30 September 2012

And back to green again...

This post actually began 'growing' back in July. I had the images and tabbouleh recipe in mind for the 'Thinking of Green' post, but everything wasn't quite ready at the time—and then I got sidetracked by the green Arno reflections, the Regina Claudia plums and all of Venice's delightful shades of green. 

Whenever my daughter is away I use the time for a solitary creative retreat of sorts, streamlining the usual daily distractions as much as possible. This includes being as efficient as possible with my time in the kitchen; I eat well, but very simply. One of the things I like to make is a huge bowl of tabboulehmy daughter doesn't really care for it and I love it. So much parsley...so much green goodness...



As always, I offer 'recipes' as guidelines, with the hope that others will use what they have/what they like and adapt that which they don't.

Each time I've made tabbouleh lately—or any other recipe for which mise en place is fundamentalI have used it as an opportunity to continue research for my Book Art Object (BAO) edition, as the title I have chosen is 'Mise en place', i.e. the assembly/preparation of ingredients. (I have only mentioned this project obliquely a couple of times this year and will give more background when my edition of artist books is complete, but the gist is that a group of nearly one hundred artists is borrowing story titles by another artist as inspiration for their own books.) After making so many past artist books in a period of mere weeks, in order to meet deadlines for various 'calls for submission', it has been such a pleasure to luxuriate in the creative process for this one. And from all of the research/brainstorming sessions/contemplation/experimentation has come the idea for yet another project using ingredients as inspiration...

I wrote this passage from the Piazza di Santo Spirito chapter of The Piazzas of Florence when the parallels between the studio and the kitchen were just beginning to dawn on me. It was perhaps the seed of what has grown into a fascination with photographing ingredients (usually before transforming them into something new), as well as learning how to embrace time spent in the kitchen.

After returning from the market I arrange the vegetables that will go into soup for dinner tonight. Each time I enter the kitchen my eye is drawn to the orange flesh of the pumpkin, the papery purple skins of red onions, the feathery tops of the fennel and the leafy cavolo nero, a cabbage so dark that it's called 'black'. In a brown wicker basket I compose a still life with the sunset colors of pomegranates, persimmons and new apples, then select a dark green and raw siena bowl whose colors, if mixed together, would create the same mottled hue of the dusky golden grapes now cascading over the edge. Although I often only have time to arrange the produce quickly, in my mind I am capturing these simple shows of beauty with a paintbrush or pencil. Of course, food is also a medium in its own right, offering the opportunity to express creativity for fleeting moments of time—as a weekday dinner, a long lunch, or a gorgeous dessert.

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Returning once again to the green theme, here are a few more photos from the recent trip to Venice. I was already on the lookout for 'BLUE', but since I had just put together the series of images for 'GREEN' the day before we left, I found myself continuing to be alert to all things green. While Venice has plenty of blue, the lagoon is famous for its often-green shade. I'm not sure what causes the phenomenon, but it can be quite striking, and even jarring in its opaqueness (as in the second photo). The foliage of the hydrangea bush in the third picture looks rather anemica chlorophyll deficiency?but was surprisingly similar to the color of the van behind it (this was on the Lido, where vehicles are allowed). I always enjoy catching the occasional mossy-green reflections of trees along the canals (bottom pair of images).





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And here's one last photo, with multiple layers/textures of green, taken during a quick visit to the Rose Garden this month. I'm not sure what the sun-baked flowers in the foreground are, but they certainly caught the light beautifully that morning...



6 comments:

  1. Tabbouleh---mmmm!I usually add a little garlic-infused oil.
    And you asked about Venice...yes, long ago I had a brief, cold,wet,smelly and thoroughly delightful visit.But Florence is still my favourite!

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    1. The garlic-infused oil sounds like a wonderful idea - a gentle way to get a little extra kick. I'll give it a try next time.
      It is amazing how different Venice & Florence are from one another - each with their own enticing personalities. How nice to hear of your special affection for Florence! Here's hoping you make it back to Italy one day...
      - Lisa

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  2. Lisa- I love your still lifes with photos and with words.
    Thanks for sharing a bit more green and blue. I never tire of your gorgeous photos! How's indigo coming along? I'll be in San Francisco so hoping to discover some indigo there.

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    1. Thank you, Julie! I'm glad you could stop by for a look.
      I have a different idea for 'Indigo' this time (i.e. not the usual Venice-themed images), and hope I can follow it in the next couple of weeks. How exciting to be heading for SF - have a wonderful visit and I hope you find some 'indigo'...
      - Lisa

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  3. Lisa,
    Do you use a tripod when you take pictures ?
    Your pictures are very clear ! I find the last one especially pretty amazing.
    Have a great fall season,
    Céline

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  4. Hello Céline, Sometimes everything aligns perfectly and you stumble into a photo where the light is just right - which is what happened with the last photo.
    I don't have a tripod, but I often brace myself against something if it's possible. It's hard to truly see what I've captured until I upload images to the computer, so I like to shoot several versions if I am drawn enough to stop and take a picture in the first place... I love the uploading stage because there are often some nice surprises. It feels like Christmas every time!
    Wishing you a beautiful fall in your corner of the world!
    - Lisa

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{Sorry about enabling word recognition, but I'm hoping it will alleviate the spam.}

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