Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Missed the opportunity to post a couple.

On our way to the Midwest Crossfit Sectional, we did do a little cultural and hit the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL. No pictures allowed! But this one counted. For real when we walked in at a distance I thought these people could have been those "live mannequins" you sometimes see. They were fake, actually. Try not to notice, but I'm wearing my sweatpants jeans... Don't judge!? I was in the car for over 5 hours and wanted to be comf.

For fun here's the classic from our arrival at the designated Crossfit Hotel.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Peonies.

One glares right, one left. One's on the angle. You get the idea even though it's not an entirely accurate representation.

I sweated this one. I love when I'm sick to my stomach with nerves and then everything works out way better than I could have imagined. Linette was an incredibly gracious "client", who seemed to enjoy the painting when she saw it. I have to give props and thanks to all my friends who encouraged me with this one – that I was NEEDY along the way is an understatement! But I feel a confidence boost from positive results, and I'm looking forward to another couple of small projects and the pending i55 series I plan to bring out to Steamboat this summer.

What can I say, I'm in the mood... Finally!

To view how this one began, click here, and here. What a difference some inspiration makes!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Art Institute, Part Three: Just the space.

We had to wait a while to be seated to lunch so we walked out onto the patio on the third floor by the restaurant and imagined how wonderful it would be to sit out there listening to a concert at the pavilion below in the summertime, having cocktails and/or dinner and just generally enjoying a leisurely evening.

The new Modern Wing is so linear and white, with a backdrop of scenery that is both modern and classic, traditional. We split our entrees, Michelle's a whitefish encrusted in almonds with grilled fennel and some kind of potato puree, mine a small piece of steak cut into six bites, topped with a poached egg and greens, swimming in some kind of sauce. Michelle had a beer and I had a pomegranate lemonade, and we ended the meal with coffee... And then ordered a frozen chocolate and nugget mousse with chopped salted peanuts throughout on a plate of caramel, described by the waiter as a frozen Snickers bar. Hello?

Two more pieces I enjoy:

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Art Institute, Part Two: Hanne Darboven.

So I think my favorite in the Modern Wing is Seven Panels and Index by Hanne Darboven, 1973. Difficult to photograph – it's under glass. The first time I saw it, I went home and googled her. I don't know, then I really loved her completely.

An excerpt from one article:

"Anyone who visited her at her family's estate just south of Hamburg has a story to tell--about, for example, her cohabitation with Piephans, the canary, and the various Mickeys, several generations of identically named miniature goats. Each morning at 4:00, Hanne would bring them the same type of cookie. She worked until 11:00 A.M., then granted one hour when she could be visited or reached over the phone. Regularity, discipline, austerity, asceticism and obsessiveness were among her idiosyncrasies--both in her work and her life--since she regarded 'being and doing [as] one.' "

I mean, she kept miniature goats? Named them ALL Mickey? How awesome is that? And she smoked, made no apologies for it, and apparently continued to do so until it ultimately killed her last year. One thing I read was that if she was awake, she was smoking. What a unique person. Making thousands of annotative deliberate hand written collections, her work apparently fills barns and buildings on her family's estate.

The majority of the piece at the AI looks like sheets of ledger paper with a cursively written "u". Filling whole pages, all with distinct yet seemingly random meaning.

With the google search I came up with a pic of the artist:

All the links provided offer more information, but for still more, click here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Art Institute Day.

I took the day off to recuperate since we'd been gone all weekend, but instead of doing laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning the house, I met Michelle for lunch and some art at the Art Institute. It's FREE all month and you're crazy if you don't take advantage of that. I might just go one or two more times! It's sweet cause you just walk right in, like you're going to the library. Also, it felt like it's too bad it isn't just free all the time.

Of course then we spent 2/3 of our time there having lunch at Terzo Piano. It was like we were breaking the rules or something, treating ourselves to such a nice afternoon. It was really fun.

Then I got to go back and take pics of some of my favorites in the Modern Wing. This Cy Twombly is one. Here's a little blurb about it. I love when I hear people hate on his stuff, like they did today, because it has the complete opposite effect on me.

Click to enlarge all images.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


A few of you have commented that I have abandoned this blog. True. I'm trying. I got so sick of showing what other people are doing is one thing. But I am also totally, completely obsessed with the Crossfit thing, I am either running home after a workout to log how it kicked my ass or filling the "days off" with socializing, trying not to let this new routine take over. Either way, it's not leaving much time to blogging. But these windmills moved me. And they seem to fit here...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



What a weekend. Snapped a few shots. Wish I'd gotten more, but I was busy... being really responsible (eh hem) and keeping everyone in line.


View from the Elk's Lodge at the Chili Cook-off.

We ate some awesome chili, soups, meatballs, appetizers... and we may have had some wine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dave's Cuban Sandwiches.


Slightly altered. I had 1/2 a frozen pork loin I decided to use instead of a shoulder. Curious to see how this much leaner piece of meat works out.* Using direction from Dave to put them together. He made these for us last time he was out visiting. I've been dying for another one ever since.


Season well with salt, pepper and spices and sear meat in olive oil in dutch oven on the stove top. Cut onion into 8 pieces and add to pot. Add about an inch of beer, water, stock, apple juice (or any combo of these) with a bay leaf or two and pepper corns. Cover and braise in the oven until meat is 160ยบ. Maybe a half hour?

While the pork is in the oven, chop 6 cloves of garlic and add to 1/2 cup of olive oil in a small saucepan on the stove. Infuse oil with garlic. Set aside in tupperware (you can use the leftovers for anything).

When the pork is done, coat your bread (I used a french loaf) with the garlic oil. Slice the pork, put it on the bread. Add mustard, sliced dill pickle, swiss cheese and a slice or two of boiled ham. (Salt and pepper?) Stick this sucker in a panini press and melt, heat, smash it all together for a few minutes. Voila! Another great sandwich!

*Shoulder! Shoulder! Shoulder next time!