Bufflehead ducks…

The arrival of the 2019 Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival this January 18-21 gave me good reason to consider doing a pastel of one of my favorite ducks, the Bufflehead. A striking contrast of black and white and seen diving for the aquatic invertebrates, shrimp, crabs, amphipods, isopods, snails and mussels found in the brackish water! Lately, they’ve been bobbing on the waves and sheltering in the lee of the marshes when we have the winter rains blowing through Morro Bay.

I’ve entered three pieces of artwork including this Bufflehead pastel in the “For the Birds” Exhibit at the Morro Bay Art Center. Feel free to come say “Hello” to me at the Reception on Sunday, January 13, 2-4PM.

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather

Broccoli…

As I was growing up, my mother often put a beautiful stalk of broccoli on our dinner plates. Always so bright and green along side the wide buttered noodles and a piece of roasted chicken, I couldn’t resist. Now, I skip the chicken … too much fat and it’s an animal that I came to love after raising them for their beautiful colorful feathers. I’ve altered what I eat significantly since I having  learned so much over the past seven and almost eight years now.

Recently, I found a super cookbook by Cathy Fisher called Straight Up Food which includes excellent information to keep me on track for proper methods of preparation. What to include and what to omit. Actually, it is the first cookbook that I found myself reading the “Preface” and then continued on to the “Introduction”,  “The Food”, “SOS-Free”, etc.  She teaches at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California.

My first recipe from the cookbook was a Broccoli soup which turned a deep green because I put in a generous amount of Swiss chard. Couldn’t resist all those greens because of what I’d learned from Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. You’ll  find his books listed under “Books” and “Cookbooks.” The second recipe was called Tu-No Casserole. It was amusing to me, in that I’d never made a Tuna Casserole before, but since I’m from Pennsylvania and used to creamy type of foods from the Pennsylvania Dutch region. It seemed appealing.

This cookbook I’ll continue to use frequently due to its creative and varied recipes along with its excellent compatibility with all the physicians, researchers and other chefs who follow a “whole foods plant based” approach to prevent and in many cases reverse the chronic aging diseases.

Below is a fascinating podcast about the many benefits of broccoli. Dr. Greger also mentions the best way to get the most out of it by waiting almost an hour to cook it after cutting it up. The time increases the nutritious benefits. If you cannot do that he adds a spice. So take time to listen as you play it during your daily walk. I play many podcasts during my two mile amble around the Marina Boardwalk in Morro Bay. A couple days ago, the Harmony Headlands lured me out on a walk where I listened to a podcast.

Splendiferous cruciferous a podcast by Dr. Michael Greger

Happily hiking out of 2018 and into the New Year of 2019…

Come join me, Heather

P.S. I love the color of fruits and vegetables and see that cooking is an art in so many ways. Either to alter the color of a soup or make a pastel drawing on a favorite fruit or vegetable.

Banana and…

If you read to the end, you’ll find a treat from a friend. Actually, there are special treats all through my post. Just click on the links. In addition to this post, go to my website and sign in to “FOLLOW” my websites for “Art and Healthy Groundwork” for the most recent posts. Try clicking on the page “Healthy Groundwork” to see an introduction to my ideas and a bit about “me” on this path.

Today, I was craving something hearty for breakfast because of the cool weather and something good for my heart.  Just look at how wonderful a banana can be when you draw it or hold it ready to peel and cook with it.

So here is the Prevent and Reverse Heat Disease cookbook and YouTube demonstration by Ann and  Jane Esselstyn that shows you how easy heart health can be. The video is the most entertaining! I loved it when I saw it. They make the Banana Steel Cut Oats and Savory Smoky Oats recipes found on pages 44 and 54. You can guess which might be my favorite. I make oat waffles some days, too. If only my Mother had known about these recipes, she would have had great fun making them.

Now for oats. You can get the rolled oats  or my favorite, the steel cut oats. Skip the “quick oats since they are almost the consistency of predigested pablum when you cook them. In the Esselstyn cookbook, it says that “oats help lower cholesterol and blood sugar, reduce artery inflammation, and are dose responsive, so find a breakfast with oats, in some fashion, every day.”

WOW! I’ll go for that

steel cut oats                  rolled oats

 

When I want to search something like “oats,” I go to Dr. Michael Greger at nutritionfacts.org and find all sorts of information. He is my best source of  peer-reviewed research, so it’s going to be accurate. I frequently dig into the sequential posts he produces. It confirms that I am on the correct path to learning more valuable information.

Come join me, Heather

P.S. Here is the treat that you were curiously waiting for… a link to a podcast by Howard Jacobson, PhD who interviews Caroline Trapp, DNP on the topic of “Unleashing Nurses to Revolutionize Patient Care.”

Savoy cabbage…

Here is one of my prettiest wrinkled and curly cabbages in pastel. Since it’s sketch you cannot enjoy the full pleasure unless you see one in actuality. It almost leapt off the organic farmer’s stand!

Since I’ve chosen to eat plants and draw them, here is a thought that it would be good as coleslaw! My coleslaw is ready for a bit of plant yogurt and grated carrots, and I found some grapes on my counter that would compliment the slaw. Now, I’m off to get the soy or cashew yogurt to mix in with the rice vinegar, dijon  mustard and celery seeds. I consider myself a creative cook who frequently alters recipes on a whim.

For those of you who started following me for my art, I hope you’ll enjoy the beauty of art and good health. When it looks this attractive, it will feel good too.  I guess I just love to eat beautiful vegetables. What could be next?

Come join me, Heather

Farmers’ Market…

Because I have spent many years learning about health and nutrition, I have learned to  keep an open mind. There is so much new well-researched information showing up, it is hard to know where to take you first. When a person says, “I eat a good diet.” I really don’t know what they eat unless I am joining then for a meal. Many people think they have a good diet, but it is often based on old information from years ago and biased by the meat, dairy and egg lobbies.  There is a lack of fiber and lack of nutrients which we find in fruits and vegetables. We can talk about meat, dairy and eggs later.  If you are curious now, make sure you check to see who wrote a report backing up a statement.

My mother always thought that she was serving a good meal, but she didn’t have the information that we have now. She had the “good” information that was available when I was a little girl in the 1940s and 50s! Things have changed! I saw the way my mother and father suffered at the end of their lives due to consuming what was then considered a “healthy diet.” She always tried to do her best, but the food lobbies were altering information that she received.

I decided to change my lifestyle and what I ate when I became older after attending a three day Advanced Nutrition Weekend with Dr. John McDougall  several years ago. Actually, I have attended a few of them. It is never too late!

I must remind you that I daily listen to a new podcast, read a new article or try another recipe.

Monday I went to the Farmers’ Market in Baywood to replenish my store of veggies.

Baywood Farmers’ Market

Here is what I found… a tomato, broccoli, a Delicata squash, grapes, white sapote, Winter Nellis pears, mixed greens, apples. With all these on my counter, they make easy snacks or a simple dinner.

I cut the Delicata squash in half, scooped out the seeds, put it upside down on a dinner plate and microwaved it for 5 minutes. Easy and delicious just plain… for my lunch with some broccoli. It is easier than an acorn squash and sweeter.

Come join me, Heather

My first plant cookbook…

Hello friends,

You may have noticed that I have expanded my art website to include my path into eating healthfully so that I might avoid the diseases of aging. Do not fear. You may still be able to view my artwork and see what has fascinated me ever since I watched the movie “Forks Over Knives.”  That was in 2011 and I’ve been curious about whatever I came across. For a review, I watched it again! So good!

I plan to make a page with Cookbooks so you may join me in being what I call  being “a creative cook.” My first one was the one created after the movie was out. It gave me a boost into what I saw as familiar, but showed me the techniques needed to avoid fats, oils and sugars along with the meats and dairy. I love a good challenge!

It covers the basics, breakfasts, granola, hot cereal, grain salads, bean salads, hearty salads soups, stews, chilies, wraps and spreads, pastas, noodles, stir-fried, grilled and hashed vegetables, bean dishes, grain dishes, casseroles and desserts. Are you hungry yet? Now that I typed up this list, I see that I could try some of the recipés that are new to me.

Come join me, Heather

On the Embarcadero…

Recently, I’d gone down to visit and  to wish Paula Radke success at her new gallery location at 701 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA. Luckily for me, she wanted to see my pastels of the Central Coast of California, so she came up to my studio and chose eleven pieces of my artwork to hang in her gallery. Also, she wanted notecards of my pastels and oils .

Here are some of the pieces of my artwork that she’s showing with her Art Glass creations.  She is inspired by the colorful iridescence found in beetles, butterflies, bird feathers and fish. It translates into her work in Art Glass with grace and beauty. It turns out that we both love brilliant and iridescent color!

If you are waiting to have lunch or dinner at Dutchman’s Seafood House drop in to see Paula Radke’s Art Glass and my pastels and oil paintings. My notecards of  Morro Rock and surrounding areas are available too.

Her gallery location is near the SubSea Tours dock where whale watching is the best there is in Morro Bay, CA.

Until the next sketch… Peace, Heather

P.S. Remember to sign in for notices on my WordPress website here and also, on my Facebook page which can be found under “Heather O’Connor @wandering.illustrator”

 

Morro Rock exhibit…

Everyone visiting “the Rock” is aghast at the immensity of the leftover volcanic plug that is often called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” from 26 million years ago.

As iron is drawn to a magnet, artists are drawn to ‘the Rock.” Here is my entry this year in the Morro Bay Art Association exhibit while I have many more of “the Rock” in my studio. You may even contact me for a box of notecards which I amusedly call “A Box of Rocks.”

Over the Dunes – oil

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

 

New artwork…

It’s spring and I’m ready to show you a few more pictures!

Santa Barbara fire colors flow north – Pastel

The one of the biggest fires in California’s history raged and drove towards Santa Barbara, CA and the nearby wealthy area of Montecito.  As it did, the sky over the Morro Bay State Park turned colors!

This will be in my Open Studio Tour shown along with other pastels and oils. Some a bit more calm and peaceful like this one below.

Southside light on one of the Morros – Pastel

Morning light always pleases the Nine Sisters, a group of volcanic eruptions in San Luis Obispo County. I live at the most western end of one. It’s Morro Bay well known for Morro Rock.

Until the next sketch, Heather