Neighbor's cat on a roof

Neighbor’s cat on a roof

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Foxgloves

May 28, 2015

Foxglove growing in an alley near our house

Foxglove growing in an alley near our house

‘There’s a foxglove, foxglove in my pansy patch,’ I sing,
‘Decked so brightly by the rain, there never was its match.
It is made of velvet petals, russet blots and lovely smells,
And the wind he is the ringer for its peal of bells.'”
— Esther Freud, Mr. Mac and Me

Watercolor sketch of foxglove

Watercolor sketch of foxglove

 

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Robin with nesting material

Robin with nesting material

“Something about a robin makes me feel he/she would be very good on committees.”
— Gladys Tabor, Stillmeadow Daybook

Watercolor sketch of robin with nesting material

Watercolor sketch of robin with nesting material

Another watercolor sketch of a robin

Another watercolor sketch of a robin

Rescuing cake by making biscotti

Rescuing cake by making biscotti

I tried making another Rhubarb Polenta Cake using regular flour instead of the pricey almond flour.  Not a good idea.  The resulting cake was way too dense.  Thank goodness I had experimented using only half a recipe.  My husband and I ate our first slices when the cake was still warm — tasty, but heavy.  I am too frugal to throw away my baking duds, but I was not looking forward to eating the rest of this cake.

This morning when I sliced a thin sliver to eat with my breakfast coffee, I had the bright idea to keep slicing and make the rest of this baking mini-disaster into twice baked cookies — biscotti.  I heated the oven to 275 degrees F and popped the slices into the over for about 15 minutes.

This was an inspired solution to my problem.

We’ve all heard that when life serves you lemons, make lemonade.  Now I know that when cakes fail, turn them into biscotti.  Delicious!

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More from Frederick Franck’s The Awakened Eye:

“Instead of the pleasures of so-called ‘self-expression,’ you will discover a greater one:  the joy of letting a leaf, a branch, express itself, its being, through you.”

An iris so purple, it's black.

An iris so purple, it’s black.

Watercolor sketch of iris using paper from France (Moulin a Papier de Provence)

Watercolor sketch of iris using paper from France (Moulin a Papier de Provence)

” . . . seeing — for instance — what it is to be a blade of grass.  Or rather: that a blade of grass does not exist — that only this particular blade of grass exists; and that ‘a’ man, ‘a’ woman are figments of the imagination, only this particular man or woman is real.  Drawing the Ten Thousand Things is a way of loving, of being in love with life by seeing each thing in its singularity.”

Kitty's iris garden on Samish Island

Kitty’s iris garden on Samish Island

Imagine drawing ten thousand things, starting with each of these irises in Kitty’s garden.  This reminds me of the so-called 10,000 hour rule for mastery.  I agree that in order to become a better painter, I need to work more regularly, even daily.  But with my choppy “paid” work schedule, I seem to repeatedly grind to a halt.  I am constantly starting again.  This is my particular challenge these days.

I am always happier when my day includes some drawing or painting.  Here is a good way to look at my efforts:  “Measure your life in the number of times you do things.  When you die: are you 2 writing sessions old?  Or are you 50,000?”  —  James Altucher, from “The Only Technique to Learn Something New”

The singularity of this particular iris

The singularity of this particular iris

 

 

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