Using real leaves from real trees, I traced and decorated the insides. I then traced a few different colors around each leaf, switching colors once I ran into the next leaves' color pattern-like a typographic map, yo-until the whole page was filled, kind of like when we traced our names in grade school! They look pretty sweet with a black frame and white matting. Easy fall decor, and fun for kids!
It has been a tradition in our family that for nearly every holiday we make sugar cookies. Once I accidentally served some up for a baby shower and instead of putting 4 cubes of butter, I put four cups, and man those cookies were good. Gran’s cookies are a perfect recipe for moist, yet firm dough for cut-outs.
To create these tasty beauties, you will need the following:
1. Sugar cookie dough (recipe below)
2. Leaf cookie cutters (I purchased a set at Williams-Sonoma.) 3. Frosting (canned or home-made will do) 4. Food coloring (the professional kind such as "Wilton" brand that will make rich colors)
5. After cookies are made and frosting is ready, apply dollops of colors desired. Spread with knife in a "wavy" direction. Let your impressionistic skills loose! Tip: Don't over mix the colors.
Grandma Blickenstaff's Famous Sugar Cookies
4 cubes butter (not cups)
2 c. sugar
4 tsp. vanilla
6 tsp. baking powder
6-7 c. flour
Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Add dry ingredients. Dough should not stick to fingers when pinched. Dough will work best if refrigerated for a few hours. Roll to desired thickness, and let the fun begin. Bake on non-greased cookie sheet at 350° for 9 minutes. Enjoy!
The tension between traditional and realistic painting technique and modern abstraction are of particular intrigue to me. I use expressive brush strokes, smudges, and lines that reflect human emotion while still maintaining form, (whether it be a figure, landscape, or still life) creating a balance of disorder and precision. Practicing with diverse mediums, such as charcoal, acrylic, ink, and oil paint, subject matter including landscape, still life, figures and architecture, and odd tools like putty knives, rollers, and rags help to create impressions of reality without becoming photo realism.
There is something poetic in losing the form, bringing it back, and losing it again-as if breathing life into the work. Taking Degas to an extreme, I often find myself creating layers upon layers, and could be happily working on any painting until the end of time… As such, I continually pray for wisdom to know when a piece is completed.
Inspiration comes from keeping my eyes open: Interesting shapes caught by light casting a shadow, unusual colors cast at a certain time of day, nostalgia from my childhood home and environment. Growing up as a farm girl in southern Utah surrounded by some of the most famous national parks in the world has provided a feast of the senses; thus providing endless opportunities for creative expression; however, I believe beauty can be found anywhere, such as a busy intersection in the city, an industrial building, or a glass jar on the kitchen counter.