Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Acrylic Painting Classes

The catalogs have arrived in your mailbox. smile emoticon
I will be teaching Acrylic Painting at East High School through Salt Lake Community Education again this Fall. Eight weeks of fun-filled-information-packed-hands-on painting classes. Flip to page 4 of the the catalog and read all about it.
Registration instructions are here:

Dual Exhibition at Howa Gallery

Artist Reception is from 6 till 9PM, September 11, 2015.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Serves 8
  • 5 1/2 ounces (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 medium ripe peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds), skins on, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh lavender, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, using a pastry brush to coat sides with butter as it melts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar evenly over bottom of skillet, and cook until sugar starts to bubble and turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Arrange peaches in a circle at edge of skillet, on top of sugar. Arrange the remaining wedges in the center to fill. Reduce heat to low, and cook until juices are bubbling and peaches begin to soften,
10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. 

2.      Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, lavender, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat remaining stick of butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Mix in vanilla and cream. Reduce speed to low, and beat in cornmeal mixture in 2 additions.  

3.     Drop large spoonfuls of batter over peaches, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer skillet to a wire rack, and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife or spatula around edge of cake. Quickly invert cake onto a cutting board. Tap bottom of skillet to release peaches, and carefully remove skillet. Reposition peach slices on top of cake. Let cool slightly before serving. 

Helpful Hint

Perfectly ripe peaches, available from May to October, will feel heavy for their size, yield slightly to gentle pressure, and emit a sweet, heady perfume. Avoid any fruit tinged with green, as it won't ripen. Ready-to-eat peaches last 3 to 5 days refrigerated; firmer ones will soften when kept in a brown paper bag on the counter for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Morris Graves, His Houses ~ His Gardens

I remember studying Morris Graves' work in art history while I was an undergraduate art student.  There were paintings of birds looking sad, sick or disturbed.  The flowers looked still and lonely.  But those are just my memories.  I have since seen much more of his work, including paintings, drawings and sculpture in museums and books.

He was a reclusive private man who designed or restored his own fascinating homes in several different states in the US, as well as one near Dublin Ireland.  A book about his homes and gardens was published in 2013, Morris Graves, His Houses ~ His Gardens, author Richard Svare.

On the dust jacket overleaf:

MORRIS GRAVES (1910-2001), considered one of the most important Modern Masters in 20th century American Art, was a leading founder of Northwest Mystic Art, along with Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson.  After a meteoric rise to fame in the early 1950s, Graves retreated into seclusion, sustained by the solitude of his gardens.  Here he continued to paint his visionary world of iconic birds and flowers imbued with an ineffable light, shaped from his personal philosophy and studies of Zen Buddhism, Taoism, and Tantric Hinduism.

Throughout his life, Graves assiduously guarded his privacy.  Along with historical photographs, Richard Svare offers a remarkable and rare glimpse of those places that nurtured and sustained Graves's creative genius.

In the mid 2000's I assisted in an artist retreat which was held at the former home of Morris Graves in Washington State.  This home, Graves named Careladen, stood vacant for several years before being purchased and restored by its current owners.  When I spent the retreat weekend at the estate, the secluded grounds and home were once again alive with serene beauty.  I took several photos over the course of the weekend and include some of them in this post.

Above:  Early photo taken at Careladen.  Author Richard Svare seated in the center, Morris Graves seated on the right (photographer unknown).  Below:  Photo of the same patio location at the beginning of the artists' retreat in which I assisted Anna Rhodes (An Artists' Retreat with Anna Rhodes).



Below:  Photos of the swimming pool and hot tub.  The fountain and accompanying wall tableau were designed and crafted by Northwest sculptor George Tsutakawa.  An interesting article about one of his fountains can be seen here.

Above:  Toni Youngblood - Edge of Pond, Watercolor painting of the lily pond at Careladen - 

Read more about Morris Graves:



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