Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Leftovers: Drawing and Other Stuff

Self Portrait, Charcoal 2013. UNFINISHED
That's quite a big schnoz you have my dear.



PRESCRIPT:  This charcoal drawing that should have taken no more than a few hours to finish is taking me days. It's a  leftover drawing in a house of leftovers and unfinished projects.

 I have been occupied with Seder preparations. I have been occupied with establishing my physical therapy stretches and exercises as a daily habit, (not easy given the lazy attitude I've developed over the years).  I have been reading American history and following up all the leads I found interesting--like the Louisiana Purchase, which stretched all the way down from Canada to Mexico. I have been trying to shake off this viral malady that won't quit.  So, I'm sorry I haven't been visiting you all lately. I have been passing by, but have left very few comments. All the art I've seen though is your usual, inspiring best. Please forgive me.

SEDER LEFTOVERS:  An exercise in photography/A Future in Painting.





Our Passover (Pesach) Seder is over All that's left, after a week of cooking, are leftovers. A favorite is my four layer sponge cake, an incredibly easy to throw-together-recipe, (for your pleasure, written out below), handed down from Roth mom to Roth mom. Light on substance using all low cal cool whip and pudding, it's light in calories. It went like hot cakes. All that was left after the family went home,  I photographed for a future 'Pastry Painting.'

The photograph featured above is my choice for an 10 x 30" stretched canvas. I could have used--needed-- a couple of key lights and the over-cake spot light was too hot to make this a good photograph, but as a reference, it will do just fine being  able to make those lighting corrections with paint values.

I took a total of eight shots using a tripod with the Nikon Coolpix L120 set on its automatic settings. The next thing to do before the cake is totally devoured, was to play with the settings and correct the lighting situation IF a handsome photograph was desired. It was not.  Ellis and I shared this last piece. The only adjustment I made on the computer was to crop and automatically correct. The photos from this camera set to auto always need added exposure. Keeping notes on how your camera operates at different setting is worthwhile.

LEMON STRAWBERRY SPONGE CAKE
Buy a sponge cake from the Passover aisle in the supermarket--the one with the hole in the middle. Take it home and slice it horizontally into four layers. Keep the layers in order as they fall for they are going to be restacked as they were.  Make two small packages of Jello Instant Lemon Pudding or one large one (serves eight) according to directions on the box. Spoon enough on the upper side of the bottom layer of sponge cake, spread to to cover--healthy spoonfuls that will drip over the side with the weight of the other cake layers as they are added on. Top with the next layer of sponge cake, repeat with the pudding. Top that with the next layer of sponge cake and repeat the pudding. Add the top layer of the sponge cake and press the stack down a bit so that pudding does over-spill  Use some toothpicks to hold the layers together (leave  them showing  so you'll know where they are and be able to pull them out). Put the layered cake in the fridge to allow the pudding to set. On the day of the Seder--or party,, ice all over with Cool Whip. Slice a box of  washed strawberries  and fill the center hole of the cake to overflowing.  Serve when ready for a low cal, Parave dessert--or just a low cal dessert that tastes special. It's sort of a lemon strawberry short cake--only the short cake isn't short and is much better than those bisquity, hard kind where you put syrupy strawberries on to soften it up and top it with whipped cream.  



18 comments:

  1. It was fun to see an earlier painting of you when you were young and like this expressive drawing, you really went for it.

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    1. Thanks Roger. It's a tough tilt and I'm suspecting my paper size is too small. I'm in it now though and think the head is worth the effort. I've narrowed down the sizes I think head/shoulder portraits should be and I'm shopping for those sizes in a good charcoal paper. So far, no luck.

      I hope you saw what I found offensive--or lacking in that portrait. I'd go into it again, now that my folks are gone, but I'd be opening a whole can of worms. The shadows really do need deepening. That was then. This is now. Paint under the bridge.

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  2. How I wish I could eat that cake, but no can do, it would probably send me to the emergency room, but I remember how one similar tastes. I think your photo will serve you well to use for an amazing painting. Can't wait. That is a tough angle, I am confident you'll conquer it.

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    1. Tell me about it! But the angle is worth pursuing. I like the flow of the hood and what it does to the hair. The nose is a bitch with that huge nostril!

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  3. Quite a sketch you have here, Linda! I love the job you did with the angle. As for the cake, I must have gained a few pounds just watching the picture and reading the ingredients...even if it's low cal. :)

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    1. As I said, it's a different rendition of strawberry shortcake, a bit more elegant in its presentation. I had a half a piece of what you see yesterday and it was a bit too sweet for me. I'm a salty carbohydrates fan. But given the Seder rules, sponge cake is unleavened, so it's a good choice for the holiday.

      I'm still perfecting the angle and the tilt. Seeing it here is very helpful; translated to photography helps point out what areas need adjustment--like the twist in the neck, the nose, the ear lobe and earring, and fading out the line on the left cheek. I use the computer as a tool for giving me another perspective--like backing up often, looking at a painting upside down or in a mirror. All are Very helpful, but not very good for putting forth a professional image as an artist, if sales are a future objective?

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  4. Bonjour ma chère !
    Il n'est jamais facile de faire son autoportrait... On se connait tant qu'on voudrait contrôler nos "imperfections" !...
    Mais avec un peu de tranquillité autour de vous, vous allez pouvoir tout donner !...
    Vous êtes une grande tentatrice avec la pâtisserie qui est mon péché mignon ! Je dois aujourd'hui faire le dessert pour nos amis chez qui nous sommes conviés ce soir !
    Gros bisous à vous

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    1. Self portraits are the easiest to come by; the model is so accessible and willing. :-)). Charcoal is the best sketching medium for it's so easy to correct and it has a spontaneity to it no matter how many corrections are made. Of course the camera is an important tool plus the model must be willing to make a fool of herself in front of it. I am such a model.

      The unleavened pastry satisfies the sweet tooth without taxing the waistband. Hugs back. Enjoy your guests.

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  5. looking forward to your new dessert painting...sure to be a good one. Love the charcoal portrait---great angle

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    1. Tough angle! But it's coming along.

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  6. I couldn't possibly put up with the pain of doing self-portraits ... the less I see of myself the better :0). That sponge cake, on the other hand, I could handle quite nicely with a strong cup of steaming Assam tea! It will be interesting to see how it comes out when you paint it! For me it wouldn't be a problem of changing light but rather changing shape ... a nibble nibble here and a nibble nibble there!!

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    1. I'm the most accessible (and willing) model. Self portraits are a natural for learning the ins and outs of the genre. I can't bitch to the artist about the likeness. :-))

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    2. Who said you can't have your cake an eat it? Guess they didn't know about self portraits!

      Hope you are starting to feel on top of the weather etc

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    3. Thanks. Slowly. The seventies are the seventies. Fifty degrees and sunny promises more upbeat blogs.

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  7. Yummy, yummy sponge cake. Will make a great painting as well as good eating!

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    1. It was. As for a painting, maybe? My dance card is full of things to catch up on.

      I thought it was great to see how your patron framed your painting and made it her own.

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  8. Linda!
    Love your portrait! You have great excitement and drama in your works!
    Also love your Seder leftover! Mmmmmmmmm! Delicious!
    I just posted my Seder poster! Happiest Passover and Spring to you!
    Paint on and art on Linda!
    Your art buddy!
    Michael

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    1. I'll take a look! Thanks Michael. Our Seder went well. I hope yours did too. I'm still working on this self portrait though. It was tricky. I tend to choose difficult positions. I figure if I can do the difficult ones, the normal poses for portraits should be a snap. I figure wrong. Each of us is unique with regards to bone structure--and sag, albeit aging.
      Happy painting to you too.

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