Tuesday, April 24, 2007

the process

Just watched an interesting documentary title, "The Queen, by Rolf". From what I can gather from his website, Rolf Harris is an painter and recording artist based in the UK. The show was part of the CBC Passionate Eye series and the title caught my eye. It showed the process of painting a portrait of the Queen over several weeks with two actual sittings with the queen herself. Rolf has an interesting technique of placing the canvas almost right beside the subject and starts the painting with what looked to me like dubious swirls of colour.

What emerged was a really great portrait of Queen Elizabeth - she's smiling, relaxed, and important details like her brooch and pearl necklace are captured well. The process was fascinating to watch and I saw some parallels with my own work - like bantering with the subject to put her at ease, not getting too caught up in the details of the image and taking time to step back and see the total effect, and the inevitable artistically-blah days - when nothing you put down seems to work out right.

On a completely different note, I made the best tacos ever tonight. Recipe from America's Test Kitchen website (you have to register to access recipes - if you do the free version you get to see most recipes, but get shut out of a lot of other content). The secret weapons of this taco recipe includes sauteeing onions, garlic and spices BEFORE adding the meat, and also adding chicken broth, tomato sauce, vinegar and sugar at the end to round out the taste. Also frying up corn tortillas is the BEST for taco shells. We will NEVER go back to taco-kit tacos again. Ever. It is worth the effort.


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