These last few days have been such a treasure – being able to prioritise my art over working, writing teaching plans, cleaning, training, and all the other things I always seem to think are infinitely more important. But I’ve just realised that actively pursuing my own arts practice is way more important than I’ve been giving it credit for. I honestly believe that, in order to be a good art teacher, you need to be an artist first and foremost. If you do not have that active passion inside of you in the first place, how can you share it and pass it on to others? I also think it’s important to always learn. Take any opportunity to learn a new skill or keep your mind active: learn to embroider, read independent newspapers, learn about permaculture, go running; whatever it takes to be inspired and find wonder in the things around you.
So, anyway, here’s a little more progress of my first foray into oils. Sorry for the terrible quality of the images.
This last fortnight has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. But in light of some overused proverb about lemons, I decided to give myself the gift of learning and picked up the oil paints my Nan gave me before she died. Thankfully, my first foray into oils went somewhat better expected. I think this may be the beginning of something good. So come on, Art Gods, give me what you’ve got! I’m ready for you!
So sometimes I bake things. Or cook things. It’s never perfect, but it’s okay… and it’s satisfying. Especially when I get to use home produce.
I’ve had a giant pumpkin sitting on my kitchen dresser for the last couple of weeks. It was what you could call a ‘happy accident’, having grown out of the compost I had dug in around my apple tree some months ago. The tree hasn’t given me any apples yet, but it gave me a pumpkin, so I’m pretty happy.
Anyway, the main reason the pumpkin sat on the dresser for so long is because it’s so big I’ve had no idea what to do with it! Well, I guess it’s not that big… if I entered it into a giant pumpkin contest, for example, I’m pretty sure it would come last… BUT… it is about four times the size of any pumpkin I’ve seen in the stores… which makes it about four times bigger than anything I know how to work with.
So I decided that times like these call for a PUMPKIN PARTY!
I had some sage that my mother-in-law gave us recently, so I found a pretty awesome recipe for pumpkin and sage savoury muffins. Then I still had pumpkin left so I made vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies. But then I STILL had pumpkin left, so I made a basic pumpkin soup for dinner. There’s just so much of it, really! Not to mention all the seeds! The SEEDS – what do I do with them all?! In the challenge of a waste-free, sustainable household, I decided to roast them in a sweet and spicy coating.
All in all, nearly everything I used came from what we had in the garden or the pantry. The only things I had to buy were molasses, together with some wholemeal flour and rolled oats – I forgot that I hadn’t replaced them since the Great Pantry Moth Saga of 2011. And, as ridiculous as it sounds, I still have half the pumpkin (or ‘Big Mother’, as I have now called it) left. The next plan is some roast pumpkin for salads, and maybe some more soup for freezing. But that’s another plan for another day.