I ♡ vegetables

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I’m trying to be a bit healthier so I decided to sautee some vegetables, (mangetout, carrot, onion, orange pepper, mushrooms). …added Brown rice and some tomato pasta sauce at the end.

I like this sort of simple cooking, not too much oil, a bit of water, to keep the fat levels down….not too much pasta sauce, save the rest for tomorrow.

I’m so lucky to have these things available to me. Most of the world does not have a selection of fresh vegetables and meat you can buy all year round. People lack fresh water and sanitation. Life can be hard and harsh. It’s only when you think about others that you realise how well off you are.

I wonder how I would manage if I was put in the situation, the life, of someone living on under a dollar a day? I can’t imagine the hardships. I don’t know enough about it to comment so I will leave the thought in my mind and try and find out more.

Is it wrong to say our way of life is superior anyway? The busy urban life we lead in western cities and towns robs us of contact with nature. The 24 hour a day culture that had grown up around us keeps us from sunlight and air. We are cocooned in our glass plated homes. A chrysalis waiting to emerge? Or to die because we overheated?

Perhaps it would be better if the world shared and pooled its resources, a bit less for the rich, a bit more for the poor. Yes I admit I am an idealist. I want the best for all humanity. If I could share this meal I would,

X.

Hot

 

I’m hot, its 2.30 am and the temperature in here is 27 degrees Celcius inside and around 19 degrees Celcius outside !

That’s hot, and it’s been even hotter in the daytime. Some parts of Britain have been over 30 degrees Celcius…That’s over 90 Farenheit I think.

We are not used to it. This has been going on for over two weeks, hardly a cloud in the sky.

Fires, either accidental or deliberate have burned on moorland across the country. Some have even been visible from space, plumes of smoke drifting over towns, houses having to be evacuated. Fire crews from all over Britain came to help fight them.

We just are not used to it. The driest summer I remember was in 1976. We had water cuts, and had water bowsers in the street. People were encouraged to take showers or share baths! Grey water, from washing up or the bath were used to water gardens. We even had a government minister for rain. It actually rained when he took on the job!

Today it was really hot, so hot I wanted to melt. We went out to a local park to the 6 towns one city festival to read and hear poetry and music, but after an hour we left because we were overheating!

But….I know elsewhere in the world our heat is a cool breeze. Our use of water has increased, and yet some countries have hardly any. People have to walk for miles to collect dirty and diseased water which is all they have to cook with, wash and drink.

So, I’m not sure I should complain, but it doesn’t feel right. The jet stream is dragging warm air up from the continent …what we need is a jolly good thunderstorm! Maybe its global warming. I do think it’s time we tried to reduce it.

 

Yesterdays Art

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Some paintings I have worked on and a Mini Mona Lisa. ..

The first four are recent paintings that I have worked on because I was not happy with them. Water and Earth are both part of a series (including Air and Fire) I also want to improve them.

Leaves was originally a single leaf but it was very simple and I wanted to add more to it. The leaves are from my imagination. I sometimes use art as a way of helping my memory. If I can remember what something looks like I can use the memory for other paintings and not necessarily use reference photos. I dont have a photographic memory but I sometimes describe an image to myself, like the way a gutter and drainpipe are attached to a house. If I can describe it I can draw or paint it.

Autumn pottery is based on a “pot bank” the kilns that were used for firing pottery in the past. Now they use gas tunnel kilns. The plants are roses and cotoneaster. They are to represent vegetation growing around old, derelict pot banks. The blue background could be sky, or the water from local canals.

The final painting was a quick copy of the Mona Lisa, taken from a very old book on anatomy for student artists. I know it is wrong, the face is too thin, the smile is wrong. But for half an hour’s work its not bad. It’s on a tiny canvas about 1 inch by 2 inches.

So there you are, more paintings, its something I do.

Pastel workshop

I went to a pastel drawing workshop today. We were shown how to use various grades of “toothed” paper. It was like drawing on fine sandpaper .

The smoothest grade was used with soft pastels (not the oily sort but the dry powdery ones). You could use a silicone spreader, I think it was called, or your fingers and hands to blend the colours.

First you make broad sweeps of tones, all of similar colours, so a light blue, mid blue and dark blue or grey for instance. You smudge them on the paper, then you add layers, working into each layer and dragging the pastels about with the spreader/smudger. You can get interesting marks and edges using this tool.

Then you overlay other colours to contrast, say an orange or a pink, adding detail as you go. Finally adding the darkest and lightest colours, which seem to float on top of the others.

The second paper was rougher and you must not get it damp or the surface will come away. It was coloured a turquouse blue. This paper was so rough you were not supposed to smudge it as it would destroy the texture. You had to draw with thinner layers of pastel and in a much more impressionistic style.

The third paper was really rough like sandpaper. The tutor said sometimes people fetch the skin off their fingers blending it. Better to swiftly smudge it with the flat if your palm. This paper could be wetted with an alcohol based liquid which allowed the pastels to blend and run. As the liquid quickly dried you could draw over it and smudge it with the silicone spreader. or use a pastel pencil for more definition.

I gained a lot of information from the workshop and will be doing some more work in pastels.