In an old house near the beach is a small kitchen with a table and two chairs. Aside from the bed and the loo, this is the only place one can sit and draw. I would sit in the chair facing the windows over the sink and, for long moments, watch the sun go down into the evening. Sometimes the light would have faded and a drawing would be finished, or not. It didn’t matter. I was happily lost in ideas and colours and the soft texture of pencil on paper, layers and layers of tiny strokes building colours between the colours of the pencils’ palette. Fifteen drawings came from staying recently in that place I name The Zen House. They are collections of things whimsical and gentle; favourite things and so the series is named. Some of them are visible on our stall at the Christmas Fair, and will be exhibited in 2012 at M16 Artspace in Canberra.
In the nineties, when I had Italophilia quite badly, I found an authentic Italian cookbook by Michele Scicolone which has the best biscotti recipes. You can modify a basic biscotti recipe according to your likes. I have made 4 varieties: coffee and chocolate, classic almond, cranberry and raisin, and fig and walnut using spelt flour.
When I was a small child waiting for my dad to pick me up from Nana’s house, she would sing me a song about Johnny being so long at the fair and promising to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons… I can still see the image of those ribbons swirling in the breeze on a sunny Fair day. Yesterday it was our turn at the Fair, and yes, we were so long there! My respect for fellow marketeers has grown immensely having experienced the amount of work behind the scenes. Nevertheless, it was a good day and a fine debut with people expressing much interest in our wares. We would do it all again, just not next week!
Aside from the start of this blog, tomorrow is the informal debut of ‘Rustica & Grace’. My sister and I are having an eclectic market stall. Rustica and Grace sums it up i think … wares that are a bit country, well-made, slowly made with care and getting lost in the flow of making knowing the receptive beholder ‘gets it’, (a phenomena noted by Martin Buber in ‘I am Thou’). ‘It’ is grace – a beautiful word to describe something larger that comes through our own creativity and speaks to others of their own goodness and creativity – as in the timeless song – Amazing Grace…about the sound of sweetness, the feeling of coming home to oneself and seeing the truth.
I’m a painter and marmalade queen – although perhaps i should call myself a marmalade princess at this early stage of my public career as a conserve and biscotti maker. The thought with the stall was to show my paintings (suitcase-sized for a change) and those of my friends, but it became a forum to also present the goodies I’ve been giving as gifts for many years. I’ll post a photo or two…