Friday, August 7, 2020

Plein Air Painting Tips


"Plein Air in Excelsior"   Watercolor,   11" x 15"   $195

Since the pandemic, I have been embracing Plein Air painting (painting outdoors on location) so that I can meet artist friends at a safe social distance.  Yesterday was a perfect day, and I set up on a corner, ready to tackle perspective!  Here's my tips about Plein Air painting.  Always take a photo from your painting position right away.  That way, if the shadows change, you can refer to it.  Also, when I got home, I printed off the photo, enlarged the house to be the size of my image on the painting, and traced it.  That way, I could "check" on myself to see how well I drew the image.  I actually did pretty good, except the the width of the windows were a little too wide, which doesn't matter in the finished painting.  The angle of the windows was spot on!  Yay! I usually draw the subject with pencil, come back and add my "wire drawing" lines with a permanent marker and then figure out where my light pathway will be.  See below to check out how my lights are connected throughout the painting.  The below image is how far I got on location, and spent about 30 minutes finishing it in my studio.  

(Work in Progress)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Special surprise recipe! Chicken Piccata

During this pandemic, I've been cooking more than ever before, trying new recipes and actually enjoying cooking!  What???  My friends know that I've never been interested in culinary art, but now, I'm searching for things to fill my days, and since my husband and I used to love going out to eat, this is the next best thing till this pandemic is over!   We often cook together too, which I have to admit, I'm hoping Dick will love it so much that he will take over someday. (wink, wink)  I've decided that from time to time, I will be sharing some of my most favorite recipes.  And as a bonus, I am adding one of my latest paintings, just for kicks.  This painting is available for the first person to text me for only $50, half of my usual price!  This chicken dish is a combination of many different recipes that I found online, and I concocted my own version, based on our own tastes.  Hope you enjoy it! 
"Creative Energy"      7" x 11", watercolor and collage

"Chicken Piccata"

6 chicken thighs 

Flour (optional)

1/2 t. Kosher salt

1/2 t. Black pepper

3 T. Butter

1/2 c. Dry white wine

1/4 cup Capers, drained

3 or 4 t. minced or chopped garlic

1/3 t. thyme 

1 T corn starch

3/4 cup chicken broth

3 T. Fresh lemon juice and sliced lemon

3 Chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Optional:  Coat chicken with flour lightly, if preferred.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Using 3 T butter to pan, fry chicken for 5 minutes.  Turn chicken over. Cook 2 - 3 minutes.  Remove chicken from pan and place them in a 9 x 13 pan.  Baste chicken with some of the butter that is still in the skillet.   Add corn starch, wine, capers, garlic, 2 T. lemon juice, and thyme to skillet.  Cook 2 minutes till slightly thicker.   Add sauce to 9 x 13 pan, but try not to pour over the chicken, so that the chicken will remain crispy on top. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes till internal temp of the chicken should register 190- 200 degrees. (I put loose foil on top of the pan for the first 15 minutes, then removed it for the last 15 minutes to allow the chicken to get crispy.  Sprinkle evenly with green onion, garnish with sliced lemons.  Serve over jasmine rice. 


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