Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Smoked Eggplant and More
When I was in high school I didn't have art classes; I had math and science classes. During summer break I used to take art classes for fun. I took painting, India ink drawing, creative sewing and others I can't remember. I don't have any of the art work I did back then, but I can remember going on walks, making sketches of buildings, and later turning them into India ink drawings. I remember never being bored when I was young, even couped up on cold or rainy days I could always make some art or read, another one of my favorite things to do.
Now I have a little regret that I wasn't encouraged to be an artist for my life's work back then. I was encouraged to do something "practical". I had a rigid (more than rigid, but that's another story) family upbringing. If I wanted to take art classes during the summer I "had" to take typing or I wasn't allowed to take the art classes which I loved. The typing comes in handy now to type this blog, but still there's that regret.
Several years ago I took a Sandra Black workshop with a friend and we both brought some food item for the potluck during the workshop. My friend piled his food on the platter and I arranged mine, then I couldn't help but rearrange his food and add a few embellishments of some berries or something to the dish for a contrast of color. He said, "that's the artist in you which makes you want to make the food look appealing". As I arranged these smoked vegetables, I recalled what my friend said that day.
Anyway we were inundated with fresh vegetables given to Gary at the last flea market so I decided to smoke eggplant, onions, and peppers. Strange but vegetables take longer to smoke than fish does. If you missed it, you can read about the story of our lucky smoker acquisition here.
Art has invaded my whole life, my whole way of living, of being. I guess it's always been in my life but I never fully realized it till now. Artists want to, have to, do, see the beauty, the patterns, the colors, the shapes, the meanings, the injustices, the questions in life and it transfers to their work.
As I was unloading the vegetables I envisioned them arranged in a group and I just had to show you how nice they look together. As I looked closer the sliced smoked eggplant really caught my eye. The soft mushroom brown color and the shape of the loose, randomly shaped ovals and those translucent seeds. I can envision these shapes and colors on a ceramic dinner plate. Perhaps I can make some smoked eggplant curry or Baingan Ka Bharta or some smoked eggplant dip or Baba ghanoush. Oh, and just look at the shape of those cipollini onions. As you can see I'm so thankful I get work in art now. I have a few packages to get in the mail; I'll be back later. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.