I have another still life that I should be working on but I have been distracted by some chilies. I spied these in the grocery store the other day and I couldn't resist. I take rather a long time in the produce section as I gaze at and admire the patterns on the cabbage leaves, the deep rich colour of eggplants, the shapes and curves of artichoke leaves...
I have been patiently waiting in my studio for some sunshine. Well the sun is shining bright and the photo shoot is complete. The above photo is an example of where I was playing with the grouping as well as trying to capture the shiny highlights on the side of the chilies. I was less concerned about the shadows. I have other photos where getting just the right shadow shapes were important. Perhaps we never outgrow playing with our food! :-)
I now have oodles of pictures on my camera waiting to be sorted through. I don't plan on doing a chili piece soon but it shall be waiting in the wings. In the meantime, one of the chilies has already made it into a dish for supper. One of the wonderful things about being self employed and working from my home is that I can be here during the day to get soups or stews simmering on the woodstove. This afternoon I have assembled the ingredients for a barley risotto into my slowcooker - with a red chili added for some extra flavour and heat. I am thinking of the smoked salmon in the freezer to eat with it, cooked with some capers and sundried tomatoes perhaps... Did I mention the goat cheese that will be melted on top of the risotto? :-) Smells are starting to waft up to my studio! My tag line on the header of this blog says 'add beauty to your life' - well my eyes have feasted on beautiful chilies and my nose is enjoying the smell of toasted barley, garlic, chili and onion. My taste buds get their turn later!
Talk about adding beauty to life - gosh this morning was my favourite sort of winter morning for a walk. There had been a hoar frost and everything was coated in sparkling ice crystals. We had also had a skiff of snow and there were fresh animal tracks everywhere. Both prey and predators had been out and about in full force in the wee hours of the day. Being able to track animals is just one of the many reasons I love winter. This morning I could see where all of the snowshoe hares had been. A fox had been out as well as coyotes. There were so many tracks crisscrossing all over the place, I don't know how they didn't all actually bump into each other! :-) Of course my dog has to reassert his position as the top canine in the 'hood' (foxes are members of a tribe under the Canidae species) and he wasted no time in executing some strategic peeing maneuvers over his territory.
If you have never tried tracking animals, why not grab an animal tracking book and head out to your favourite wild place this weekend? I can recommend Olaus J. Murie's book Animal Tracks (a Peterson Field guide, note this is for North American animals). My copy is old and while it has been revised a few times, I am sure it is still a fabulous resource. The book also helps to identify scat (animal poop for the urban readers).
Time to get back to that other still life. This one isn't edible (more about that later). So, have you eaten a still life this week?