I’m obsessed with Janet Hill Studio paintings. Scroll a bit, and if you’re a kindred spirit you’ll see why.
All images in this post are Janet Hill’s. You can find her work for sale in her Etsy shop and read her blog here.
Each of Hill’s paintings draw me in with their slight narrative quality. The titles of her works are just as charming as the images. It’s like each one has its own personality and “life story.”
Hill’s work is romantic and nostalgic, and since I’m a bit of a romantic — and nostalgia comes on strong for me at this time of year — I plan to buy a couple of her paintings soon.
They’re all so charming that I can’t decide which one to get.
What do you think? Which is your favorite?
My Dad and I enjoy wandering around various towns and snapping photos of relics of yesteryear. This massive pink door with its ornate door handle is the entrance to an old, looming Catholic church in Victoria, Texas, where Mass was once given in Latin. Townspeople still walk the threshold and enter sanctuary for their ritual devotions.
The checkerboard mosaic rug adds a nice touch to the behemoth building, making it feel a bit Alice in Wonderland-ish in my opinion. I can almost hear the wine at the alter calling, “drink me,” and the wafer, “eat me.” I always did think those wafers tasty.
One of my favorite art galleries in Austin, The Wally Workman Gallery, represents an artist whose work I’ve recently discovered. Jennifer Balkan, part sociologist and part artist, 100 percent exudes the “it” factor. Her oil paintings are imbued with energetic strokes of colors that I’m naturally drawn to. Her subject matter happens to be people, and as I’ve often included circles in my own artwork of the non-portraiture variety, Balkan includes the enigmatic circle in what seems to be all of her paintings.
After a bit of research on the interwebs, I learned that Balkan lives in Austin and has been a full-time painter since 2002. What I found most interesting about her background is the fact that she studied behavioral neuroscience and has a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Texas. This little tidbit helped me to connect the dots — pun intended — as to why when I view Balkan’s work I tend to wonder what’s going through her subjects’ minds.
A pondering glance with downcast eyes … is she recalling something slightly amusing?
Are they in a happily comfortable embrace or, on the flip side, are they comforting one another? What say you?
Is she checking her reflection in the mirror before taking a self-portrait? What do you think?
Dr. Seuss art exhibit, Austin
Today was the final day of SXSW here in Austin, and Trey and I took in a couple of art exhibits downtown while as we strolled in the sun music wafted up the city streets. Our first stop was the free Dr. Seuss art exhibit, located the gallery at Art on 5th. This display of fine art prints, sculptures and informative panels about the artist was better than many paid exhibits I’ve seen. If you’re in the Austin area, and enjoyed Seuss’s books as a child, you’ll love this.
Dr. Seuss’s real name was Theodor Suess Geisel. He illustrated advertisements early on, and had a penchant for sculpting imagined animals as if they were taxidermy, which when completed he drew. One of the more interesting stories about Geisel’s life was about his famous “Green Eggs and Ham” book, which was created after a friend bet him he couldn’t create a popular book using only 50 words. Geisel and his pal determined the victor of this bet would collect $50. And since the book is one of the best sellers of all time, you’d think Geisel got his $50 bucks, but you’d be wrong. Considering how famous the book became though, I’m willing to bet Geisel wasn’t phased by his sheister friend.
The Dr. Suess exhibit in Austin lasts until March 31st at Art on 5th.
Monica Crowe Portraiture was featured in another Etsy Treasury.
Can you spot my self-portrait in the mix?
Making a latte at home? Don’t have a fancy espresso machine? No problem!
Just get a hand-held wand frother, like the one shown above.
I’m all pumped up about my pumpkin spice latte recipe. Oh yeah, baby. This is a good one. You’re gonna love it, because it’s not only just as tasty as the kind you get at Starbucks, but it’s also cheaper and easy to make.
This recipe makes one mug of pumpkin spice latte.
To make more, simple double up on the recipe.
1 cup milk
1 tbs. sugar
1 cup coffee (or 1 to 2 shots of espresso)
1/3 cup Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tbs. maple syrup
Canned pumpkin meat
Dollop of whipped cream
A pot (preferably with a pour spout)
- Make a cup of super dark coffee, or make 1 to 2 shots of espresso.
- Pour milk into a pot, and stir in the pumpkin meat, sugar and maple syrup.
- Heat the ingredients on the stove over medium-high heat until the milk steams and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the pot from the stove and, tilting the pot slightly toward you, submerge the wand frother just beneath the milk’s surface and activate.
- Froth the top layer of milk. Fill your mug slightly less than half way with coffee, add the milk, and top with a layer of froth.
- Scoop a dollop of whipped cream on top, and sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice.
- If making coffee, I recommend using a French press. Although it’s not necessary, it makes a richer tasting coffee.
- When pouring the heated milk into your mug, use a tablespoon to hold the froth back while you pour. Then, with the spoon, scoop the froth out of the pot.
(In the photos: Georgetown Farmers Market; The Hideout (Austin); Opa! (Austin); Whole Foods pumpkins; home-made pumpkin spice latte; The Hideout (Austin))
It feels like fall in Austin — well, almost. It’s not quite sweater weather yet, but there is promise of such a thing to come. It’s time to go to the farmers market, buy a pumpkin, carve it and make pumpkin spice lattes, all while the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air.
In honor of my favorite season, I’m having a 20% off sale on my custom pencil portraiture. If you think you might want to gift a portrait to a special person during the holidays, now is the time to take advantage, because the sale ends Oct. 31.