I have to admit that I do not owned one thing that bright ( oh no: I have a bright yellow mexican lime squeezer!), but if you look hard, there might be a pale butter yellow top somewhere.
Yellow in food has a visual richness , but being a cool color, it evokes freshness too.
rich, fresh,fun.... Donovan knew it back then.....