Peppers…

I told you to expect posts on nutrition or artwork. Here is a combination of the two. Last Saturday, I took a pastel workshop with Otto Sturcke which ended up being a well focused 4 hours spent on noticing the intensity of the red, yellow and green peppers. So satisfying to me because it made the thought of eating real plants so delicious.

Green, yellow and red deliciousness

Now… what to do with them? Next step is to raid the refrigerator. What do I have? Brown rice, three bean chili, sweet and yellow onions, tofu, beet greens (Dr. Esselstyn would be pleased), oregano from our garden and lots of other things that just don’t sound like they should go into a pepper. That’s it, “Stuffed peppers.” Now all I have to do is find out what spices to add. On a search for a vegan recipe, I found Ceara’s Kitchen had a really nice one that could help me through the timing and assembly steps. Helpful photographs too. One thing I will do is to keep it simple by eliminating a few things and add the things that I think will make it tasty. I do not add oil, but sauté in vegetable broth like she does. Recipes like this can be very forgiving. One of my favorite things to add would be some corn kernels.

This would be a fine dinner as a way to avoid eating a chicken. I raised chickens years ago and loved the variety of breeds that we received from Murray McMurray Hatchery. My 5 year old son and I sold eggs to neighbors and had the joy of seeing how a fluffy chick became a handsome breed of chicken and went on to laying eggs. At this time, I’d keep them was pets and wouldn’t dare to eat them. Unfortunately, factory farm raised chickens are extremely high in fat and processed under conditions that you wouldn’t expect. And you thought they were safe? Not at all. Check out this website in the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, PCRM. So, it’s stuffed peppers tonight!

Until the next sketch…peace and good health, Heather

Gypped…. but

I woke up early at 5:35AM, made coffee for my guy, started his Wheatena with ground flax, set up a bowl with frozen Bing cherries to defrost, sprinkled them with walnuts and went back to bed to listen to a podcast. It was Rich Roll on his podcast! He interviewed two women who made “an attempt to complete 5 Ironman-distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian Islands in under 5 days.” It’s called the EPIC5 Challenge . It was so interesting and then I faded off and fell asleep and then woke up at 6:50AM. He was talking to the two women who are Ultra Athletes,  “thriving on the cutting edge of ultra-endurance.”

I woke up excited about what these women were doing, thinking about the effort they put in and how it paid off. I wanted that too. I went back into the kitchen and made my steel cut oats and thought what else would I like in it. Went to the fridge and grabbed my jar of saved leftover kale cooked the day before, dumped it in, went to the freezer and grabbed two shiitake mushrooms, chopped them up, grabbed a can of fire roasted tomatoes from my pantry and dumped about a quarter of a can in along with one tablespoon of my Dr. Greger’s seasoning mix . Oh yes, a tiny bit of liquid smoke (optional). This is my favorite way to make my oatmeal after spending years of wondering why anyone would eat and like savory oats. Must have been me watching Jane and Anne Esselstyn’s video.

As I see it, since our American doctors were never really trained in NUTRITION, they never gave us the information that we needed to avoid so many illnesses and the chronic diseases of aging. So sad. I know they tried their best, but all they could do was give us pills. I speak from experience having been a little girl who missed lots of days at school due to sickness. I took endless naps due to tiredness and lack of energy. I was eating the SAD, standard American diet, which my mother and father carefully prepared to make sure I was as healthy as possible. Little did they know that their choices were guided by the meat lobbies, dairy lobbies, egg lobbies, sugar lobbies, pharmaceutical lobbies, and medical lobbies. I had numerous doses of antibiotics.

Yes, I was gypped for many years by being deprived of information, but the truth is that now I consider all this experience in the past is now an opportunity! I have chosen to educate myself over the past 8 years in what I have found to be a much more healthful way of living. It was that I was offered a copy of “Forks Over Knives” to watch by a friend. I am very grateful to her. She happened to be a Seventh Day Adventist with the knowledge from one of the Blue Zones  in America, Loma Linda, California. No matter what religion or Humanist  approach you take, the lifestyle that promotes healthful longevity seems desirable to me. So now is the time for those of us, no matter what our age is, to choose a healthy lifestyle by eating a whole foods plant based diet and avoiding all the meat, dairy, eggs, and strongly limit the salt, oil and sugar to which we’d been accustomed. Add onto this way of eating a lifestyle which includes daily exercise and relationships with like-minded people who support our efforts.

This way of living is expanding rapidly while our waistlines are shrinking. Thousands of people are carefully considering how to do this and are finding a better and pleasant improvement in health and happiness. It’s all about educating ourselves. 

Now that you’ve read all this, here’s a little bit of dessert, an Anjou pear from my Farmers’ Market.

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather

*Quotes are from the Rich Roll website mentioned here.

A few orchids…

During the Open Studios Tour in October, I showed several pieces of artwork that are not pastels. Orchids !   Watercolors and colored pencils suited their brilliance. Only a fascination with orchids stirred me to share these with visitors. Here are what they saw…

 

Five Orchids

A closer view of the Vanda sp.

Vanda sp.

A view of the Odontoglossum sp.

Odontoglossum sp.

And a look at the Burrageara intergentic…

Burrageara intergenetic

Looking for more orchids to draw and paint…maybe in oils or pastels. Their brilliant color always make me feel so good in winter.

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather

Exploring trees…

I’ve been gathering together some of my tree pastels  for the San Luis Obispo 2017 Open Studios Tour. Here are just a few that are available in the “original” pastel form. They’ll be framed.

Gnarly tree trunk beside Laguna Lake

Laguna Lake is a special place for birders, energetic runners, hikers, walkers and bloggers. A friend, Joyce Cory, is a keen observer at Laguna Lake. Follow the link.  Also, one of my favorite eucalyptus trees is there. You may have seen it in a previous post.

Heron Rookery in the eucalyptus taken over by Cormorants

The Heron Rookery near the Windy Cove and  Morro Bay Museum is a great viewing location for Great Blue Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets along with the ever present Cormorants.

Looking into the Sweet Springs woods

Sweet Springs is one of the best locations for birdwatching…ducks, herons, eagles, raptor, owls, etc.

If you prefer the note card size, I’ll make some for you too.

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

Success… Open Studios Tour

My first chance to participate in the Open Studios Tour turned out pretty well !  Lots of visitors including friends, neighbors, mothers with artistic children and many new people who just decided to see what I was creating.  If you have the desire to see any pastels, notecards or mitered corner napkins, to purchase for holiday gifts, please contact me in the form below my signature.

One of the most exciting things was that I raised $155 for the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch on sales of mitered corner napkins, stuffed peregrine toys, peregrine pins, hats and t-shirts. People understood that 25% of any sales I made would go to the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch which is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit who gives a $1,000 scholarship to a Cal Poly Wildlife Biology student.

Pastels and watercolor on display
Pastels and watercolor on display

People loved my pastels of seascapes, Morro Rock, the CalPoly Arboretum and were fascinated with my birds painted on elk hide for wall hangings.

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My studio

The view out of my small studio over our raised bed garden with the Pacific Ocean in the distance was a pleasant surprise to many visitors.

Oil paintings in the studio with feathers
Oil paintings in the studio with feathers where I work

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

Color sketches in pastel…

Recently, I’ve been going out to relax and do a little cross training in my artwork. Normally a detailed drawing with exacting details on the bird or plant are what I did. Now just to go out and do a color sketch has been fun and I can relax with no worries. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle every so often.

Here are a few drawn at the CalPoly “Leaning Pine Arboretum” that you might enjoy.

Scrub Bottle Tree - Brachychiton discolor, Australia
Scrub Bottle Tree – Brachychiton discolor, Australia

 

East End of the Arboretum
East End of the Arboretum

 

Agave stairway
Agave stairway

 

The lawn
The lawn

 

Formal Garden with fountain
Formal Garden with fountain

 

Australian Bottle Tree - Brachychiton rupestris
Australian Bottle Tree – Brachychiton rupestris

 

Shady grove
Shady grove

These framed arboretum pastels (18″x22″)  will be on exhibit in the Sands Inn and Suites in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA 93401 during the months of May and June 2016. They are available for sale, with prices on request plus shipping unless you pick them up in Morro Bay.

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather

An arboretum series…

Please share my website with your friends…and have them sign up for updates! You’ll never know what might show up.

Since late September, autumn, I’ve been going over to the California Polytechnic State University to draw in the Leaning Pine Arboretum with some friends who are plein air painters.

Leaning Pine Arboretum Photo by Heather O'Connor
Leaning Pine Arboretum                                                                                       Photo by Heather O’Connor

We’re planning an art show at the Morro Bay Art Association, Morro Bay, CA. in March. Lots to do, finish up the pastels that I started, matte and frame several pieces to be judged into the show.

My drawing will be the Art Show invitation. We should be picking up the post cards from the printers soon. More details to come.

Until the next sketch…peace,  Heather

"Arboretum"
“Arboretum”