Sunday, October 4, 2009

Preliminary Watercolor Sketch...

Since I haven't used my watercolors for a while, I thought I'd make a preliminary sketch of a painting I'd like to do.  As I'm underway, I certainly wish Susan was closer to give me pointers on the desert landscape.  She does such a wonderful job with them.  The rusting out truck is more my speed.  I'm playing with colors I might use in the final painting.  May change the greens to blues, not sure yet.  At any rate, I am painting and that's what counts.

Since I was only doing a sketch, I didn't block
my paper so it's not flat and is more difficult to
photograph.  You get the idea.  There will be some weeds growing up through the truck bed and around the tires.  Also will have sand drifted against the tires more.  Not sure I'm happy with the layout, but will study it and decide whether to continue or not.  There are those times when my mind's eye fails to produce a useable design.  This may be one of those times.

Fall is here for certain.  Hubby and I went bike riding yesterday at Eagle Lake and were greeted with ice along the shoreline and a brisk wind blowing across the water.  It was really cold and I must admit that I wimped out after only four miles of riding.  Next time I will dress properly.  My reward for being a 'good sport' was a lovely cup of hot chocolate at Starbucks.  On the way home we stopped at the last Farmer's Market and bought some of their final harvest.  We are really going to miss the markets.  Being from Iowa, I simply could not pass up the Green Tomatoes!  It's true, we do fry and eat them.  It's not just a title for a movie.  My Mother used the fried green tomatoes in the fall in place of meat and we were more than happy to have them.  Here's the simple way we make them:

Wash and Slice Green Tomatoes (approximately 1/4" thick)
Place slices on paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
Beat whole egg (preferably free range farm eggs)
Heat real butter (substitutes don't work) in heavy fry pan (cast iron works best)
Dip slices into egg and turn in flour.
Shake off excess flour and place in hot butter.  (Be sure butter is not smoking.  You want it hot enough to fry, but not too hot.)
Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.  (We use a good quality sea salt since we like a bit more salt than most)
Brown on both sides.
Remove from pan and place on paper towel to absorb excess butter.
Serve hot with bread and butter (preferably homemade sour dough, but whatever you like will do)

Yum!  Now I'm hungry.

Turned out to be a grand day.


  1. Those green tomato fritters sound absolutely lovely - the only thing we use them for in the UK is to make chutney - but shall try your recipe.

  2. Weaver, I actually like the fried green tomatoes as much as steak. Please let me know what you think. By the way, I enjoyed your posting today. Always love your photos and it's refreshing to find that we are all so much alike. Have a lovely Sunday. We are just settling down for a cup of jasmine tea and some oatmeal cookies (my Great Grandmother's recipe). Thanks for stopping by, always enjoy our visits.

  3. brother had a good crop of tomatoes this year and he gave me enough green ones for two batches of fried green tomatoes. I consider those a comfort food since my Mom (also born in Iowa and raised in Minnesota) always made them for us from our gardens when we were growing up. A summer is not complete without several meals of fried green tomatoes! I also like them with bread and butter.

  4. Regarding the desert landscapes...if you get stuck and want a critique, send me the WIP photo and I'll be happy to tell you what I see and make any suggestions I think are needed. Looks like you have a good start with this so you will probably do fine, though!

    I have seen quite a few of these old cars out in the desert, abandoned and deteriorating, so I think you are on the right track here.

  5. Both your desert and truck sketch, and the green tomatoes recipe look delightful.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I've had a very amateurish try at watercolours but gave up ages ago. There used to be a good tv programme, "Watercolour Challenge" which was most interesting and useful, but you can either paint watercolours or you can't. I was told by my neighbour that oils or acrylics are easier to use. Think he's right too.

    The green tomatoe recipe looks good. Never knew you could do this. Question: can you do it with fresh RED tomatoes, or must they be green?

  7. Phillip, Watercolors are definitely more challenging than oils. Problem for those of us who do both is they are done completely opposite. With oils you paint the picture and then add the hi-lights. With watercolors you must first recognize the hi-lights, then paint the picture. I love being challenged so I switch back and forth. It takes a bit for my artistic mind to catch up. A bit of a contradiction...I write with both hands as well!

    As for ripe tomatoes, you can use ripening (green turning a bit red) if you like. The fully ripe tomatoes are too soft and will fall apart on you while cooking (think tomato sauce). I whole-heartedly recommend you try them though, as they are really tasty. This is exactly the same method my family cooks Morel Mushrooms. We eat them as a meat substitute as well.

    Thanks for stopping by, I love your visits.


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