Tuesday, 20 December 2011 at 19:47
Tea Ring - Another medium...baking
With the holiday season upon us, the thoughts of my parents home and Christmas past took hold of me. I loved the way the kitchen heated up with my Mom turning into artisan and production artist all at the same time. I have often remarked that her kitchen is like my studio. When she gets to holiday baking, stay clear of the kitchen..unless you wish to sample.
One of her many recipes that I really enjoy is her Tea Ring. I learned that it is essentially made like Nut Roll but is twisted into a ring shape and coated with maple flavored icing. The small nut roll cakes or cookies called Kolachi are a kind of mini version of the nut roll. THese also bring on the Christmas feel when they appear. Deciding to go ahead and bring some of my past to our home, I gave Mom a call and she quickly emailed back with the recipe. Since it was the first time I made it, I thought I would share. I put a little pressure on myself by counting on it as a client gift for the places I have had the good fortune of working with over the last year. A little pressure always helps a performance.
Even if I were to pull this off and have the Tea Ring come out well, that would still place me at least 3rd, probably 4th, in the family for baking skill. I would tail Mom (Patricia), my brother Dwight, who is an engineer, and perhaps my sister, who makes some mean White Trash (the recipe that it).
Dwight always makes his own dough and would not think to use frozen. When Mom blessed the frozen, I though...cool. I can definitely see where the dough would provide opportunity to take it to another level. That was a bit much to chew off the first time around, I thought.
Here is the recipe:
by Dr. Patricia Pakan
preparing nut mix paste
1 stick melted butter +1 cup sugar 4 cups (1 bag) walnuts milk as needed
Mix in a bowl. Add milk last and slowly. Mix should be moist, pliable, yet firm, not runny.
Should spread easily with a spatula.
preparing maple icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 teaspoons milk 2 teaspoons light corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
preparing dough - Use 2 loaves frozen dough. Place in refrigerator the night before. Remove when ready to roll. Cut each loaf in 2 even pieces, each making a roll. Roll out to about 1/8th inch thick. Brush on butter after rolled out. Spread on nut paste evenly. Roll up as for jelly roll. Cut 6 slits across roll just revealing paste. Curl roll into a “C” shape and place on buttered pan. Let rise until double in size. Time varies but usually takes 2-3 hours or more
Bake 350 for 30 minutes or until browning begins.
When totally cool, drizzle (or coat) entire nut roll with maple icing.
Sunday, 04 December 2011 at 14:12
Painting the Surreal
If you read the last post, this one is a good one to review in sequence, just for the heck of it.
I had in mind to do a colored pencil drawing of the surreal concepts I was asked to do for the ES of Music’s Summer Session materials. I have been concentrating on oil painting now for a couple years and wanted to continue to grow and learn in this media. After studying the frame proportion and primary image use, I secured the correct size gesso panels and other materials necessary to complete the paintings
From the sketches then drawings of variations of the presented idea, final art was in motion.
To really get some strong summer color, oil on panel was chosen as a medium and style or approach. Inherent issues of drying times make it difficult to produce on a tight deadline. The folks at the ES were great and allowed me to expand my time to experiment with the process. The result is connected to, yet a more narrative approach, than most of my personal work. It is very connected to what I did and loved doing out of college in the early 80’s — a little rock and roll surrealism in the surreal summer in Rochester, at the Lake, and at the ESM.
I spend about a month working these three paintings up from the initial concept sketches to finished layered oil glaze paintings. Thank goodness I found a spray dryer to apply between layers to speed the process. Each color dries at a different rate.
Although I started with the idea of making the paintings super realistic, the more I worked with them and the feel of how the painting was laying down, a more Marguerite like frozen in type stylized realism emerged particularly with the mallet beach balls floating over the Xylophone/dock. The clouds for the sandals and cloud dream was influenced by NC Wyeth and his heroic storm cloud dream narrative paintings.
It is so nice to find a client that loves illustration and its ability to provide a visual language that transcend cultures, language, and social economic condition...and let’s one dream.
Monday, 28 November 2011 at 14:23
I should really save this post for the dead of Winter but my schedule is the one of the communications industry. I was commissioned to create 3 illustrations focused on how the Eastman School of Music students, feel about their Summers here in Rochester New York, home of the Finger Lakes, Great Lakes, and located just across the water from Toronto, Canada. The Eastman School is world renown with an amazing track record of producing international talent and a history that few music schools can match.
The focus of the Summer Sessions at Eastman are no less rigorous that the traditional school year, just that those lovely summer breezes, the smell of open grills, and watchful cloud formations slowly change as the day dreamily moves along, puts music making in a bit of a surreal context. What are those clouds really saying?
Its been great working with the people at the Eastman School of Music It is so refreshing to work with a client with a vision and thinks about using illustration and art as a way of expressing it. Music/Art...seems like a good fit. Rochester is such a photo driven town its difficult to find such projects or bold clients.
Shown here is the actual sketch for the concept for the core identity pieces of the summer campaign. The art focuses on what is perhaps, on the minds of Eastman students during the summer session. When I saw the sketch and I got a chance to talk to the communications team, I felt right at home with the subject and approach. Since I was a kid I was taken by the surrealists and how their work and approach played out particularly through the raw artwork of record jackets and the music industry. The idea of time frozen in a dreamlike moment always seems to appeal to me.
As an illustrator and artist it can be easily put a distance from the work, when a client hands them a sketch to go out and do. To do a great job, one must own the concept and make it personal. What was different and really nice in this case, is the enthusiasm of the client and some really good idea starters that the team was willing to develop together and alter. The specific approach and fine tuning of concept into finished art were also left open, which was really nice. Shown here is the client sketch.
So far I have revealed the concept evolution.
Final paintings to come; stay tuned!
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 at 16:52
Empowerment Takes Root
I got an inquiry about a year ago to create a 30th Anniversary Poster for a wonderful organization in Trenton New Jersey called Isles. This non profit is run partly by a great friend of mine from back in Tallmadge Ohio days growing up.
It did not surprise me to find Marty working in inner-city Trenton New Jersey with an organization (Isles) that focuses on education, green living life choices, community building, and to support all of it through wealth creation. It did not surprise me to find Marty as a founder of Isles, making use of his Ivy League education helping others rather than looking to make his fist million.
As fate would have it, Marty called late in the game, after the organization had received their 30th Anniversary logo from another artist and found that it was not appropriate for a commemorative poster. With less than 2 weeks, could I develop one — including printing?. A great project, no time...as usual.
After seeing the recently developed identity system and learning core principles of Isles I set out sketching and thinking. In order to create something really utilizing the strengths of illustration and design, I thought of a kind of surrealistic approach. I literally began to interpret the positioning or theme of the anniversary and Isles in general. The theme line given was “Empowerment Takes Root”.This idea and the concept for their new logo is a tree with the emphasis on the strong roots. Since the non profit is trying to introduce this concept through their identity I though it would help to extend it to the poster. I did shift the emphasis to the fruit of the tree in relation to its roots. I them wanted to humanize the tree to make the literal connection to a person, very humanistic. That gave me the opportunity to explore a kind of surrealistic album cover sort of image that is charged, empowered, and very unique for the non profit sector. I though it might be cool to use such an approach on an ongoing basis making Isles communications pieces look like little album covers, using a kind of surrealism to inform and educate. I used this approach with the tree as branches become arms then hands that hold icons representing the 4 tenants of Isles 1) education 2) green living 3) building communities 4) wealth creation or power. The entire tree/figure reach upward raised up by the word EMPOWERMENT. Creating the type font and intertwining it with the tree figure was challenging.
Besides the group of images showing the development of the poster concept, design and art, I have also posted a progression of stages of the poster showing where the traditional approach crossed over to the digital threshold. The fist large singular image is the scan of the art. Due to the deadline, I could not get the painting to dry fast enough in the time frame to be smooth and saturated with color. The second image shows the scan with digital airbrush work to smooth and saturate. Then I added a wire frame around the type, a border and rule to add clarity, detail and pop. The drop shadows on the type and rules adds a dimensionality and a bit of a digital feel to the very tradition look. Stayed tuned on the studio store. We are looking at different ways of getting poster produced of this art.
Page 1 of 9<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next > End >>