This week I am living and working at Arts Letters & Numbers a multidisciplinary artist in residency program in Averill Park, NY, outside of Albany.
The old mill house where I’m staying with 7 other artists has been repurposed into a retreat for artists from all disciplines, crossing over even into the world of math and science.
After arriving Monday afternoon, we organized our stuff and got straight to the business of having a t party (that would be “t” as in tequila) and “a serious conversation” ~ a salon-style get-together at advisory board members Robert and Diane’s home.
(Robert holding a huge bottle of tequila in the shape of a rifle.)
After attending last year’s Affordable Art Fair where The Art Students League had a booth, and after hearing about the generations of New York artists who’ve been members at “The League”, and after lots of talk and no action, I finnnnnalllllly pulled the trigger and signed up for the Drawing with Color art class twice a week.
To refresh your memory, The Art Students League is a studio style art school where classes are continually held throughout the year and students pay monthly. You merely come into class once you’ve started paying, rather than having a formal beginning to a class or semester structure. I believe the summer may be its own session but otherwise, we keep rolling.
The teacher is not present every class so students work independently. There are also additional weekly studio hours that students can attend to draw or paint from models.
The first day, admittedly, was kind of weird. It wasn’t the day the teacher was there and a lot of people were clearly continuing on their own independent projects. I did some sketches for the 2017 Spring Collection but without any other guidance and not my full panoply of supplies, I ducked out a bit early. Yesterday the teacher was there and I also brought a lot more paints, canvases and such to work with. Again, it was basically independent study with everyone working on whatever they had brought. The teacher was outgoing and walked around giving advice and opinions on the work.
Definitely not your typical art class but I can see I’m going to get a lot of work done and I appreciate his insights and feedback.
Hi WordPress Friends! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for a while here. As most of you know I’ve launched a new career in NYC as an artist, and what anyone fails to tell you is that while you may LOVE your creative pursuit, there’s a whole lot of “business running” that also has to go on behind the scenes!
I’ve been in the weeds, tracking expenses, figuring out how to build huge boxes to ship big paintings, and generally not doing a good job keeping up with YOU!
I have been blogging a bit over on my art website Hannah Lowe Corman and the posts may be of interest to some of you as they generally overlap with some of the themes I’ve come to write about here: career stuff, art and architecture, events around town and general thoughts on life.
I’m in the process of revamping that art website (if anyone is selling physical products on SquareSpace and dealing with their terrible sales tax integration, you may feel my pain), and I wanted to give you guys the first heads up on that.
I’d LOVE to continue connecting with you, so to get the jump, join the baby HLC art community HERE
I’m not quite gone from my life blogging as Next Stop: TBD, but I hope to see you over there in the meantime, and I also look forward to continuing to read all of your blogs over here on WordPress.
Yesterday it was raining all day, which was lucky because I needed to stay in and get some commissioned paintings done. While I had the Christmas music playing and was waiting for the first coat of paint to dry, I popped an easy cornbread recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook into the oven.
Here’s the scoop:
This cornbread is of the sweet variety (which is my preference) and is extra fun given the lightly charred kernels of corn mixed throughout.
Here’s what I subbed:
Butter in lieu of vegetable shortening (1:1). I didn’t really feel like purchasing a thing of Crisco just for this recipe…and anyway, isn’t that stuff supposed to be bad for you? Not that butter is a health food, but at least it was the organic kind.
Coconut milk in lieu of regular milk (1:1). I was nervous it would give the bread a coconut-y flavor which I don’t think it did.
spread batter into greased baking dish
cornbread batter close up
Here’s how it turned out:
Really well in fact! Fortunately or unfortunately Martha says this bread is best served day of baking or maybe the day after is well-wrapped….Sooooo you can guess what I had for lunch yesterday.
Day of baking the cornbread was moist and slightly sweet and slightly salty and I really enjoyed the pop of the corn bits. Day after baking, slightly drier but still delicious covered in more butter 😉
Now not ever having made this recipe with the suggested ingredients, I can’t say for sure how these substitutions might detract or improve the original recipe. But I can tell you that the recipe definitely still works and the ease of the mix-batter and bake means I will be bringing this out again next time I’m called on for a pot-luck.
I’m off to have a lunch of cornbread and roasted acorn squash. A perfectly cozy fall meal!
I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t really? It’s a day when most Americans take a break, log off, and reflect on the prior year and the year to come.
In our family tradition, we always go around the table and say one thing that we are thankful for. Mostly family, friends, food, shelter, love. All good things.
This year I’m also thankful for everyone who has supported this wild dream of mine to become a professional artist. It’s not something I ever contemplated moving out of the “hobby” realm until YOU showed me that I could. So THANK YOU for your encouragement and love.
THANK YOU for buying my art.
THANK YOU for putting me in touch with industry professionals to answer my questions.
THANK YOU for networking with me and on my behalf.
THANK YOU for giving me a chance to create something unique for you.
THANK YOU for taking my business cards and passing them along to your friends and acquaintances and interior decorators. (And let me know if you want more!)
THANK YOU for telling me I can and AM doing it.
And in looking ahead to 2017, let me know what I can do for YOU.
As many of you know, I used to run a wedding dress shop in Ann Arbor Michigan, which was completely staffed by volunteers, where the dresses were donated, and where the proceeds were used at the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. It was a fun and fulfilling endeavor and sometimes I miss being around brides and their families in their happy moments.
Last weekend, I felt like I was back in that world, while collaborating on a styled wedding photography shoot with Clare Mullins Photography. Clare pulled together her vision for a Monet-inspired watercolor and gold theme and brought in her sister to model. I painted a 9.5 ft x 5 ft backdrop in shades of white, green, gold and pink, andMeg Burrell created a clean and modern stationery suite.
It was the first time I had created a work this large or created a backdrop of any kind (save for maybe those huge clothes we made for sorority skits haha) and it was a challenge but fun!
Quick: Google “how to make a backdrop!” That’s what I did! I ordered a few rolls of the biggest canvas and heavy duty paper I could find. But not wanting to buy poles and such, we decided to go with paper that could be hung directly onto the wall of the room Clare had rented for the shoot.
In my tiny apartment, I unfurled the longest length possible and painted, waited for it to dry, rolled it in from the end and unfurled another section, working to integrate all the parts seamlessly.
When I was finally able to unroll the whole thing across the room on the shoot day, I loved the way it all came together!! We chose to hang it vertically for the shoot, but I would love to see it framed hanging horizontally behind someone’s couch. It definitely has a watery/Monet-y quality to it.
From the 90s pop soundtrack to elegant beaded wedding dress Clare had chosen, the shoot was perfect and so much fun. I had never met Clare or Meg in person before but I was in awe of how well we worked together and got along. It was such a fantastic experience, and I cannot thank these ladies enough.
More photos coming soon, and the painting will be listed for sale here shortly.
backdrop by me, Clare Mullins Photography and Meg Burrell stationery
backdrop rolled out as much as possible in a tiny apartment
I’m honored to have my art selected for a #shopsmall holiday gift guide this year! Heart Centered Biz Bosses is a group of women from all over the country who are entrepreneurs that lift one another up through networking and education. Each member owns her own business and also works to better the world through those businesses.
I was so shocked and humbled that out of a handful of vendors, my art was chosen to be featured in “Gifts for Mom.”
It came as a bit of a shock this morning that it was so chilly and windy outside. It shouldn’t have since it’s already October, but it’s been so beautiful for so long that I forgot it was fall and no longer summer! After a morning coffee date (and before visiting some potential new apartments this afternoon), I threw together some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
To be perfectly honest, the reason I went with oatmeal cookies was because I had a huge tupperware container of oatmeal taking up WAY too much room in the cupboard and I had to get rid of it.
The recipe I adapted from allrecipes is an eggless one, which is perfect because I don’t have any eggs, AND because I can eat the batter guiltlessly. A word to the wise though: don’t eat too much batter if raw oatmeal makes your tummy upset.
While the recipe doesn’t call for eggs, it does mean the cookies are a bit drier than a typical moist oatmeal cookie.
A few adaptations and tips:
Use all brown sugar to keep the cookies chewier
Use dark chocolate chips for a richer flavor (and to be slightly healthier depending on how dark you go)
Add a pinch of cinnamon for a fall flavor
Skip the oatmeal altogether, add the chocolate chips, wrap the uncooked dough in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator to snack on. Why must the cookies be baked to enjoy?
Here’s the recipe with my changes:
Ingredients & Procedure:
1 cp butter (slightly softened)
1 cp brown sugar (light or dark)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the above ingredients until well-blended.
In a saucepan, boil 1/4 cp water and dissolve 1 tsp baking soda into that.
To the butter-sugar-vanilla mixture, add: 1.5 cp flour and 1 tsp salt (optional pinch of cinnamon) and stir.
Add the water-baking soda mixture and stir.
Add 2 cps oatmeal and at least 1 cp chocolate chips (to taste based on the darkness of the chocolate and how chocolatey you like your cookies).
Bake teaspoon-sized balls on parchment lined cookie sheets at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown
One time I went over to my boss’ home for coffee and paperwork. The coffee she was brewing smelled so good, I thought it was some specialty flavored kind. It tasted richly of cinnamon and milk.
Then she let me in on her secret: it was just regular ground coffee but she added a few taps of ground cinnamon to the top of the coffee grounds before brewing. It was like drinking flavored coffee!
This year, with the presence of Starbucks around the corner from my apartment (and really anyone’s apartment in Manhattan), I’ve been drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes like I have $5 to spend on daily coffee.
They are a deliciously warm and remind me of good autumnal times. But let’s be honest, they are full of sugar, fake sugar, chemicals and cost a million dollars (not really, but they’re not cheap).
So even though I don’t think I’ll totally quit my Sbux habit, I have come up with an equally (although less syrupy-sugary-sweet) yummy version of the #PSL that I can make at home.
While I’ve been a devoted cinnamon-shaker ever since that morning when I learned my boss’ trick, I never thought about taking it to the next level in terms of adding AAAALLLLL the pumpkin pie spices.
So that’s what I did: after measuring out my ground coffee, I sprinkled a good amount of cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, a bit less of ginger and threw in some whole cloves (although ground would’ve been fine too) on top of the coffee, and brewed away.
The result was coffee that tasted like pumpkin pie! Without any added chemicals, syrups, sweeteners or sugar.
Now, you could just add milk and call it a day. Or sugar, or simple syrup if you like your coffee sweet.
But I took it a step further and warmed some milk up in a pot (not to boiling but almost) and transferred it to a mug with a spout (I have a special metal one for frothing milk but a measuring cup would do too).
Using an aerolatte milk frother that we got for our wedding, and a technique I learned while barista-ing it up at my bakery gig, I added some creamy warm milk and latte foam to the top of my coffee ~ instant pumpkin spice latte!
So here’s the trick: either keep the frother near the bottom of the cup of milk and keep it steady to create some foam but also to generally steam the milk; or move the wand slowly up and then slowly back down to create tons of foam ~ more like cappuccino-style, less warm milk, more foam.
Maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon to top it off? And even if you don’t have the milk frother, just add warm milk to your pumpkin spice coffee, try it and let me know what you think!
Wow, it’s been a few months since I’ve written up a Martha Stewart recipe but it always seems a bit too hot to be baking up a storm during the summer. Now that fall is starting to creep in, spending days inside doesn’t seem so blasphemous.
I was recently longing for a sweet treat but didn’t feel like leaving the house to go purchase some cookies or something, so I turned to Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook for an easy recipe.
I came across these caramel dots, which are actually part of a sub-recipe for cake decorations, but who needs a whole cake when you can just eat some caramel?
Additionally, the recipe was super simple: sugar, water, lemon juice!
Step 1: Mix sugar and water and lemon juice.
Step 2: Heat until it turns into caramel
Step 3: Drizzle bits of caramel onto parchment paper* and let cool
*When the caramel was still hot (and PS it was really hot – I burnt my finger and it blistered because the caramel stuck to it and I couldn’t get it off – so don’t touch it!) I pinched bits of black sea salt on top to make a sweet-salty dessert.
Thoughts on this recipe:
I don’t have overly processed white sugar, only pure cane sugar which is pretty coarse. I think this resulted in too grainy a caramel.
These dots are super hard candies. Definitely more of a sucking candy. Next time I would add a tablespoon or two of butter to make the texture creamier and try for a chewier caramel.
The ones with sugar tasted a lot more interesting and less overwhelmingly JUST SUGAR than the regular ones.
The caramel dots were quite pretty – almost like stained glass.
This recipe definitely served the purpose of sating a sweet tooth and would look good on a cake, but one or two was enough.
Verdict: Have I ever said something was TOO sugary? This might be the first time.
Okay, time to capitalize on this dark rainy day to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!! 🙂