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the art of leftovers cooking

Anytime of year (but especially at times of seasonal feasts and celebrations) – there may be leftovers in your fridge/kitchen – or a surplus of one ingredient you’ve grown or been given – can they be put to fresh use?

I’ve just discovered a useful website that says “yes” – “Love Food Hate Waste“.  There’s a great recipe page where you just type in whatever ingredient you have in surplus – press return and ping! Some suggested recipes come up.

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To test the system, I just typed in one food group often a leftover in the West at this time of year, after Thanksgiving and Christmas: Turkey.  Result: Potato bites, Celery Broccoli and Stilton Soup, Turkey Tagine, Cranberry Turkey Pasties, Turkey Tomato Gratin (hmm, grasping at straws here), Turkey and Sweetcorn Burgers, Turkey and Chickpea Coconut Curry….  a Smorgasbord of winter fowls.

Worth a try.

And I only visited the site to see if I could freeze cooked rice.

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writing notebooks

Never too old to begin writing career

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Josephine Corcoran

Read this and share it with anyone who thinks they’ve left it too late to be a published writer.  It’s not!  Never!  Write what is in you to write.

Click on link below to read an entire article by Josephine Corcoran, bursting with stories of writers who began a serious career later, mostly in their 50s – and who are still writing and developing further as writers, today.  There’s a sense of beginning, not ending.

via My started late, stop-start writing “career”

People who cry in front of paintings

I’m making soup and reading this book: “Pictures & Tears” by James Elkins.  His theory is that “Most of us, I think, have never cried in front of paintings, or even felt anything very strong.” (page ix) so he then examines the ‘unusual’ cases of those who do find artwork moving.

Right off the bat, this book interested me: because I strongly disagree.  I have definitely found paintings moving and that has included tears.  Anecdotally, I find my friends tend to be moved, also, by art – although admittedly many of my friends share my interest in art.  I was intrigued to see what his findings were (he invited fellow art historians and put general inquiries in newspapers and journals – he had 400 replies).

Who is the author?  James Elkins is an art historian and critic – he wrote this book in 2001, but has published many art history books and continues to tour and give lectures, worldwide.  He’s refreshingly readable and understandable.

When the book arrived, it was a gift – part of a range of books all given to me at the same time.  So, of course, it was difficult to settle on one.  In the end, I have read the book in parts, but not totally and not from page one to page 272.  So – here I go.  I’ll let you know the book review, once completed.

Creative Takeaways

In the meantime, Dr Elkins has given some tips to encourage deeper experiences with paintings:

  1. Visit galleries alone
  2. Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to see everything, pick one or two rooms and then pick ONE painting/artwork to concentrate on
  3. Minimise distractions.  Pick an artwork in a space where fewer people are passing e.g. in a corner
  4. Take your time.  Look at it.  Stand back. Look again.  Sit down and relax.  Walk away, come back and see it afresh.
  5. Pay full attention, until you are almost absorbed into the picture.
  6. Do your own thinking.  You can read up a bit, take an audio tour – but still think for yourself about the artwork.
  7. Look for people who are really looking.  If they spend time with the same artwork, and will talk to you later, they often have an interesting story to connect with it
  8. Be faithful.  Keep coming back, to look at the same artwork.

 

Having written all that, it strikes me that this could be interesting dating advice, in moderation.  The other person/artwork could certainly not complain of lack of attention….

 

 

 

Mondrian in neo-Calvinist view

There’s been a lot of looking back over 100 years, to the just-post World War 1 in this blog – Paul Nash, Russian Revolutionary Art, and although I haven’t written it up yet, I’ve been pondering on 1917 poetry with Wilfred Owen meeting Siegfried Sassoon).

The painter Piet Mondrian, key to development of abstract art – also goes through changes in his artwork around the same time.  Recently, I went to a lecture by Edinburgh University on “Classic Mondrian in Neo-Calvinist View” by Joseph Masheck, art historian.  (If I began describing his titles, publications and positions held, it would take too long – google him).

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Starry Starry Night x 2

Within minutes today, I watched “Loving Vincent” and emerged, teary into daylight, to go to a local gallery and see copies of Van Gogh painted by John Myatt.  (John Myatt famously is a gifted artist who can mimic the styles of a huge variety of famous artists.)

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Film poster for “Loving Vincent”

Let’s talk about “Loving Vincent” first.  Seems like EVERYbody will have heard of it – the first all-painted animated feature film – although arguably that surely belongs to Disney’s Snow White, 80 years ago?  In the early days of cartoon animation, cels were hand-drawn and coloured.  The difference is that this new film has been painted onto canvases, with oil paints, not onto plastic.

Visual Style

The result is a flickering version of reality, seeing life through Van Gogh’s eyes – at least how he painted it.  And that shimmering, moving sense of surface possibly portrays the excitement and

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