Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

And to two of you congratulations! Well a technical glitch has kept me offline for two days! Guess what. I got a lot of offline work done...hmm...maybe there's something to Tim Ferriss's unplug yourself...Anyway, when it came time this morning to pluck a name from the hat, I decided to do two...remember the song from Brownies.. "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold..."yeah, hokey as all get out. But I thought my fabulous clients deserved something as well as the many of you collector soon to be's so here we go. Out of the hat a lovely client from New Jersey, Jade Moede. And a new comer from the fair city of Portland, Jenny Whittemore Fremlin. Both have been sent a congratulatory email and as soon as they tell me what they want me to paint, I will get on it and post them for all to see. If any one is thinking of a Valentine treat for a gift...let me know now so we can get it done in time...And thank you all for tossing your names in and all the kind words. We'll have to see what other fun we can get into with all of you.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pure Luxury

There is only one of these in the world. ONE. It took time and patience and a way of looking. A hand made raspberry tart dusted profusely in "snow" drawn slowly with exquisite sharpened German pencils on Rives BFK by me. A luxury of time. The feel of graphite being pulled across fine paper has always from day one been one of my favorite things in life. With so many things that used to be considered luxury now available to many more, what is true luxury? What is rare? For me, yesterday afternoon, it was this time doing this thing that I love so much...without interruption.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Naughty Friday Juicy Tart

Click To Bid (Auction goes live tonight at 8pm CST)

If you have read Spending by Mary Gordon you will read this tart instantly. Intentionally or no, the abundant berries and sweet glaze were not to be ignored here. Chef offered them up for all to partake.

All the action in this dessert is on the top. Plentitude, generosity, and generative heart... never ceases to amaze me what he concocts using his repertoire. Like Morandi, infinite variety within a unified range.

It's as if he is saying, let me show you a little world with my pastry magic... tempting us with the juiciness of life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Raspberry Square

Click To Bid (The Auction Goes Live tonight at 7:15 CST)

Cake. An access point. A metaphor. A delicious treat. As an artist there are always choices. Everyday. Every piece of work to do or not do. We are trained observers, translators if you will. Something sensory triggers a response and off we go. Now you probably know there is a drawing underneath this square. It is blue pulled finely with a small sable brush. And that brush senses the tagging of those bases as my eye sweeps from one point of interest to another, tracing the visual, sensual triggers. As I do, worlds and poetry unfold in my mind's eye. The lines are foreplay if you will and essence rolled into one. The character of the piece is set right there. In my mind, rhythm and color are closely tied. Light is a character as well as a place. And the scent? It asks me how can paint express lusciousness? It doesn't matter what the subject, if you cannot fall a little in love with it and make that known, it all rings false. The poetry misses a beat. The life is not there. Next time you look at a roomful of art, look for the love. It may be subtle, but you'll know it when you see it. And that's called resonance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Southern Storytellers

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and italian cream cake...I met Willie Morris over a slice of Italian Cream Cake. It was a cozy, elegant home wedding for a friend in Jackson, Mississippi. It was one of two times I got to spend just a bit of time with one of our country's more celebrated storytellers. And just the way a lot of really great times take the kitchen. You've been there. How many times is the real party the one going on in the kitchen, no matter what size the house, what the occasion, and who's invited? Now in the south any one of the guys in the room could tell a good joke, or a story, and they did as the ice chinkled against another bourbon or two and the drift of ladies perfumes gently entered and exited the room. There's a sparkle in the eye of these guys when the game is on. Oh yeah, it's a sport alright. And if the players are good at it, pull up a chair and just watch the action. There's a rhythm, a pacing, a toss back and watch for the score and everybody wins. I saw a master at work while eating a delicious Italian Cream cake at Lane and Susan's that day and a lovely coterie of southern gentlemen at play.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What Does She See?

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You tell me. I have another one of these tarts waiting in the wings to paint. So soon? Yes. I want it for Naughty Friday. I knew it the second I saw it. So I am posting a picture of the drawings for these give you clues about what I see when I look at each piece. What is it that makes me emphasize one impact over another? A tart is just a tart, n'est-ce pas? Non. Et vive la difference, merci.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Piece of Cake

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Serving a slice of cake. Think about it. It is a simple ritual. But in that moment of sharing, there is so much of what is good about us. Simple pleasure and lingering. Sitting a spell to relish it. To bring someone pleasure, because we can. I was going to serve this slice to Eli Manning and his lovely parents Archie and Olivia. The best moment in last night's game...the hugs and happiness as they celebrated that final 47 yard field goal in overtime win. Eli is going to the Superbowl. And as Olivia rested her head on Archie's large shoulders, the rest of the world got to see what we as neighbors have known for a long time. This family has heart. But today, just a moment ago, I was visiting a mentor's blog and there it was...The Washington March Speech and the black and white photo of Martin Luther King. I suspect that as a preacher's kid, he was served a kindly slice of homemade cake more than a few times. And I like to think of him at someone's table in the kitchen, eating that slice of cake and talking about how much better we can be. So I will send this out to him hope that we all too have heart...and act on it. One personal best at a time. Piece of cake, don't you think?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Naughty Friday Naked Nun

La Nonne en dishabilleƩ?

Oui. A couple of steps on the way to yesterday's La Nonne de chocolat.

This week's paintings are available at buy me now prices until the ebay uploading problem is fixed. So email me et voila... They are yours. Shipping is the same as at the auctions.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

La Nonne de Chocolat

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It is only fitting. A chocolate nun. All the revelry and naughtiness of carnival has but one aim. It is the Carpe Diem spring break in Lauderdale road trip to Vegas shout it out dance it out eat drink be merry before Ash Wednesday and the whole of Lenten season. My most surprising catch off a float yet? Two glow in the dark plastic rosaries from the Rex Parade.But that's a whole nuther story, huh Deb? I am wondering about the sanity of the rest of the non Mardi Gras celebrating country...if you don't shake it up and get it out, throw yourself out there a bit, how do you not get stale? Oh we have day spas, and plenty of therapists too...but serious unwinding...we take it to the streets once a year. I am not saying it is always pretty, but it is a lot of fun. And after, as pretty as you please, calm. Just like this little nonne de chocolat.

She's for sale. Still having trouble with ebay and uploading photos. You would think it would be corrected by now, huh? This and the king cake are for sale so email me to purchase. (Now working, Click to bid under image)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Haydel's King Cake

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Et voila. Totally tacky highly delicious cream cheese filled king cake. The little porcelein beignet waiter is this year's collectable favor. This piece did not contain the plastic baby. No, that one was several slices to the left. Not under the purple sprinkles, or the gold, or the green, it was hiding under a totally non pick me looking plain section in the corner. I would have painted it too, but it is already hanging out somewhere in the house. We have baby snatching elves here that aren't telling us where it is.

This painting is for sale and would be at auction if there wasn't a technical glitch with uploading images to ebay right now. They are working on it as we speak. That's why there are no listing's at the moment. (Now working Click to bid under image) The workaround is in the works, but meantime if you crave this painting, email me. I am back to the studio with a new batch of tasty tarts, a nun, a Trianon and our favorite fruity tart

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Parade In Your Pants

Stop what you are doing and run get your phone. See the Basin Street Records cover in the lower right of the photo? It doesn't get more up close, in the street, celebrate Mardi Gras like a local (shameless plug for friends' link) than this CD. And all this booty comes with the first 10,000 Haydel's King Cakes ordered... seriously Kermit Ruffins, Los Hombres Calientes, Henry Butler and Irvin Mayfield kickin' it up like the parade is rolling and the red beans and rice are cooking. Arthur Hardy's Parade guide...beads , doubloons...cake..... are you dialing or what? Have you ever been to a daytime parade on St. Charles? Heard St. Aug's marching band? Begged a total stranger for beads? Been to Rio? Venice? Are we talking culture here or what? And there's cake too!!

My totally tacky piece o' cake painting au demain....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Plastic Baby in Cake

You get used to a lot of strange things in New Orleans. And a lot of things just have to stay in New Orleans, kinda like Vegas. But one thing you too can enjoy, is the garish, tacky, hopelessly delicious King Cake tradition. Last week Cakespy had one of the best posts I have seen on king cake. I issued a challenge to any reader wanting a no brainer easy way to give hand up to the rebuilding effort: order a cake from one of the locals of note...cakespy said she would like to see me paint one. So one easy phone call later and a Saturday delivery..voila....Haydel's cream cheese filled fresh king cake at my door in Dallas. ( if you call before eleven am, overnight delivery, the very nice lady said) So am I painting a totally tacky and garish piece of King Cake? You bet. Well, after I get the purple sugar off my mouth.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Naughty Friday Naked Tart

Bones. Drawing is the bones of an art work. Even Pollack's work. I have had the great good fortune of seeing the sketchbooks and drawings of several masters and to a one, they can draw. Want to see me drool? Besides at Main Street Bakery, I mean. Show me an exquisite drawing. Good drawing in a piece of art is like Grace Kelley's cheekbones. Everything else is show, elaboration, improvisation and movement. And good art, like Grace Kelly, has good bones with which to move us along. Fluid well tuned lines. A dynamic articulation. Arrestingly beautiful time you look at a lot of art, see if you can pick out the Grace Kellys in the room.

Click To Bid Razzle Cheesecake At auction one more day. Don't forget to enter the Birthday Raffle ( see posts below).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Tart of Choice

Carol will scold me about the yellow date on this one, but I left it on to show you. Yesterday I asked what you would choose to own if your name is picked out of the hat. Today...What would I choose to keep of all the 200 or so tarts and pastries and cakes and treats I have painted these last six months? This one is the only one I've kept for myself. Why? Can anyone guess?
The painters out there may know. Jane has another special piece so there is another clue. Sensei Duane could tell you. Which work do we keep in private collection? Which work do we let go? If you ever visited my studio before the storm, you would have seen my private collection. All artists have them. Collectors drool over getting first pick, or something privately held..what is it about this piece or the other that the artist wants to keep near? And what of collectors who choose this or that? What makes their hunter's instinct kick in? The heart beat picks up, the eyes are riveted..and check books come out...there are great stories about all this. But for today, choosing is important. What we choose to keep near is in effect a reflection of our imaginations, ourselves. So what was I imagining? What do you think this says? And what will you choose?

Don't forget to put your name in the hat for an original Cartier (see posts below)And hey Razzle Cheesecake is at auction for just the next day so.. Click To Bid Can we set a record?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Will You Choose...

When your name is pulled out of the hat? Michele said yesterday, " Any day with cake is a good day." I tend to think she is living a good life. Michele is in. So are all of those wonderful souls out there who have already bought an original Cartier and those of you who have emailed me with, "Put me in the hat please! ". On my birthday January 31, we are going to see what you choose for me to paint, which yummy pastry , tart , or cake is your delight. It will be blogged of course! And because I am a very kind soul, I will probably tell you how delicious it tasted. Hey, it is my birthday. So wherever you are, stop, email me and you get to choose. I know what sells the best...but what are you wanting to own? Any thoughts in advance? Leave a comment or two...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Razzle Cheesecake

Click To Bid
Very fluid. My brush just wanted to romp across the canvas and drag some cobalt violet along, some golden tones, a blue here or there. No dilution in hue on the disk. Needed thick registers of color. I have been sketching in black and white. Plans for the Audubon project, inks. You'll be hearing more about the "pink bird on an island", but for now, I needed this color. This raspberry goo in red.Funny, brush constantly needs to be fed. Art will feed your soul.

Don't forget to put your name in the hat. ( See last two posts) Email me your info and you are in.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Fourth Way To Own an Original Cartier

Yep. A hat. But not just any hat. This is my Doc Ford hat given to me by none other than the ever so talented Randy Wayne White. It goes on location with me in the field. In a Jet Ranger helicopter at 4 am . Yep. It's there. Riding out a force five hurricane. There. Painting in the wetlands. There again. So I am calling it into service for the Let Them Eat Cake Birthday Raffle. What do you do? Send me an email with your info and say, Put my name into the hat, please. You can toss in a few nice words about yourself or me if you like.
Then we shake 'em all up and see who is plucked out of the hat on my birthday, January 31. The Prize: A free original 5 x 7 Let Them Eat Cake Oil Painting. I am your own commissioned artist then, as I announced in the last post.

And Randy won't mind...he would raffle peppers, not pastries, but hey...he can't paint....he sure can write though...I am especially fond of the two novels that have original Cartiers mentioned in them....Tomlinson, Ford's sidekick wears my handpainted silk sarongs. So treat yourself to a little treat from me to celebrate my email to me with your info and you're in the hat. Not bad company, ma cherie.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Razzle Peach Tart

Warm. I wanted warm. It is shivering cold all over the country. Brr. Shake a shake. So I have for you some raspberries and peaches.Imagine sun baked, sunny, hot. The new year has arrived and from what I can tell most of us are right behind it. The lull of the holidays mode, ahh...well January happens to be my birthday month so I am inclined to do something a raffle. Yep. If you have purchased a painting from me, your name will go into the hat. If you haven't been able to win one yet, then email me your email and in you go too. If you are one of my friends and relatives, hmm? do we let them in folks? How about my colleagues at TS? Or those whose many blogs I visit and comment on?, in , in. No holds barred... On my birthday which is January 31, one of you will be plucked out of the hat and get a free 5" x 7 "Let Them Eat Cake painting. Shipping Free. Hand written congratulations card, free. and to make it even free-er , your choice. I will paint as if on commission the pastry, tart , cupcake, dessert you pick. Stop me now...If you have commented here...yep. IN...Email me your info and you are in.Live outside the USA?In.Running for office? In...only one not allowed in...yep, Paul Kirk...

Not free. This one :) So to get in the auction...Click Here To Bid. ( This auction goes live tonight at 7:30 pm CST)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cinnamon Roll

Warmest of mornings, cinnamon in the air. Thinking thin and setting goals, planning " wins" for the year. It still comes down to the brush and pen, pencil and paper for me. And paint of course. I am working on a project you will hear more about. The sizes will be large. But there will be a chance for you to do some good this year. We are going to raise some much needed funds for a favorite spot of mine. An announcement is forthcoming. But for now sit back, relax, and have a cinnamon bun. Art will feed your soul.

At auction now. Click to bid