17 April 2014

Suddenly, everything seems to be green...





Considering that green is turning up around every corner lately, the timing couldn't be better for the "G" in ROY G BIV this month. Here are a few greens that have been part of this week...

The first pair of images show the delicious fresh beans that show up every April: baccelli. As per tradition, we paired them with shavings of pecorino, then seasoned with olive oil, salt & pepper. The rosemary in the left-hand image is from my mother's terrace garden in Montepulciano, where we did a little gardening over the weekend—I couldn't resist bringing home some of the purple-flowered branches.

Next is a pineapple, whose prickly outer texture & range of greens I find endlessly fascinating. Though they are not grown locally, pineapples are one of the fruits available year-round in Florence (and found almost without fail on the dessert menu at restaurants). We have been using them for shakes made with semi-frozen almond milk, an egg white & a little vanilla...



 

I realized only now, when the sun is long-gone, that I had meant to photograph the packaging of our colomba, the light, sweet, candied orange- & almond-studded bread that's just as much a part of the Italian Easter tradition as the large chocolate eggs wrapped in shiny, colorful papers. This year we decided to try something a bit different: a colomba made with olive oil (you can see the olive-sprigged paper & wide green ribbon in this photo on the Filippi website).

 

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While accompanying my daughter to the airport today, I saw plenty of green: several leaf-green spring jackets, suitcases both dark & light green & bold green beaded jewelry. The best photo would have been of a young passenger at the ticket counter—his hair was dyed bright green, and he was also wearing a green t-shirt! But, as I said to my daughter, I am just not the kind of person who blatantly photographs people (surreptitiously, yes, but not if I think they might notice). Though I had brought my camera for the walking portion of my journey home from the airport, once I had said goodbye to my daughter I just quietly observed the many greens that surrounded me...

Once I was back in the center, and walking past the church of Santa Maria Novella, it clicked with me that the intricate fa├žade designs are in green (and white) marble, so out came the camera at last...



As I continued on toward the river, I thought about how I hadn't been to our favorite gelateria, La Carraia, in a long time. While we moms used to take our children there after school once upon a time, it's something they usually do on their own now. I love the "After Eight" flavormint with bits of chocolateand though it's a subtle green because they don't add artificial colors/flavors, it tastes even greener than it is. The gelateria's logo (the arches of the bridge it is named for/located next to) is also green, but I was too busy catching the drips of my cone to photograph it.

 


The Arno has been green much of April, so I had a feeling it would be part of this month's ROY. Below are a few snaps from today; I liked the patterns the wind made as it blew opposite the current, and the varying shades as the water caught the light, the sky & the greenery along the banks...







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For links to more green-inspired photos, please visit the
blogs of artists Jennifer Coyne Qudeen & Julie Booth.




14 April 2014

Putting (the final touches) in place...


Twenty-five+ months later, I am finally finishing up the final edits & last round of test prints for my BookArtObject (BAO) edition. I have mentioned my work on this project infrequently here, but it has been an ongoing part of my studio routine all this time.

Each edition of BAO has used a selected text as its starting point; the first year it was a poem by Rosemary Dobson, Learning Absence (1986), and the most recent is a series of one-hundred titles that artist Sarah Bodman chose for her book of short stories, An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen (more details about this on the BookArtObject website). Many of the titles had been claimed by the time I found out about this project, but I was quite excited by the one I ended up with: "Mise en place." At the time, I had little idea where I would go with this seed of inspiration, but I did know that I was constantly finding parallels between the studio & the kitchen—and that I was becoming more & more interested in what took place in the kitchen.

One aspect of Edition 4 of BookArtObject that I appreciated was the loose deadline. The artist's books I had created in the last few years had mainly come about in response to the calls for submissions at art galleries, which meant that deadlines always loomed too close to allow me to "live" with a concept for a while, to let it evolve organically (or to live a normal life during the frantic experimentation & creation phases!). It was a painful way to go about the pleasurable pursuit of making books.

While I'm afraid I have in fact interpreted the generous deadline more loosely than was expectedmost of the artists have completed their editions by now, and a couple of exhibitions have already been heldI am finally close enough that revealing a snippet or two should be just the push I need to finish. I don't want to give too much away before the other members of my group receive their copies, but in this post you will find a few images of a print I made to check the content (independently of the final format, so as to see it in a fresh light), as well as some of the initial notes I dug up from way back when. I found it interesting to see what survived—and remained importantthrough this very long, convoluted (but enjoyable) process. 






It feels good to have made what I hope is the last to-do list for my edition of seventeen!





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