Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Arty Side

In elementary school, I loved going to art class. I loved it because I liked learning new techniques and making something that was all my own. When I went to middle school, I had to choose what type of "art" I wanted to take a class in, since they wouldn't let a student take more than one art type, so I chose theater. I never got to take another art class again. Sad...sad...sad. But, I majored in theater in college and have gotten pleanty of use out of the creative skills I learned even though I ended up being a paralegal for 5 years and a stay at home mommy now. Luckily, drawing-ish art has still been something I've been able to do in my spare time for fun.

I don't have a budget for art, so, I use old paints and paper I got for Christmas and birthdays when I was in high school still. I don't mind that my art isn't done with perfect technique...because I'm releasing a need to create something by drawing and painting. I recall being 10 years old, at my grandma's house sitting in the dinning room with a pad of paper and a pencil drawing cartoons. For many years prior, I had collected books on how to draw--hording them in my room, and watched TV shows on Saturday morning programing aimed at teaching kids to draw cartoons. I liked drawing silly simple shapes and faces, but struggling to find my own style in my art, rather than mimicing the books, etc. Back to my sotry, I showed my grandma what I was doing and asked if she liked it. She didn't! (What! I thought grandmas had to like stuff their grandkids made as children.) She thought I was wasting my time on cartoons and said I should do real art. She then walked into the kitchen and came back with a bowl of fruit. She said, "Draw this as it is with detail and shading." I felt deflated, but drew the fruit. I showed her and she still wasn't happy with what I'd done. I then decided I didn't really care what my grandma thought of my art...I would rather do something I was interested that seek her art approval. Afterall, I hardly saw her...she couldn't keep track. So, I stopped showing her my art...and that was that. (Sad...sad...sad.)

While I practiced shading later in life, I hated how dirty my fingers got as I rubbed and smeared the pencil lead on the paper. I always went back to my cartoon images. I liked that they weren't over worked, they could be sad or serious, and children responded to them well. I also loved that they didn't have to look real...they were not meant to be parallel representations of life...more imaginary. Looking back, I think I gravitated to cartoons because they also supplied escapism from my reality--bringing me joy when I felt sad..sad...sad.

To share some of my hobby with you, here's some of my art....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Best Salmon I've Ever Had

I posted about this Salmon back in 2012 but thought it was worth re-posting because it was the best Salmon I've ever had!!! At the time I first made this, I was trying to duplicate a meal I had at Salty's on Alki Point in Seattle. The restaurant has a few recipes online, but not exactly what I had eaten in the restaurant. So, I took elements from 2 or 3 recipes and merged them into what I thought I had ordered. The result was spectacular! Shaun and I happily oohh-ed and blissfully mmmmm-ed after every single bite.

The key to making most perfect restaurant food, other than technique and superior ingredient quality, is FAT. This recipe has lots of fat but its all worth it. So, if you happen upon some fresh (wild-caught) salmon this year, consider giving this recipe a try. It's Salmon baked in the oven--covered in a basil-garlic butter, then served aside are some garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus, covered in a pesto-butter sauce called Pesto Beurre Blanc.