Friday, August 29, 2008

"Eternal Thirst"... Berlin here I come.

I have to say my goodbye for only a week, as I'm flying to Berlin tomorrow! This was all a total last minute kind of experience and I'm SO excited!! Can't wait to be thrown into a whole different background, atmosphere, air and alternative style. I believe this city has so much art to offer, so expect serious artistic influence and inspired works once I come back. I promise pictures and stories! :)
I desperately needed a break and some fresh air, and it began to show upon the "paper", or as a matter of fact on the carton box. A few days ago, right before I decided to book a flight, I had spent a few days sitting on the floor, as I took out the permanent markers I never thought I'd use again besides their usual task (to mark the carton boxes before moving to a new house.). I cut these boxes into smaller cardboards and painted whatever came to mind…not accidentally I painted boxed, rough graphic shapes with bold colors. "I live in a box". I drew a sealed, limited desert, a reconstructed world, rising through angles, squares and basically, not hard to spot, boxes.
So you see, my current creative thought process needs a short vacation, which in my case means to change my environment and location, even for a little while, inhale a different kind of art, colors, smells, patterns, textures, people… Berlin's art in this case. And actually, ten days after I land, London. Yes…CAN'T WAIT.
I know it's only for a week but I'm really going to miss the writing in this blog, and your lovely comments that always push my farther.:)
Promise me you'd have a brilliant creative week, set aside what you're doing, step outside and breathe that air slowly…let your mind drift a bit.
me x

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Inspiration for sale"

Taking my weekly regular walks to the food market, is definitely one of my ways to feel reconnected with the ingredients I buy, and the whole wandering-shopping-smelling-feeling experience I just love to have in the middle of the week when I'm planning my next recipe and dish.
That fresh air is consisted mostly of vibrant colors, smells of fruit, exotic spices and baked goods.
This 'sensual' trip I've made into my routine begins once I walk by foot all the way downtown (it's not really downtown as there are some major hills along the way), usually caring on one side a bag that is big enough to consume my sketchbook, pens, heavy wallet with enough change for the market, my sweet old heavy camera and some free space for the future spices that are about to spread their fresh ground aroma in this small air pocket.

I must say that even on the hottest days when I'm feeling too exposed to the sun and heat, it's all worth it after I enter "Shuk Mahne Yehuda", stumbling upon a whole different world that shudders with such freshness diluted with an ancient vibration, as this market has been there for hundreds of years.
I thought of sharing some of those weekly photographs each week, and perhaps into my little blog's routine.:)

Now I must ask you all as I'm very curious when it comes to other people's inspirational sources…in which place or environment do you seek your inspiration? Is it someplace hectic, full of life, sounds, sights and smells, or perhaps your intimate workplace at your own cozy home?
Wherever you're heading tomorrow morning, there will always be that tiny well shaped stone situated along the road…and I just know I'd be the happiest girl at that moment for noticing it down at my feet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lines and Borders

Graphic illustration style plays another roll in my artlife lately, rather than indicating clear, distinct lines and shapes, I turned it into an emotional tool.
My hand works systematically and mechanically, trying to define each dot, but at the same time, being dictated by my current emotional state.
By the disoriented and unbalanced perspective I try to achieve that blurriness and uncertainty between the lines and borders. When is it a line, and when is it a border?
I'm feeling this drawing system is quite like a therapy actually. It feels a bit like a psychological analysis. There's something relaxing in working on those fine details with your hand.
I might as well say these lines dictate a rhythm, almost like in music. If you're familiar with Thom Yorke, the most brilliant musician and his recent solo album "The Eraser", you might feel what I have experienced; an emotional distorted electronic music, definitely not an oxymoron.

Any thoughts about the not-so-cold graphic style that by its rough and sharp quality can arouse deep emotions?
I know I may sound too serious at this early hour of the day, but after listening to some wonderful inspiring music this morning, I really felt like sharing this series of sketches. You know I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts about it.

Enjoy your Wednesday lovely people.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Colors, oh colors...

Sometimes I wonder how colors can hold up and build a whole new perspective out of plain white paper. At that exact moment, when my colored pencils touch the paper I'm obviously not always in full awareness and perhaps quite oblivious to this thought…This time, as I sat in front of my window (yes, AGAIN. I love to gaze and ponder, quite a hobby), staring right through that huge ugly building that is blocking my air and view, I realized it has to be my imagination that picks up my colors and paint. Because lets face it, that massive building I know well from childhood, is as thick as a brick wall, but inspiring nonetheless. These colorful quick sketches were made by my delude brain, and this time, I actually mean every word since I did have fever and felt so drained, mentally and physically. (It's the last time I'm going to mention the chicken-who-must-not-be-named illness I had...promise.) Moreover, I felt like my mind was clearer than ever, almost translucent, and my hands were thanking me for setting them loose as they wished.

It's quite surreal how that building always develops into different views, a network of lines and an endless colorful perspective. Its rough rectangle shape has already turned abstract to my eyes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

'I am not really here...'

Nesting in between thick black hairs, observing the outside world through dark long vertical stripes that slash the views in front of my eyes.

After some wanderings in lovely other blogs, I came across Design For Mankind new beautiful mag issue that focuses this time on the theme Hair. A subject which seemed a bit peculiar at first, but then made my mind drift away down association and metaphor lane and made me draw these bits.
I found myself being confronted with this human corporeal decorative aspect which has been through metamorphosis and now holds a deeper meaning 'in its roots'.
Hiding behind what covers one's face, is one way to perceive its larger symbolic part in the distinction between adulthood and losing one's innocent and naive perspective on life in general and on self-growth in particular. I can't help myself from picturing the natural growth of the hair as a violent act of the body, which demands an early awareness and premature development.
Harsh words to describe such a wavy soft character like the Hair, but perhaps its legendary feel to it, conceals within its thick forest like appearance mysteriousness we haven't quite considered yet.

Have a lovely contemplative weekend you all...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Barefoot Cake

I thought this name best captures the simplicity of this light airy cake, which is taking me a bit off the usual healthy organic route I’m experimenting lately. But you see, there’s a reason for that. This old fashioned sponge cake (this name sounds much less appealing…as a kid I actually thought it was made out of a sponge…), contains white flour and granulated sugar, but the fact it consists mostly eggs (6 eggs) made it as a healthy dinner option at my house when I was little (You can only imagine my excitement and gratitude for eating a cake as a meal). This was my comfort cake by any means. I remember its wonderful airiness and fluffy moist texture conducted so perfectly only by my grandmother, who used to bake this as overly high golden puffed goodness with a thin crispy top. This cake didn’t need any attachments, as it stayed humble and plain in its appearance. Its soft melt-on-your tongue crumbs said it all.
Calling it The Barefoot Cake makes a lot of sense to me now, since there’re truly many memories and stories attached to its flavor which keeps on bringing nostalgic moments. It was usually made as a ‘welcome home’ surprise, and actually was made by my grandmother years and years back as the ‘end of the week’ cake for my little mother (it’s weird to call her this way) at the time.
Ok, So it seems like this simple cake only brings me to the point of endless rambling, but it’s only because I’ve been quite obsessed with trying to duplicate my grandma’s perfect result I haven’t tasted anywhere else. And yes, her cake was THAT good.
Last night, as a ‘welcome home’ surprise for my brother, I’ve decided to try again and bake this marvelous cake, leave it naked (ok, it was only HALF-naked…I put some hot melting chocolate on the side, accompanied by creamy coffee ice cream) and even invite my grandma to observe the outcome. I was quite nervous since this sweet old lady knew her way in the kitchen back in her days, producing flawless cakes.
How hard can it be to follow up a recipe you ask and still mess it up? Well, it is very possible, after my grandmother’s original recipe got lost somehow (she didn't need one anyway since she baked it with her eyes closed) while the baking temperature is still an issue. And don’t you dare think I’m even suggesting my sweet naive nana is behind all this…
Lets also not forget the separated eggs procedure and the beating of the egg whites I’m usually trying do avoid (but no more!). One of my last attempts is still well marked in my memory.

As you might have guessed, Last night’s dinner was indeed “The Barefoot”, this time MY version to my grandmother’s legendary sponge cake, and it might not contain any whole wheat or grains but it remains the same comforting mount of sweet peaks I remembered from my childhood. The final result turned out really good if you wondered, and even my grandma gave her approval (and that’s an achievement in itself). Yet somehow it wasn’t just like my nana’s original flavor and feel to it. I guess that would keep me busy for the years to come.

My grandmother’s Barefoot Cake

6 separated eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (I believe my grandma used a bit less)
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup flour

* * *
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325F) and grease a 26 cm (10-inch) round cake pan.
Combine the egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat at high speed until thick and light in color. Gradually add in the oil.

In a different clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks are formed. On high speed, gradually add the remaining sugar (2/3 cup) and beat until the egg whites are stiff but still moist.

Pour half of the egg yolks mixture over the egg whites, sift half of the flour on top and fold until nearly incorporated. Repeat with the remaining egg yolks mixture and flour until combined.

Pour the batter into the pan in the lower third of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until puffed and golden. Reduce the temperature to 150°C (300F) and bake for about 10-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before removing it from the pan.

I hope you have at least one special grandma who can bake this wonderful puffed golden delight for you.