DSC09003-1”Jagger” 10” x 10” oil on painters board

Jagger is a great dog.

It started off with an umber base, and used soft colors for the base. I decided on painting in a light simple background to Keep all focus on the dog.

DSC08995A bit more definition. I did not want to get too finicky.

DSC08996And the finished portrait!

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A watercolor for today. I love peacocks, white peacocks especially.

I am trying out new techniques for water color painting. I used frisket for the first time, masking fluid, you paint that stuff temporarily, paint over it and then you rub it off. Your watercolor paper comes out white. Very interesting and fun.

So here it is: ”The lonely moonlight walk”, aquarelle on paper, 4” x 8”

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A new cookbook by chef Pete Evans and it’s all Paleo! I am Paleo, so I was very excited to get this book. And even though I had high expectations it did not disappoint. You know how having too high expectations can lead to an anti-climax. ”The Paleo Chef” starts off with a short chapter on Paleo, why it is a lifestyle and not a diet or fad. Why it is so much better for you to eat Paleo, and why quality of food matters. Very condensed, but the basics of the Paleo lifestyle are all covered.

Paleo Chef

The recipes are great, the ones I have tried were all easy to make and super yummie. Maybe not a beginner’s book, I did not find it completely ”easy” and ”fast”. Probably for a real chef they are, but for a run-of-the-mill home cook they are quite involved. Actually very exciting!!! Be prepared to add to your grocer’s list: all recipes have quite a large number of ingredients, even though I already have a Paleo Pantry, this book gave me more to discover. It is definitely quite ”haute cuisine”. For me that is part of the appeal of this book, I already have more simple Paleo cook books.
The dessert section will delight. You really don’t have to miss out on delicious food when going Paleo. Try it for a month, and then have a real good look and sniff at that bread you used to love so much, quite possible you will find it nasty and musty tasteless stuff. The only times I still eat some bread is when I go back to Europe and get juicy full grain and seed artisan breads hot from the baker’s oven.

I made the breakfast dish ”Asparagus with soft-boiled eggs & bone marrow broth” as an hors d’ oeuvre for a dinner party. It was delicious and the guests loved it. I did not mention the bone marrow until everybody had said how much they liked it because some people get squeamish when it’s not the same old boring red meat. But I must say nobody batted an eyelid. This must have been because the dish was so very good. And as an extra I finally managed to cook the perfect soft-boiled eggs.
I am really happy to have a cookbook which tackles stuff like bone marrow and liver as well as your normal cuts of meat. Pete Evans advocates nose-to-tail eating.

I noticed one little mistake, on page 180, (”Mark Sisson’s chocolate bark”, a favorite!) when it’s about boiling ”au-bain-Marie”, it says ”make sure water isn’t touching bowl”, of course they must have meant ”should not touch the pan” the whole point of au-bain-Marie is that your inner bowl or pan only touches the water.

There is one recipe per page, a beautiful large photo on the other page. Every recipe has a short introduction, which is interesting and fun, a (long) list of ingredients, and the instructions. Simple and easy to work with.

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I like the layout, the recipes are divided in chapters:

  • Breakfast
  • Vegetables, sides and snacks
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Dessert

The hard cover book is beautiful, case bound, quality paper with full color large photos. I am glad it is so well bound because this book will get a lot of use.

Click here for info about the publisher

I was given this book for free by the publisher in return for a review, however, the views given in this review are entirely my own.

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The vet has been and Tarq’s tongue, what’s left of it, looks very good! Everything is healthy, no infection, and at least the skin is growing over the torn end. Which means he can have all his normal food and hay again!

Which is very good because the stuff we were giving him was not at all good for him. Way too much sugars and proteins!

Tarq is very happy too.

Two great Danes on an 8” x 8” panel!

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Oil on painter’s board, 8” x8”

This was fun to paint! And this proves my theory: As soon as something is fun it is also good. I went all daring with large brushes, and I love the shapes of Great Danes. The spotted one has such a sweet expression on her face.
I used M. Graham oil paints, a new discovery for me. I love them, beautiful top quality paints.
I used a very minimal palette, set up with white, yellow, red, umber and blue, With these you can mix all the colors you need

Sketching in my journal at fly ball practice. We have lots of new talent.

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Merlin, Puppy Power!

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Graceful Gracie.

I think I need to color this one, what do you think?

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There is this ”Daily Painting” movement. I tried it a few years ago and really liked it, but what with marrying, moving three times, emigrating and everything else, I couldn’t keep it up.

Well… From this week I am starting afresh. It is fun, it is manageable, and it invites you to try new things.
I have also started an Etsy store, I will put everything up for sale (at very decent prices) at the Etsy store.

I have tried this little oval, Antar asleep in the car seat. Oil on Canvas

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So from today I should post every day. A small painting, oils or water colour, or even a project.

Or… if life has been cruel, a page from my journal. I am spending more time with my journal too!

Here’s a journal page from last week!
The Tarq is doing good!

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Two weeks ago I got a phone call, Tarq hurt his tongue, I should come over, the vet was coming too.
It was total horror! His tongue was torn out of his mouth! It was lying in the next (empty) stable.

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It looked even worse inside his mouth…
The vet gave us ”Bute” medicine and painkiller, and antibiotics, and we had to make soups for him to eat. Making sure he would not get a massive infection was the first priority. If we could avoid an infection he would probably be alright the vet said. He would have to learn how to eat again. After eating we would have to rinse his mouth to get all food matter off the ragged remains of his tongue.
Tarq could not eat that evening. probably too much pain. He was also very cold so I borrowed a blanket for him.
I could not sleep at night.

Two days later I took him for a walk and he wanted to eat grass. Grass is soft so I thought I’d let him try. He dropped some bites but he managed somehow to get some up and chew it. The Tarq was enjoying himself very much.
So the next morning I took him out to graze again, he was very feisty! So I took him into the arena to loose some steam.
He went nuts!

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This was amazing, I felt a lot better because Tarq was just having fun and seemed unfazed.
And very keen on his dinner!
He was in a rather, ehm, opulent condition, so he had some calories to spare. We fed him sebior pellets, they dissolve very easily in water, and are very nourishing so he would get enough nutrients. Which he did. I think he didn’t loose a pound of fat during the whole disaster.
If anything he got fatter!
I still slept badly at night.

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When the vet came for a check-up, we saw that his tongue looked very good; all pink and healthy and no sign of infection! Just to be sure I got some antibiotic injections to give to the Tarq because he didn’t like taking the powders, and he knew they were in whatever wonderful tasty stuff we gave him. even the special treat mixes which Tara gave me. He was very interested in the mixes, but as soon as the powders were added he turned his nose up!

So the Tarq is doing very well, and here is my Daily Painting to prove it!

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Oh, I haven’t been talking about my new Daily Painting project have I?

Well, next time!

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This was commissioned from the Netherlands, but I was in Dallas so had to make do with photo’s. If at all possible I prefer to makes sketches from life. But I will take commissions using photographs.

And the internet makes it easy to send photos, make sketches and share them, and discuss the final painting.

The style was to be somewhat 18th century, a real state portrait! I used oils on marouflé, painting board, covered with Belgian portrait linen, this makes for a very stable panel, of very fine quality.

The final pencil sketch:

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The painting in progress

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The finished painting!

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I am going to have a plot in our community garden! I am very excited, it is however, literally the size of a postage stamp. So when I saw the title of this book I had to read it! Also, the subtitle is: ”Grow tons of organic vegetables in tiny spaces and containers. Magic words, and this book delivers. I know this because it has been tried and tested since 1975. For this book is the reprint of a classic bestseller, updated for the modern gardener. The author, Karen Newcomb, has also included information on heirloom vegetables, which is great because I want to grow some!

Content: The book is very comprehensive. It gives you an enormous amount of information in a very condensed form, The most novice of beginners can find everything she needs and the experienced gardeners will find stuff they didn’t know before. I am sort of a medium I think, and I learned quite a few things reading the book.

Information is easily accessible, layout, choosing what you will actually eat, what to plant where and when, making sketches of the layout of your future garden, and what I like best: dream about your garden!
I certainly am!

There is a list of suitable and fairly suitable vegetables, herbs and flowers with information on planting, problems and harvesting, very handy to have that all together.
Another subject I am very interested in and which is covered is companion planting.
Some useful information on composting and organic pestcontrol make this a very comprehensive gardening book.

garden book

You can see from the beautiful cover how attractive a vegetable garden can look.

Production: The one gripe I have is the cover. While a nice full color design and a pleasant matte cardboard, I think it is too thin, making the book feel cheap, and also making me worried about how well it will stand up to use. This is after all a reference book, and I am sure I will reference it a lot.

The paper inside is a very nice cream, it is printed in two colors, brown and green, which is very pleasant to the eyes. I love books printed in brown. The printing is very crisp. The book has a beautiful look and is easy to read.

Disclaimer: This book was offered to me for free by Blogging for Books in exchange for a review, The views in this review however are entirely my own, I really like it and if I didn’t you would know why and the book would be on it’s way to the compost heap. Sustainable gardening you know….

Read about:
the publisher
the author

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