Hi, its Allyson. Today was a gray sleeting, snowing, raining all together yucky day in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It smelled like dog food and burnt stuff everywhere. The cold weather underscored how much me and J don't want to live here anymore. I cannot wait for spring. That being said we are trying to grin and bear it like champs so I thought I would post some pics and other stuff that has been gifted to me recently or that I am thankful for. Maybe this will make everyone feel thankful, or happy or well... hungry or something!
First of all I got a really awesome X-mas Present from Jeremy. I haven't oil painted in ages - years! I have been working in egg tempera and other forms of painting, but not oil. Not sure why, I really like it... Anyhow Jeremy made me 8 beautiful wood panels to paint on in different sizes and shapes! (8 of them!!!) They are wonderful. I don't like the texture of canvas so I was really stoked about this. I am posting a thumbnail of the first underpainting of my first oil painting in at least 6 years... maybe longer. I am still a bit rusty. But whatever. Its also exciting because I am not using any solvents or anything toxic as far as pigments go so it is not as stinky.
Second gift came this weekend in a sort of flurry of gifts from Jeremy... He brought home a beta fish in a little glass bowl. I am pretty much into any pets (besides dogs, unless they belong to someone else...) so this was sweet and exciting. His name is BetaMax and he is living in the studio away from evil cat murder plots. I love him. When I feed him I can hear him chewing. Cracks me up everytime. He has since graduated to a new dish with a live plant in it and glass pebbles.
Third gift, isnt really a gift so to speak... its just that since Jeremy and I got so sick from food we have been NOT eating out and have been happily reminded of how much we both like to cook. And how we tend to eat way better food at home than we do any where out in Hburg. One of my favorite things we have been eating is sweet potato soup... I guess I just sort of made it up, but heres the recipe:
2 Sweet Potatoes
2 large branches of Kale
1/2 Sweet Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 cup cut broccoli
1/2 cup peas
1 tbsp Tamari
1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
Salt/Pepper to taste
- Mince onions, garlic, ginger, kale, tamari, and agave, and put into a large soup/saute pan and start to cook with just enough water to cover. (1st picture)
- Add in chopped carrots and cook until soft and onions are clear ( you may have to add more water here and there)
- Add in sweet potatoes and enough water to cover, turn down heat a little and let cook until the sweet potatoes are very soft. (2nd picture)
- Once the sweet potatoes are cooked take about 1/2 of the soup mixture and put it in the blender/food processor (you can add a small amount of water but you don't want to water it down too much) Blend it until it is smooth and add it back into the rest of the soup along with 1 cup of water.
- You should have a creamy soup with chunks of sweet potatoes and carrots and stuff in it... and its usually pretty bright orange.
- Now add in the broccoli and peas ( I use frozen organics so they are already cooked a little) and let them get all soft and cooked through.
- You are done!!! Eat it!!! Let it cool down first! A few variations:
- you can add curry!
- if you don't have a sweet tooth like me skip the agave/honey
-skip the broccoli and peas if you want to only eat orange food.
- we always use everything organic, which is sort of an added bonus...
- Sorry I don't have a final product pic... it was too steamy when it was hot to take a good picture and then it got eaten!
- Last but not at all least, I am thankful for all the awesome people we know, near and far (from uplifting calls from Catherine and Jason to happy happy suprises like hearing from Carrie (Happy 1 month B-day Henry)!). I am so lucky to have such an awesome sweet partner in my Jeremy and I cannot wait until spring comes and we are back at the ocean where we belong! Winter blues be gone!!!
I hope everyone who reads this is doing well and let me know if you try to make that soup!!!
hey all...as you know Allyson & I like to keep the drama running high in our lives, jk. We always seem to have some sort of craziness going on. Since its a new year, we are hoping that we got it all out in January! As some of you may know our friend Travis Conner passed away at the beginning of the month. He was a good friend and his passing was tragic and too soon! He was an amazing artist and person. He was such a gentle sweet guy and I will dearly miss his friendship. I hope that his soul is now at peace.
Last weekend we ate at Taco Bell while traveling home late at night. The next morning we awoke to what we thought was food poisoning. We ended up getting more sick than we thought and by the end of the night we were in the ER at UVA. We thought we'd be out of there in a few hours but ended up getting kept overnight due to my high fever and both of our severe dehydration. Due to Allyson's severe dehydration she got a kidney infection from what we found out later was E-coli poisoning. We are just now starting to feel normal again. We were super sick all week and out of work. It was funny that we sort of emerged from our sickness on groundhogs day, we saw our shadows and are predicting an early spring.
Anyhow, we are glad its February now. January was rough and in lots of ways showed us how fragile life can be... We are really looking forward to spring. Ocean, waves, warm air, sun, birds, freckles, and gardens.
This blog is run by Allyson Mellberg Taylor and Jeremy Taylor. We started it as a way to share some of our doings with friends and put a fire under our butts for the book that we are currently writing together about non-toxic artist materials. This has been a passion of Jeremy's since graduate school and he has done years worth of research leading up to the writing of this book. When we met during graduate school and started sharing living/studio space and making work collaboratively it became an important part of my life and studio practice too. I can't imagine making work any other way.