Fall classes at EAM

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Fall classes are starting at Elmhurst Art Museum. I am teaching two classes starting in September. The first class is an adult oil painting class. Jump in wherever you are. Basics of oil painting through intermediate techniques will be discussed and explored. The second class is a comprehensive painting class for ages 10 – 14 yrs. We will be exploring different mediums of paint such as oil, watercolor, and acrylics. Come join the fun!

If you are not in the Chicago area and are interested in learning from me, stay tuned. I am working on some online courses and tutorials. I will have more information available soon.

Some Prints Available

prints

For a limited time, I am offering poster-quality prints in my Etsy shop. They will be available until they are sold out. Perfect for upcoming holiday gifts or for those not yet ready to take the plunge into buying an original painting.

They are printed on poster-quality paper and are very affordable. The print quality is excellent. The printer used is a $50,000 HP printer from a professional local print shop. The prints are hand cut and packaged with chipboard backing and a clear acid-free sleeve.

The only consideration is most sizes are square. So you will need to find a square frame or have custom matted and framed. This is fine though if you want to customize to your interior. There are some standard frames I have seen while out shopping in the 4 x 4 inch and 5 x 5 inch square size. This is not too hard to find without hiring custom job. Anyway, you will probably pay more for the frame than the print because these prints are a real value and only available for a limited time.

When they sell out, I will be moving to outsourcing prints via Saatchi Art and also selling on my website at a higher price but on a higher quality paper. But the price will be significantly greater than these currently available.

Recipe for Fudge Brownies with Walnuts

Making Brownies

Yesterday afternoon I was going to go to the beach in Chicago. But because the weather was unusually cold and wet, plans were changed. I ended up home wearing wool socks and making brownies.

I don’t know about you. But I find there are two camps for brownies. The cake brownie with frosting. Then the chewy, fudge brownie with nuts. This brownie is in the second category.

Since I haven’t shared a recipe in awhile, I’ll share one now.

The brownies are almost like a flourless chocolate cake (just 1/4 cup of flour). The brownies come out soft and oozing molten chocolate. But once set and chilled in the fridge, become dense and fudge-like, with intense chocolate flavor melded with the tang of the secret ingredient (sour cream).

The recipe is adapted from a food processor cook book I had in the 1980’s. I cannot remember the author more find the book. But I did a long time ago write down the basic ingredients and made up the rest. It’s best to use the best chocolate available. I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips and bars, real butter and vanilla, and walnuts. I also make sure my sour cream is made with real cream and not fillers like gelatin or corn starch. (Check the label).

 

(By the way, the recipe calls for two eggs!)

Turkey Run State Park

punch bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite spots in the Midwest US is Turkey Run State Park. A mere three hour drive from my house near Chicago, it’s a great place to visit with family and friends. I feel so inspired by the nature all around, especially in the spring. The water trails are very fun and deliciously wet and tactile in the spring. A very wet summer has extended this fun.

Going out in nature always inspires my painting and artwork.

pawpaw

Paw paw tree.

moth

Beautiful moth.

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the great outdoors this summer. Stay tuned for more wildlife and bird and floral paintings that will include some of my recent finds.

tr stairs

Pratt Creek and other Restoration

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Restoration is being done on Pratt Creek and other waterways on the ranch to restore fish and wildlife habitats. It’s an exciting project that is bringing back salmon and steelhead that have not spawned there for many, many years. It’s amazing what people can do when they just put in the effort.

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Many people and organizations are responsible for the project besides us land owners, including The Nature Conservancy, BPA, Trout Unlmtd., and private Trusts and the Department of Energy.

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How nice to be able to make a difference in a positive way! Feeling very inspired at the moment.

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Fudge Brownies with Walnuts

Making Brownies

Yesterday afternoon I was going to go to the beach in Chicago. But because the weather was unusually cold and wet, plans were changed. I ended up home wearing wool socks and making brownies.

I don’t know about you. But I find there are two camps for brownies. The cake brownie with frosting. Then the chewy, fudge brownie with nuts. This brownie is in the second category.

Since I haven’t shared a recipe in awhile, I’ll share one now.

The brownies are almost like a flourless chocolate cake (just 1/4 cup of flour). The brownies come out soft and oozing molten chocolate. But once set and chilled in the fridge, become dense and fudge-like, with intense chocolate flavor melded with the tang of the secret ingredient (sour cream).

The recipe is adapted from a food processor cook book I had in the 1980’s. I cannot remember the author more find the book. But I did a long time ago write down the basic ingredients and made up the rest. It’s best to use the best chocolate available. I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips and bars, real butter and vanilla, and walnuts. I also make sure my sour cream is made with real cream and not fillers like gelatin or corn starch. (Check the label).

Fudge Brownies with Walnuts
Super dense and moist brownies with intense chocolate flavor and walnuts.
Servings Prep Time
16 2-inch bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 2-inch bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Fudge Brownies with Walnuts
Super dense and moist brownies with intense chocolate flavor and walnuts.
Servings Prep Time
16 2-inch bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 2-inch bars 15 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 2-inch bars
Instructions
  1. Use 1 TB butter to coat an 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Then dust with the cocoa powder. Set aside Preheat oven to 300 F degrees. Grind 8 oz chocolate to powder in food processor or blender. Then melt with butter and sugar in small saucepan. Let stand for five minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking powder). Add melted chocolate mixture and sour cream to batter. Stir until barely mixed. Then add walnuts and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan and spread with rubber spatula. Bake at 300 F degrees for 50 minutes or until set. Cool completely before serving.
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Happy Memorial Day

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Today was Memorial Day here in the USA. The day started out with a parade. Even though it was raining, the parade went on.

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I have many ancestors who have fought for my country starting over 400 years ago with the US Revolutionary War and continuing up until recently.

My grandfather served in WWII, landing at Omaha Beach and fighting in the Battle of St Lo and the Battle of the Bulge.

grandfather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the parade went on, the rain got heavier. So everyone gathered inside the Wilder Mansion for the Memorial Service.

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It was a nice tribute to the men who have served, fought, and given their lives in service of our country. I feel grateful for their sacrifice.

My Studio Camera

Nikon Camera
The camera I use in my studio was given to me by my photographer daughter, Audrey. It’s a Nikon D40 DSLR camera that she used in high school. It’s now mine. I use it exclusively in my art studio for taking reference photos and images of art for the internet.

Nikon D40 camera

As you can plainly see, it’s been around the block a time or two. The viewfinder is covered in paint. In fact, the entire camera (save the lens glass) is covered in some form and color of paint.

I once took the camera out to a function with friends and was explaining that it was my art studio camera. One of the guys asked, “So you painted it??” Yeah. Last time I took it out of the studio.

So why am I sharing it shamelessly here on the internet? To show my human side I guess. I consider this collateral damage for my profession. And while I am sure there are many artists with pristine equipment, this is just one of those areas I tend to get a little dirty. I also have paint on my studio Mac keyboard, metal rulers, studio doorknobs, bookshelves, and storage bins.

My studio

If you have questions, well so do I. I have lots of questions. Like how did this happen? I tried at first to wipe all signs of fingerprints off this piece of equipment. How did I get from shiny and clean to this? How have I managed to keep the paint off the lens glass? (That’s an easy one actually. The paint is everywhere I touch.) Why am I sharing this? Because I like you and trust you with this little secret. Have a nice day.

Watercolor Journey

watercolor paints

I’ve been exploring watercolors recently. They are quite different in process than working with oil paints. But I am liking the way they look with florals and even birds. I paint always in a painterly and sometimes abstract style. I am finding the way to accommodate my painting style with the watercolor paints. It took a while for me to figure out which paper I prefer (hot press), and which brushes I like the best (the larger ones). But I am enjoying the journey.

The watercolor paint tubes are tiny.

watercolor paints

Here are a few I purchased. The sales clerk put the tiny paints in a cute little tiny box to keep them safe. I am keeping the box because it is just adorable. hahaha.

tiny box

Here you can see the size compared to the eraser and rubber bands.

Check back soon for pictures of watercolor paintings!