Sep 24, 2015

Wrestling Gramma's Stew


My husband is a meat and potato guy.  I'm not.
He loves a big heavy meal.  I like the cookbook "365 Days with Quinoa".

We each do our own thing for breakfast and lunch but dinner is a compromise.  His favourite thing is a Stew.  Not just any stew.  A full blown stew with dumplings.  A 3 page recipe, lots of prep, tons of clean up, hours to cook, more prep (for the dumplings) more clean up, finally dinner!  Not a task to be taken on lightly.

We do have stew occasionally.

FULL SUN  - Watercolour - 12 x 16
On a cold, wet, winter weekend the stew pot comes out.  And I must admit it is nice to have the aroma wafting through the house as rain beats against the window and everything is dark.  ( On the west coast of Canada that's what winter is like)  And of course the leftovers are great as well.  No meals to prepare for at least 2 days!!

This summer we had a massive heat wave.  (Well, on the coast the temperatures were holding over 30 C for days on end.  I know, for many of you that is not really hot but I am a 25 C person.  Anything hotter than that is way too hot.)  We were on Texada Island, right by the water, let me tell you that ocean breeze wasn't really working.  It was hot.  Too hot.

Time to pull out Gramma's Stew recipe. 

I had some great pictures of our rhododendron bushes that I really wanted to paint.  Several months ago I had cropped a section and had a plan in place.  That was as far as I got.  I knew it was a 3 page recipe: lots of prep, lots of clean up, lots of detail and lots of glazing.  (Not a picture that was going to work up quickly. )

I set up my studio in the shade and started working. There was no lovely aroma in the air but it was a great way to enjoy the heat. 
My outdoor studio on Texada Island
 There was lots of perks: wonderful view from my outdoor studio; the transparent glazes dried in a jiffy; I hardly noticed the heat; and it was easy to stop and pick up again.  ( Of course I had to jump in the water for a swim now and then!) 

The view from the our campsite
 "Full Sun" was the challenge I anticipated. It certainly wasn't for the faint hearted.  The blossoms were so intertwined it was easy to get lost. 

No extra meals for the freezer, but it was worth it.

I learned a lot about glazing: keeping it thin so the underlying colours could shine through.  Making sure it was really dry before the next layer.  ( I did have to scrape a few off at first as I got impatient.) Understanding how colours change with layers of glaze.  The main colours I used were Phallo Blue ( green shade), Alizarin Crimson, New Gomage, Brunt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. 

I learned a lot about painting white flowers. They really can be any colour in the shade, colours can be pushed, and darks need to be dark.  I put layer after layer in the flower centers, I couldn't believe how dark they needed to be. 

It really taught me a lesson.  Get those '3 pager' pictures out and get to work. There are plenty of lessons waiting to be learned. 

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Have a great artful day,


Brenda Hill CDM said...

Outstanding Wendy,love it!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Brenda, you don't say that often so I am thrilled.