|Graphite Sketch by me|
|Two Acrylic paintings both painted by me.|
I’m not sure who Art is; although, I do know a little about him; and it’s not all just black and white! Art hangs around, but he doesn’t live with me - not officially, anyway. Art often goes into hiding. He thinks someone’s out to frame him! His background is somewhat abstract, therefore I usually brush his suspicions aside.
I loved drawing and painting when I was kid. I still do. After all, I’ve not yet grown up, let alone reached my second child/kid-hood. I’m having too much fun the way I am to change. Why move up a notch? Why fix something that ain’t broke?
Even though I still enjoy drawing and painting I’ve not lifted a pencil or paint brush for a while. I ran out of space on my walls. - I’ve only four!
The fairest thing for me to do was to stop toying with Art. My decision, which I believed to be sensitive and considerate, broke Art’s heart apart. Maybe it’s why Art hangs around. However, he stretched the limits. I canvassed friends; they agreed.
It was a tough, harsh judgment call, but rather than store any future masterpieces in folders for them to end up being dust and cobweb collectors, never again to be seen by human eyes, my brushes, paints and pencils are now the dust gatherers. Collectors’ pieces they’ll never be!
I’m old enough to remember the Chucklers’ Weekly, a children’s magazine published in Sydney in the mid to late Fifties. Fortunately, I was young enough at the time to enjoy Charlie Chuckles and his gang.
Eagerly, I became a member of the Charlie Chuckles’ Club. I wore my Kookaburra badge with pride! The kookaburra was the magazine’s mascot.
Perhaps it’s the reason the kookas hang around my cabin. When I take a step outside the kookaburras break out in laughter. I’m never quite sure if they’re laughing at me, or thanking me because I give them meat scraps each afternoon - on the dot at the same time. If I don’t abide by their schedule they make me aware of my tardiness. Running late is not worth the abuse I receive. My heart is tender; I hurt easily.
As a child, frequently, if not weekly, I contributed to the Chucklers’ Weekly, along with thousands of other Aussie kids of the era.
One of my greatest thrills was to have an Indian ink or graphite drawing, or a painting I’d created using poster paints, published in the magazine. Along with the excitement I felt when my artwork appeared in the Weekly was the delight I experienced the few times my childish verses of poetry were published. Naturally, at the time I didn’t think my poetry was “childish”. In my dreams I became the modern-day Fifties’ reincarnation of Elizabeth Barrett Browning; a younger version, of course; innocent, simple pleasures and dreams of a simpler, more innocent time. I’m glad I was a kid during those years. Perhaps some of the comic artists, the cartoonists on the payroll of the Chucklers’ Weekly inspired future illustrators; for satire, caricature or humour; or for more serious artwork; some may even hang on the walls in art galleries throughout Australia, or even further afield in countries across the oceans blue.
A Charlie Chuckle’s Club past member might have won an Archibald Prize or an Archibald Packing Room Prize. Who knows? Art might. I’ll ask him on the quiet. He’s been framed so often his eyes glaze over when approached.
Art has a diverse range of activities; visual, decorative, performing, in print etc. Many questions were raised during his romantic period. The advent of Modern Art was a renaissance for him. He’s a squatter, too. Home is where the Art is; make Art welcome; let’s open our hearts to Art.
(In an effort to kick start my latent itch I did, however, purchase a new sketch pad a few weeks ago, but I’ve not had the heart to tell Art as yet. The unopened, unsullied pad sits on my coffee table hidden under a couple of books, out of Art’s view).
Spinach-Artichoke Penne: Cook 240g penne pasta per instructions. Heat 3tbs olive oil in pan; add 4 minced garlic cloves; sauté 2-3mins; stir in 1 bag fresh spinach; cook about 2mins; remove set aside; in same pan, melt 1tbs butter; add 1x440g can artichokes, rinsed, drained, quartered; cook 2mins; add to spinach. Melt 1tbs butter on low heat, whisk in 2tbs plain flour; whisk in 1-1/2c milk; season; cook 5mins; add 1/4c shredded parmesan, 1/2c shredded mozzarella, ½ cup shredded Colby; stir until melted; add pasta and vegetables; mix thoroughly; serve warm garnished with parmesan.
Kale-Spinach-Goat Cheese Penne: Cook 1-3/4 to 2c penne. Heat 2tbs olive oil and 1tbs butter in pan over med-heat; add 2 finely sliced garlic cloves and 1 minced onion; cook 2-3mins; add 1 can artichokes, quartered, 3c, packed, kale leaves, stems removed; then add 3c spinach leaves; add handful lightly toasted slivered almonds; season. Don’t overcook. Add greens to cooked pasta; add 85g crumbled goat cheese and 85g grated parmesan; stir to combine; serve.
Plum Tomatoes-Artichoke Penne: Halve 250g cherry tomatoes; cut 1 red onion into very thin wedges; place on large baking tray; drizzle with 1tsp olive oil and 1/2tbs balsamic; season; bake in preheated 200C oven about 10mins. Cook 350g penne; drain, return to pan; add toms/onions, 1 jar of roasted red capsicum strips, 120g oil-free marinated artichokes, quartered, 50g drained, torn bocconcini and 1/2c fresh basil leaves, torn, to pasta with 1/2tbs balsamic; toss; season with pepper.
Arty Latte: Heat 55g Kahlua, 3/4c milk, 2tbs coconut cream, pinch of cinnamon and 2tbs sugar; froth in blender; pour into shredded coconut-rimmed 2 glasses; top each with an espresso shot.