Saturday, June 20, 2009

under the sierra sun

Okay everybody, I am the owner of Lori Hanson's "Wedding Tree", the graphite on paper drawing of the tree where Larry and Lori got married last year. After Stanley's You Too Can Draw class, I appreciate the number of days it took to produce such a drawing. And I am now a student of Lori Hanson as well. On Friday we took too long to start our plein air lesson, so we stayed indoors and did a still life. She taught me a few techniques, like lining up the axis of the apples and bananas, not outlining the edges, and following form.

Saturday we took off for a landscape painting adventure. I took Daisy, a big mistake, as she knocked over the table a few times trying to capture the resident cows. A neighbor dog Sunny kept coming by drinking my cobalt blue mixture and turning over the paint tackle box. Both dogs were banished for arts sake.

The first big lesson was a paint bomb. It's all about adding enough water to saturated colors that the tension on the water creates an explosion as the brush touches canvas. Then, there's more following the form.

Eventually hunger and the arrival of dinner company caused us to call the lesson done. I am going to Berkeley to an art store with a shopping list for things I must have before I hit Ghost Ranch.

We recreated the Italian cooking school meatball recipe for dinner that night, with giant meatballs more like mini meatloaves, and a tomato onion balsamic reduction that knocks the socks off ragu. Lori's mom brought home made sauces for the spaghetti that were also taste explosions.

There's been a plethora of great food this weekend. Lori is an organic and unprocessed eater, but that does not mean cardboard. Oh so yummy. My contributions were wild salmon one night and buffalo meatballs a la Italian the next. Lori has a recipe for Jewish baked chicken baked with rock salt that I am dying to try.

So, life in Tuscany, I mean, the Sierra Foothills, is fine indeed. Here's some family shots.

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