I am out of town this week so my cooking has been a bit limited as I have been largely on my own. I am enjoying the quiet and being alone with my thoughts. I am grateful for this time to reflect.
I took an acrylic painting class this past winter with two friends, taught by a wonderful woman named Kathleen Jacobs who is a landscape artist and also works in marketing and communications at Concord Art, located in the town where I live. Concord Art is a place for art exhibitions, education and so much more. As for my painting class, I was completely and utterly humbled by the experience. A complete beginner with only elementary school art class as past experience, I had no idea what I had signed up for as it turns out.
I’ve always thought of myself as a creative type. I was a musician, dancer and theatrical performer for most of my “growing up” life. I was a cook and love to work with my hands. Heck, I even made a couple of cornice boards for my daughter’s nursery, not to mention an infamous “carrot” costume for one of our daughter’s, hand sewn from an oversized orange sweatshirt that was the cutest Halloween costume ever! I hope you’re laughing along with me.
But painting? Wow. That bundle of mystery did not come naturally on any level despite my teacher’s constant encouragement. My paintings actually reflected my personality in some ways. Quite structured and organized in their design, a bit rigid at times but always quite colorful. Sound a bit like me?
And speaking of color, this is what I found to be one of the most challenging exercises. To create color. Before we started our lessons, Kathleen asked us to purchase nine tubes of acrylic paints in cool and warm tones of red, yellow, blue and white, a palette from which we could mix any color in the rainbow.
Here’s the thing about color. Yes, there’s the whole blue and yellow make green thing, but the nuances beyond that are so fascinating. Add a cool color to get your green to turn a certain hue or add a warm color to move it in a different direction. You could spend months, even years just trying to dissect color. And you could create a color, but remembering how you got there to make more? Steep curve.
One of the colors we needed to use a lot was gray because of what we were asked to paint, largely jars and vases with some fruit for a pop of color. Silly me, I just thought the only way to achieve gray was to mix black with white. I mean, wouldn’t that be your first instinct? Please say yes.
But guess what? Black was not in our palette. Alrighty!
Turns out gray can be achieved in so many different ways which was my teacher’s preference, including combining primary colors (all we had in our palette) in the correct warm and cool proportions. It just shocked me every time that these beautiful, colorful drips of acrylic would turn into gray when combined. And from there the possibilities of changing that gray were only limited to your imagination and in my case, patience.
I thought of this story in the context of the past few weeks. The color gray and what it represents can be difficult to find these days, like it was for me in my art class. There only seems to be black or white as our options and I don’t like either of them. I really like the grays that take red, yellow and blue into consideration. That seems really fair. I am hoping that we find that gray again sometime soon.
While I haven’t been cooking too much this week, I have been eating and probably not always the right things as I reach for more comforting eats. Who’s with me? I am really enjoying these little treats lately and I just saw online that they have this flavor and this flavor which I need to find stat. Turns out they are a local company which I did not know which is all the better.
In case you are reaching for comfort foods this week or seeking them out in the near term, I rounded up several from The Kitchen Scout archives to share with you…
Until next time…