Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Vanilla Banana Muffins

Yes...this is an Art blog.  But I also have a family.  And I also bake.  And I love recipes.  And I love good food.  And I love to share all of this with you :)

I have a few staple recipes that work really well for my son, Jack, who has self-control and behavior issues when he eats certain foods - the main culprits being artificial colors, preservatives, HFCS, apples juice, and dairy.  Through process of elimination, and the great feedback and guidance from the Feingold diet, I have also found that a gluten free diet really help Jack maintain a calmer attitude and more agreeable behavior.

So I LOVE recipes like this! Yummy, quick, and perfect for every meal and lunch box!

I found the original muffin recipe when searching for muffin recipes using coconut flour - one of my new favorite ingredients!

Vanilla Banana Muffins - Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Preheat oven to 400

One Mashed Banana (any size works - I like medium to large, ripe)
3 TBLS Coconut Oil (liquid form works best)
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup sugar (you could cut this back a little if you use a bigger banana)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 TBLS ground flax seed (optional)

I like to start by mashing the banana.  Then add in the coconut oil.  Mix in the three eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla.  This will look very liquid-y, but don't fret - the coconut oil absorbs a lot of liquid.  I like to sprinkle the coconut oil across the top of the mix, then dust the baking powder over the flour, then mix it all together (helps with an more even distribution of baking powder)

Makes 6-7 large muffin or 12-14 mini muffins

Bake at 400 for 13-15 minutes.


 I recommend the mini muffins - perfect size for lunchboxes and you feel less guilty when you grab one as a snack :)

My other favorite muffin recipe...gluten free dairy free Pumpkin Muffins

Only a few days left to vote! I could be a 2013 DaVinci Wine storyteller!! Thank you :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Aaron Westerberg Workshop Atlanta 2013

I am very excited to announce that Aaron Westerberg will be holding a portrait and figure painting workshop at my place, Studio 81, in Woodstock this October.  Aaron is a highly accomplished painter and has been published in numerous Art magazines.  He was on the esteemed staff at this years' Portrait Society of America Conference in Atlanta, where I had the pleasure of speaking with him in person, watching him paint an alla prima portrait, and I got a very helpful critique of my portfolio.

Aaron is a direct and engaging artist, and this will be a very full week of painting.  On Monday, Aaron will paint a portrait demo.  On Tuesday, the class will paint a portrait.  Wednesday, Aaron will demonstrate a full figure painting.  Thursday and Friday, the class will paint from the full figure.  The model fee is included in the class fee.

Class will meet every day from 10-5  Lunch will be one hour a day, and the studio is in walking distance of a dozen fabulous restaurants

 To register visit Aaron's website.  If you have any questions, please contact me.

Class is already filling up so register today! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Plein Air Painting - Grandpa's Boat

I recently made a long...long...long visit to Western New York to visit family, watch the 4th of July fireworks over the Niagara River, and - I still can't believe this - attend my 20th High School Reunion.

By the 7th day of the 13 day stay, I couldn't fight it any more - I had to hold a brush in my hand and get some paint on a canvas.   I planned for such an occasion by rolling some pieces of Claessens linen in my suitcase as well as tucking in a few of my favorite Rosemary and Co. brushes.  Luckily, my mom is also a painter so easels, paint, thinner, etc. were all found at her place.

Just to get to this point took about 45 minutes.  My parents live right across the street from the river, but the shore is a steep hill.  It required several trips to bring all of the tables, easels, chairs, paints, etc. down the slope.  Of course, as you know, every time you pass one of your children there is one of three statements they must share with you: "I'm hungry", "I'm bored", or "Jack hit me".  None of these can be ignored, so while you may have your paint and canvas and easel ALL READY TO GO, you still have to make lunch, discipline a sibling, or enlist Grandma's help and have her load all three grandchildren into a stroller and take them to the park.

So finally brush touched paint and paint touched canvas.  A quick block in.

Large and loose.  Clean colors.  

I am not good at straight lines.  I did my best to capture the stately nature of the boat, without trying to be too precise.  The wind was blowing, waves skirting along the bottom of the boat, shadows changing with every rock of the boat.  

This is about the stage where I decided to not include the blue bridge.  The boat was the focus of the painting, and I like the soft green landscape in the background.  

Great shot of my left pinky finger...

adding in a few of the rocks on the shoreline and a large driftwood.

At the very end I added my signature and a few pieces of the tall greenery.  Looking at my time stamps from the photos, this was about 90 minutes of painting.  After looking at the painting for a couple days, I saw some things I would change or "crisp" a little more - a few rocks, some deeper shadows, etc- but overall I liked the colors and brushwork.

My mom ventured down the hill with my daughter Ari to check on my progress - thanks for the pictures, mom!!  And of course, since Ari saw Mom painting...

She had to have her very own set-up in Grandma's back yard.  My nephew Joey was very impressed.

I am honored to be one of 3 visual arts finalists for a trip to Italy with DaVinci Wine and their Storyteller Experience!  You can vote for me and three other artists from various backgrounds every day until July 31st!

Thanks :)