Security in the Courthouse (working title- I’ll change it later.)

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I started working on my newest painting yesterday and am this far along on it. I’ve transferred the image from the photocopy onto the canvas. A few tweaks here and there, and then I will start blocking in bits and pieces with color. I’m thinking I’ll color it in with solid colors and overlay them with lines. I’m really not sure what the process will be exactly, I’ll figure it out as I go. I don’t have much time on this one though, the deadline is in less than two weeks!

About my Blog. What it is.

I am a visual artist, a painter primarily.  I use acrylics as I love their versatility and forgiving quality. In most of my paintings, I use my Single Line Style, in which I use one continuous line throughout an object or to make up an object.  In many works, there is just one line to make up the entire painting.  I love experimenting with the line and exploring with it to see all that I can do with it.  I am still learning and growing with it, perhaps always will be.  It continues to fascinate me.

I am creative in many areas and things and try to allow myself to follow my creative desires wherever they lead at the time. I like to follow my passions rather than try to forcibly conjure them up in some other thing that I didn’t want most to be doing.  I find that my creative force is kind of like a river.  It’s strongest going in the direction it chooses and it flows into whatever I’m doing if I put my soul and energy into it.  I try to organize it all, but loosely.

I love art and expressing myself through it.  I also love cooking and baking; singing and writing music; writing all sorts of things.  I love reaching out to others and expressing my thoughts and ideas, to really communicate with others and to hear their perspectives and to learn and grow from each other.  Now, that’s what life is really about- to teach others and to also be taught by them.  Learning and growing, this is the point of life.

I am always exploring and learning, striving to grow.  On my journey and throughout the years, I have wanted to share the things I’ve learned and come across as an artist and thoughtful person.  I have found myself to feel lacking in not having a place and forum to be able to do that.  To keep all my thoughts inside is to let them die there, never allowing them to reach others.

So this is what my blog is about: me following my creative passions wherever they are and sharing that with you.  Some days,  I’ll post a new recipe I wrote and want to share, others, the progress on my latest painting and thoughts on it.  It could be some artful photos I took, a poem I wrote or thoughts on the a current controversy in the headlines.  Really, just any creative thing I’m doing and want to share.

Thanks for your interest in me and what I’m doing.  I’d love your comments and feedback and would love to get to know you too.   Please like and follow me on facebook also.  I can often be found there and different things are always happening there.  https://www.facebook.com/xandrissart%20

Truth and love be with you, Xandriss.

Black Widow

Black widows are actually pretty common here, in this part of Arizona.  I've found more than my share of them.  This is the fourth one I've found living right next to an outside doorway.  They don't seem to be aggressive toward people, only defensive when necessary.  But, that's my own observation.

Black widows are actually pretty common here, in this part of Arizona.  I’ve found more than my share of them.  This is the fourth one I’ve found living right next to an outside doorway.  They don’t seem to be aggressive toward people, only defensive when necessary.  But, that’s my own observation.

Black Widow Spider

This is the black widow spider that has taken up residence right next to the front door to my house. She’ll be evicted very soon.

I just added this and the other matching spider photo to the album, “Scenes from my City”.  I expected it would showcase the two new photos with a new post and it didn’t.  So, I reblogged  both of them to do that.  Be sure to follow the link (or go to album under the photography button) and view the other photos in the album too.  Thanks.

Beef, Beans and Rice

Beef, Beans and Rice

I made this for dinner quite a while back.  It was so quick, easy and tasty.  And hearty too.  I’m really glad I wrote and saved the recipe.  Just came across it again and I’m thinkin’ this sounds good for dinner tonight with a salad on the side.  I could use some comfort food.

Beef, Beans and Rice                                                                                     Serves 8

  • 4 Cups of water
  • 2 Cups long grain white rice
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 of a 16 oz jar of salsa verde (green salsa)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 ts garlic powder
  • 3/4 ts onion powder
  • 1/4 ts paprika
  • 1 ts parsley
  • 1/8 ts sage
  • 1/16 ts or dash cayenne
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/4 ts pepper
  • 1 15 oz can of kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can of chili beans, undrained
  • 1/2 can of water/ bean juice mixture
  • 4 Tbsp white flour

Rice

Boil 4 cups of water.  Pour in 2 cups of white rice and 1/2 ts of salt.  Stir.  Put on a tight-fitting lid and turn the burner to low.  Take the pot off the burner after about 10 minutes.  Keep the lid on.

Beef and Beans

Brown 2 pounds of ground beef in a really large skillet or large pot.  Drain the fat, keeping about 1/2 of it.  Return it to the burner and turn the heat to medium low.  Pour in 2 Tbsp of soy sauce and stir.  Pour in half of the jar of salsa verde and stir.  Put in the onions and stir.  Put in the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, sage cayenne salt and pepper.  Stir the pot.  Now, put in the undrained cans of beans.  Pour into one of the empty cans, a half can of water.  Swish that around getting all the remaining bean stuff at the bottom and sides of the can.  Pour this into the other can and do the same thing.  Pour the bean and water mixture into the pot and stir.  Let the beef and bean mixture simmer for a few minutes.  It should be pretty liquidy.  Get a small bowl and a large spoon.  Spoon about half of the liquid from the pot into the bowl.  It’s ok if a few beans and meat chunks get in there.  Mix 4 tbsp of flour into the liquid.  Scrape this mixture into the pot and stir.  This should thicken the beef/ bean mixture enough.  Add more flour and water as needed and to preference.  Simmer for about 10 minutes more, stirring every so often.  Serve on top or on the side of the rice.  This dish also goes great with sourdough bread and salad.

My Newest Project

Bruce Cormier, Arizona’s best spray paint artist and I have finally collaborated on something together. It didn’t turn out to be art, but we are really proud and excited. We are expecting to bring our daughter, Dailey Cormier into the world in just 2 1/2 weeks.

Turkey and Veggies with Chickeny White Sauce and Pasta

Creamy Turkey and Veggies Pasta

This was a little bit involved and a little different than a lot of what I’d been doing around that time for cooking. It was one of those occasions, that I just kept adding things until I had something I thought was good.  I was surprised by how much my family loved this dish though.  At dinner that night, they asked me to be sure to save the recipe to be able to make it again.  I said I didn’t write anything down that I did and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remember it all to do it again.  They each looked at me with blank faces and my daughter said, “you mean, you’re never going to make this again?!   I felt a little bad.  The next day, I got out all the ingredients I used and was able to remember the order of things and write it all down after all.  My husband said this dish was like chicken pot pie and pasta in one, two of his favorites.  I’ll be making this again.

Chickeny White Sauce Ingredients

  • butter, 6 Tbsp
  • flour, 1/3 Cup
  • salt, 1/2 ts
  • pepper, 1/4 ts
  • milk, 2 Cups
  • 1/2 & 1/2, 3/4 Cup
  • parsley, 1/2 ts
  • onion powder, 1/4 ts
  • garlic powder, 1/2 ts
  • chicken bouillon, 1 ts
  • cooked boneless, skinless chicken or turkey cut into bite size chunks, 1 pound

Veggies Ingredients

  • brocoli 2 1/2 Cups, chopped to med.-big pieces
  • carrots 3 , peeled and chopped
  • mushrooms, 1 Cup, sliced
  • onion- 1/2 of a medium to large one, diced

Pasta

  • penne rigate pasta, 1 pound, cooked

Directions

Turkey

Bake or skillet fry one pound of boneless, skinless turkey (or chicken).  Cut into bite size chunks. (I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving that I deboned, skinned, chunked and weighed into 1 pound baggies and froze.  It’s a great way to use up all the leftovers at the pace you want to and have pre-cooked meat for faster meals.)

Chickeny Whice Sauce

Put 6 tablespoons of butter into a sauce pan.  Turn the burner to medium or 5.  Melt the butter and stir in the flour, salt and pepper.  Add the milk and stir.  Stir in the 1/2 & 1/2.  Add the parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and chicken boullion.  Stir and cook until thick and bubbly.  Add the turkey.  Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on it.

Pasta and Veggies

Fill a large pot with hot water and boil the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, chop up the brocalie, carrots, (a bag of pre-chopped frozen would work great) mushrooms and onion.  Put the veggies into the pot with the sauce and turkey.  Turn the heat back up to medium and cook until the veggies are tender.  Drain the pasta and put back into the big pot.  Combine the contents of both pots into the big one.  Stir together and serve.

Progress on my Colors and Lines Study

I’ve been working feverishly to finish this painting.  I want to finish it while I have the time, before my baby is due- in 3 weeks.  After that- painting will happen during nap time if I’m not too tired and need a nap myself.

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I’ve been working on this project for over a year now.  It’s a study that shows what happens when each basic color is mixed with each other basic color, half and half.  I wanted to have a visual reference of each color’s relationship with each other color.  Some of the results have surprised me.  When I finish the painting stage I plan to write about my findings.

I started with solid blocks of color vertically and then overlayed them with a single line in the same colors (as best I could using paint markers) going horizontally.  The negative space in each colors block is the solid base color and the line is the overlay.

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My paints and palettles as they are beside my easal.

I’d better get back to work- I don’t have much time.

Frida Kahlo

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Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Thorn necklace, 1940

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frida_Kahlo

Frida was a lady who really lived. She was not dull in anything she did. I love that she was so fearless in her paintings and in life. (This is how she inspires me.) The images and themes in many of her paintings were intense and not what most other artists of her day were doing.  She really followed her own desires and stayed true to them.   She was not trying to impress any people or any movement, she did not follow what others did to try to fit in. She went her own way.  Some thought that she was a surrealist, a popular movement at the time. Really, she didn’t identify with this either. She couldn’t be put into a category as far as her style went. Perhaps, she was her own movement.

I’m sure her extremes both helped and hindered her fame.  But certainly, it is why she is so well known and remembered.  It’s funny how during her life, her husband Diego Rivera was the famous artist and she was in his shadow and seeking to be more known.  They have both long passed now and it’s she who is more commonly talked about.  Diego, not as much, apart from her.  I wonder what she would say about that.

A few awesome quotes from Frida-

” I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

“I never knew I was a surrealist till Andre Breton came to Mexico and told me I was.”

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

“Feet, why do I need them if I have wings to fly?”

“…pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence”

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”

“I hope the leaving is joyful, and I hope never to return.”
― Frida’s last diary entry.

My Favorite and Influential Paintings of Frida’s