Friday, April 26, 2013

No Dull Gal Here (Edited)



Self Portrait with Hood #3, charcoal
Self Portrait  with Hood #4, Charcoal

In an effort to get back into regular studio hours. I managed to work in some time on a third and forth charcoal, self portrait studies with the idea of going for another painting in the Portrait X 4 series. What you see  is the idea put together as a collage in Publisher. Sorry #4 is blue, but I shot it in natural daylight instead of the studio and was too lazy to shoot it again for the Publisher composite below.  (The difference of these photos is something to note when photographing paintings of color).

EDITED RENDITION: (I couldn't stand looking at the blue head in the collage, so I reshot the photo under the incandescent lights of the studio the same way I shot the others. Note that the head on the lower left side, must be darkened. It doesn't carry the same weight as the others).




In the last few days, diversity has been my pleasure. I really have always been happiest doing this and that.  I made no-salt carrot soup--well actually carrot/potato soup, a new batch of Light Rouille with red peppers and  finished David McCullough's 1776. Now, I'm into American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham and waiting on the reading table is George Washington by Ron Chernow plus another Tuft University Desk Top Food reference book; my copy was in shreds.  Online,  I shopped low sodium products from the Healthy Heart Market where I found staple treasures--no-sodium mayonnaise, mustard, sweet and sour sauce, baking powder and hopefully a decent bread? I have a feeling I'm going to throw away the bread; it has nothing in it--no glutten (whatever that is), so salt, no sugar. I really don't want to get into baking bread, but we'll see.... The Carrot soup recipe below was my cooking accomplishment this week. Adding a large Idaho potato did great things for the texture and my low sodium score: 563mg. Unbelievable but true.  Happy painting. Happy, healthy cooking.


NO SALT CARROT SOUP: (I intend to use this recipe to make pea soup too. I will cut out the Cumin and add lots of Thyme and finely chopped carrots to enrich the color. The color of food is as important as the colors on any palette I put together--I once sent a salad back at a restaurant, because it wasn't colorful enough.

Ingredients:
2 green onions diced; 1 tsp. minced garlic; 1 small onion chopped; 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil; 4 C. carrots sliced (8 -10); 3 Idaho potatoes sliced (I used one gigantic one and increased the carrots by 2);  2 1/2 C. low sodium chicken broth; 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds crushed; 1/2 tsp. cumin (ginger is an alternative); 1/4 tsp marjoram; 1/4 tsp. pepper (cut the pepper to taste is spicy makes you nervous).

Instructions:  Saute green onions, garlic and chopped onion in oil till lightly browned (about 2 minutes). Add carrots, potatoes, chicken broth and enough water to cover vegetables. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer till vegetables are tender, about thirty minutes. Puree in batches in food processor. Cilantro would be an attractive and tasteful garnish--mixed in too.

 Makes about 7 cups of thick soup. Can be served hot or cold. If served cold, a dollop of plain low fat yogurt  or sour cream is nice (but does increase the salt, calories and fat content). Maybe when I relax a bit?

Nutrition:   96 calories per cup; 25 mg of Sodium; 21 g of Fat, (low sodium is always a trade off with high fat content).  And those numbers are all I am interested in at this time. Having potatoes in this recipe is a good thing with regards to potassium and controlling the water in the body. In my studies, I've  read that potassium rich foods are excellent for cleaning and balancing sodium in the body--things like bananas, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, orange juice, cantaloupes, lima beans, flounder, cod and chicken all contain potassium (says eatlowsodium.com under the Tips tab). I adore avocados  have no idea what cod is and really only like cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto, once devoured enthusiastically, now, out of the question. THERE ARE SACRIFICES to eating clean.







23 comments:

  1. Fabulous, Linda, not dull at all! Love, love love the one looking down, but they all work as a group very well. Magic!

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    1. Me too--and while I was doing it, I thought is was awful. It wasn't till the second day that I saw it was going to be the best--poor lighting aside. So don't throw away those dark photographs. There's potential there. Thanks Sharon. I thought of you often while drawing. You've been an inspiration my dear. Hugs.

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  2. I like your self portrait studies, they are fun and have character, very nice.

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    1. They were fun--if a bit self centered. But, I'm my most available model. Getting to draw my head in a variety of positions was the exercise. My least favorite and probably a do something else one is #1 in the upper right corner. The eye looks weird. Thanks Roger.

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  3. Linda!
    I love your charcoal portraits. Great drama! Love the hoods!
    Keep on keeping on!
    Take care.
    Michael

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    1. Me too. Thanks Michael. That hoody kept me warm all winter long. The portraits opened up a whole new realm of interest: top notch charcoal supplies--particularly paper. I didn't care for the one that these are on--not enough tooth. And God Bless my knead eraser! Best tool in the box. I can't have too many of them.

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  4. I love all four of these self-portraits, Linda. I especially love the first one...very impressive!
    We all should watch our sodium...I never realized how much we consume in just one day...pretty scary...so from now on..I will be watching and will try to be more aware of what I put into the pot!!! thank you for the recipe!!!

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    1. Thanks Hilda. Without the push of illness, I took salt out of my cooking when my boys were youngsters and i was in my twenties.I also discarded mono sodium glutamate. Now with this horrible affliction that is chronic vertigo, or Ménière's disease, baking powder and baking soda must be removed as well and condiments and sauces have become an interest for they all have hidden poisonous ingredients. Very tiresome, but great for weight loss and maintenance--and the heart as well. DO IT while you're young.

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  5. Hi, Linda. Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog.
    I think your charcoal work is grand and I must admit I am partial to Self Portrait #3 with Hood. It has an emotional component that greatly appeals to me.

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    1. My pleasure. Your work IS outstanding. And thank your kind words. I like 3 the best too. The funny thing is day one I walked away from that one in disgust. It wasn't looking like anything--just a bunch of smears. I didn't realize how on-the-money it was till the next day when I reluctantly went back to the studio figuring I was going to have to start another one. I did like the pose. Subtractive painting is as important to my painting process as it was to my sculpture practice. That's why I adore my knead eraser--and charcoal.

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  6. These self portraits are very powerful, moving pieces of art.

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    1. Thanks Mick. I'm the only readily available model I've got who will pose however I can imagine and is handy with a camera, but I'm starting to worry about narcissism. :-)) Joking, of course--but on the other hand, self indulgence has been very much a part of this year as I have had to concern myself with handling my problems with Ménière's disease. These self portraits are in that respect very journalistic.

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    2. I love no 3, the eyes looking down and the hair. Powerful stuff! Keep it up Linda.

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    3. Thanks Helen. I probably will. The other three are okay, but not on the same level.

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  7. Linda: It looks like the parameters of life. I would love to know if you gave a great deal of thought to the order in which they were presented, or did you just wing it?

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  8. I gave thought with the poses I took and how they would be arranged. Each head points to the next so that the viewer's eyes stay on the canvas. Symmetrical balance.

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  9. Dear Linda,four truly amazing works,
    self portraits full of drama, what touch me most is the third.
    The light on the forehead, the part of face that seems to get lost in the shadows, has a breathtaking beauty.
    Sometimes looking at a work of art, it is as if arrived in my mind so many feelings, as if I were reading the pages of a book. Your art always involves me in this direction ... I really wish you the success you deserve with your assiduous and passionate artistic research.

    Have nice sunday with the healthy food!
    Hugs,Rita.

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    1. You too Dear Rita. You have me my first giggle of the day with "have a nice Sunday with healthy food." I can't wait for this current obsession to subside. Meanwhile, eating less than 800mg of salt this last couple of weeks has energized me. I still have some lightheadedness, but it's better. I got the no salt foods I ordered online yesterday and Ellis and I tried out the bread last night--if you could call it that. DRY--VERY DRY--was our opinion. I am thinking of getting a bread making machine. This is quite a fix I've got myself into in my old age. When Ellis and I adore eating out, I'm doing a lot of cooking in. Luckily, my chief bottle-washer, is sticking by me. The pure mustard seed mustard was excellent however, the baking powder will put the wonderful back into our pancakes, the sweet and sour sauce will do very nicely for Asian recipes. The no-salt mayonnaise however is low in sodium (70mg in a tablespoon versus 160mg), but higher in fat (3 g sat fats versus 1). So I guess you use it depending upon how much sodium you had that day? As I said, obsession is the word of the days around my house.

      Thank you. It's funny that 3 was the one I thought was going no-where the first day and on the second day I saw it was quite the opposite; it had become one of those paintings you can't believe you did.

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  10. Your charcoal drawings are great! I'm slow picking up your updates here...for some reason the icons on my sidebar haven't noticed your latest posts! I'll keep an eye on it and hope it resolves itself soon :)

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    1. Thanks Ann. That's Blogger for you. Another follower told me the same a few weeks ago. Then I had that problem too. Now, I'm distracted by this diet thing, so I have just been amiss at keeping up with everybody. Fortunately, I have come to the end of that distraction and can get back down to the business of art.

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  11. I'm struggling to keep up, Linda. Just popped bye to say hi. Hi!

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  12. Sus autorretratos son muy expresivos y con mucha fuerza también. El Carboncillo es un excelente medio para estudios rápidos y también para trabajos más elaborados. El N°1 es mi favorito, el cabello se ha resuelto perfectamente, y posee una profundidad psicológica superior a los otros, sin dejar por ello de ser hermosos.
    Felicitaciones.

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