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Viewing Blog: Silver Apples of the Moon, Most Recent at Top
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...the daily artistic strugglings to transmute fleeting imagination into Golden Apples of the Sun...
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1. Music Monday - Colder Weather

Love this by Home Free - 

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2. Sketchbook Wednesday - Beef Stroganoff

After a lengthy blog break, I thought I'd try to start up again.

After a month of #inktober sketchbook journaling, (you can see them all on instagram. My instagram name is tlchang37 if you want to see them, or follow along) with requests for things like actual recipes and instructions, so this month, I will attempt to do so.

However, much of my cooking uses things like recipes as a guild line, rather than rules. I'm listing the ingredients I use and some directions that may help, but outside of baking, the rest of my cooking is more by taste and what ingredients I have on hand.

That said, this is what I did for this latest batch of Beef Stroganoff.

Stroganoff happens at my house when we have leftover Sunday roast.

I started off heating some olive oil in a large frying pan and added a few cloves of crushed garlic. 

When they turned golden I added a diced onion and continue sauteing until they were golden brown.

Add some butter to the pan, and then add sliced mushrooms.  Saute until they are as done as you would like (I like them very done. Browned and starting to caramelize). Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Add roast beef (cut into bite-sized pieces), and just cover with beef stock. If you don't have any stock, use beef bouillon dissolved in warm water. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. (If you are using raw beef, rather than pre-cooked, you need to simmer long enough to cook it through before proceeding further).

While this is simmering start adding the dairy. Many recipes use milk or cream. We like it really tart in our house, so we add sour cream. A bunch. Sour cream is quite thin though, so I also add cream cheese. Up to an entire brick. Stir until it melts and incorporates.

Add a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce.

If this is not tart enough for you (which it never is for us), add lemon juice - to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Play with spices!  You can also add other veggies you have on hand.

It will thicken up as it cools. Serve over rice, pasta, quinoa (my favorite) or greens (I had leftover stroganoff over sauteed zucchini tonight).  

Let me know in the comments what you do with stroganoff, or let me know if you try this out and how it works for you.

At the very least, let me know if this is a useful thing, and if I should blog more of it in the future..?

Happy cooking!

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3. Music Monday - A Halloween Playlist

Something for you listen to (and watch) while you are awaiting your trick-or-treaters:

Samhain Night - Loreena McKennitt

 The Dead are Dancing - Toni Childs

 I am Stretched on Your Grave - Dead Can Dance

Clohinne Winds - Niamh Parsons

 Witches - Cowboy Junkies

Black Wind Blowing - Billy Bragg

 Bittersweet - Apocalyptica

 Heaven's Gate - Toni Childs

 Bottom of the River - Delta Rae

 All Souls Night - Loreena McKennitt

 Dance in the Graveyard - Delta Rae

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4. Happy Full Moon!

It has just risen here and is hanging full and heavy in the sky.....

(scenes from Outlander. Music by the amazing Bear McCreary).

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5. Music Monday - For Good (for Kim)

Kim Kincaid - this is for you....

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6. Kimberly Kincaid - a Tribute

I lost one of my dearest friends, Kim Kincaid this past week. It is her memorial today - a thing which I can hardly wrap my head around - it was so sudden, and far, far too soon. We've spoken at least weekly, many times daily for the past 8 years. I feel her absence keenly. I thought it might help me to talk about some of my memories of her....

I met Kim back in 2008, at the first Illustration Master Class. I didn't know anyone else there and felt totally out of my depth. Kim was gracious and welcoming. We bonded over being in the 'older ladies' club (the bulk of the attendees were much younger whippersnappers.)

I was charmed by both Kim and her work.

We stayed in close contact after IMC. Talked about art. Our families. Our mutual faith. The nature of beauty and creativity. We critiqued each other's work. We looked forward to spending in-person time together at the IMC the following year.

No one was a more enthusiastic student than Kim. She took every opportunity to glean every bit of knowledge she could from instructors, other artists and fellow students.  She frequently reached out to artists whose work she admired to ask them about their technique, or their inspiration - in person when she could, but online when that was not possible. She was fearless in that way.

She talked with *everyone*.  And was also a fabulous listener. 
People felt safe, and heard, talking with her.

She was also willing to help out in any way she could - I have many pictures she let me take of her modeling for me (in this case as one of a dozen different flying monkeys she posed as). Her thoughtfulness always put me to shame. I have a stack of birthday, Christmas, and I'm-just-thinking-of-you cards in my studio. When our beloved dog of 11 years died of cancer, Kim was the one to send me Dog Heaven in the hopes it would help me feel better. I've heard many stories from others of her little kindnesses and thoughtful gestures when they needed it.

When I started facilitating TLCWorkshops, Kim was my biggest cheerleader and  the very first person to sign up (shown here with Greg Manchess - my first, and most frequent, favorite instructor. Kim was his favorite student).

She was also the first person to stay in our shiny new guest room when my kids left home. We shared our love of animals, nature, music. And art. Always art.

Kim was also an avid reader and a former librarian. I can't tell you how many conversations we had comparing books and literature. She created truly lovely tributes (fan art) to many of the book characters she loved and was touched by. These resonated with other fans of the same books - she was able to really capture the intangible but heart-felt essence of so many characters in her illustrations.

While always tentative about her artistic abilities, she quietly racked up achievement after achievement - commissions, being accepted into illustration annuals, gallery shows, etc.. A few years ago, she was one of four "Rising Stars" chosen by the esteemed Muddy Colors blog, and got to show her work at  the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live convention.

She was somewhat overwhelmed by the experience - her first convention -  and being around so many of her artistic heroes in attendance. Sweet, lovely Kim, however fit right in (here at dinner between one art-idol, Bill Carman, and the incomparable Paul Bonner).

Kim continued to work incessantly to hone her skills. And to engage more emotionally with her work. We attended Smart School together online (studying under Rebecca Guay.) It was a joy to watch her thought processes in and out of class and to have a fellow student to talk through our mutual approaches as we problem solved and pushed ourselves. Kim always helped me elevate both my work and myself.

Last summer, we returned to the IMC again. We both wanted to participate in their new Gallery focus, and watch the amazing Brad Kunkle at work, and of course, Kim made the most of every demo, every instructor, every conversation...

She wasn't satisfied with the piece she created there -but even her 'reject' art was lyrical and compelling.

I always found her graphite work especially exquisite - even the rough sketches.  (Here is a preliminary study for her Snow Child painting currently hanging in Krab Jab Studio's "Dream Covers" gallery show). For the Faery art shows I curated for Krab Jab, Kim was always one of my first choices for artists to invite.

This is how I picture Kim when I think of her - at once quiet, humble and self-depreciating, but with a completely quirky, witty take on life. Her very quick sense of humor always caught me by surprise and delighted me. 

Oh Kim, I miss you so much already. Your innate goodness and deeply held faith. Your generosity and selfless care for everyone you came in contact with. Your deep devotion to your friends and especially family. Your incessant search for beauty and truth and self expression. Your willingness to let me talk and rail and try to find those same things in myself. You are such an inspiration of the type of person I aspire to be. My confidant, my art-sister, my friend. I can't wait until we are able to talk and share and create together again. Love you.

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7. Music Monday - Happy Beltane

A live version of Loreena McKennitt's Huron "Beltane" Fire Dance from her Parallel Dreams album. In the liner notes she says: In the “Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance”, I have tried to recall the reverence for dreams of the North American first peoples and the early Celts. If there is a recurrent thread that runs through these dreams, it is one of yearning toward love, liberty and integration. Of all the variations of dreams we may have, these surely are our parallel dreams.

Happy May!

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8. Sunday Sketching

Two minute heads.
In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....

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9. Music Monday - Sound of Silence

I was afraid that a version by a harder rocking group of this song would ruin it for me. I was pleasantly surprised how moving it actually was.

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10. Sunday Sketching

In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....

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11. Sunday Sketching

Two minute heads.
In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee...

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12. Sunday Sketching

Brand new purse Moleskine. The paper is much less....less golden, less yummy.... alas...

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13. Figure Friday

Life drawing day - medium pose....

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14. Figure Friday

From Karla Ortiz' TLCWorkshop weekend....

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15. Sunday Sketching

Super sleepy sketching in the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee.....

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16. Figure Friday

Long pose day. Charcoal on newsprint.

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17. WIP Wednesday

This week's Month of Love challenge - "Weapons".

In his nightly ritual, my cat stretches across my chest and starts kneading his paws, complete with razor-tipped claws - all to show his affections.

Sketchbook critter of the day - tones paper, pastel, cut paper.

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18. Music Monday -

Have I mentioned how much I love Jimmy Fallon's musical offerings? This near shot-for-shot recreation of More Than Words is delightful and hilarious.

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19. Music Monday - Come Thou Fount/If You Could Hie...

Really lovely cover/medley from Elenyi - 

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20. Fab Friday - Mythic Worlds

This weekend is the annual MythicWorlds convention.  It is always fabulous seeing old art friends, and meeting new ones. Another highlight is the Krab Jab Studio room - which is always beautifully arranged and full of yummy art.   This year they are hosting the preview of their next show, "Arboreal Dreams" - which I did this little piece for - 

Acorn Dreams

"Our ancestors perceived the forest as a sacred space filled with living entities. Modern humans more often think of trees merely as objects to be harvested for mundane uses. The forest creatures however, have not broken the ancient connection between the trees and the living things they protect and nurture. While the squirrel, for instance, is fed and sheltered byt he tree, the tree in turn may have originally planted by the squirrel; the two create a kind of symbiotic magic, where both living beings are more than they could ever be alone."

You can see this, and the rest of the show (which is gorgeous) next Saturday at the official open.

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21. WIP Wednesday -

This month I'm participating in the Month of Love challenge. The theme the first week is 'Heroes". As a cut-paper companion piece to the "Villain", Maleficent I did back in October, I decided to do a tribute to Winnie the Pooh. You can see all the amazing entries to the Month of Love here.

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22. Figure Friday

Long pose, costume day.  Charcoal on newsprint.

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23. Krab Jab Open -

The Krab Jab Studio "Arboreal Dreams" show opens tonight! (the little squirrel piece a posted a few days ago is in it).

You can see the catalog here.

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24. WIP Wednesday

From this week's Month of Love "Lost in Translation" challenge - 

When the object of your affection cannot return your feelings - for any number of reasons.

Sketchbook critter - toned paper, pastel, cut paper.

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25. Sunday Sketching

Tiny 5 minute (or less) heads. In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee.

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