Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Found Poetry

Since our LSPI (Local School Improvement Plan) is all about writing, I decided to be a bit rebellious and teach my students about a few different forms of creative writing. After all, it wasn't until I discovered the poetry of ee cummings that any kind of writing really connected to me. Breaking grammar and sentence structure rules was enticing enough, but using capitalization and punctuation at my whim was fascinating (thank you Mrs. Evans). 

In a workshop I was teaching at SCAD Atlanta on Altered Books I decided to invite in a guest writer to help us artists prompt our writing. She hadn't invented this technique of Erasures, but it was the first I'd heard of it. It was actually Tom Phillips (an English born artist n. 1937) who altered the book The Human Document into his own work of art The Humument



My finished example is at the top and I will upload student samples soon. They did quite well and appreciated being told that all of the rules do not always apply. Someone has to break the rules in this day and age of standardized testing as the be all end all mode of assessing student knowledge and potential.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Tomato Soup & Avocado Grilled Cheese

Autumn = Soup & Sandwich Time
(Soup 102 calories per serving)
(Sandwich 500 calories per serving... 
could be less with alternate ingredients...
400 with no avocado
350 with no avocado and all fat-free cheese)
(you also only need half a sandwich...
so 250 with all the yummy goodness)

Comfort food at it's finest. As soon as the leaves begin to fall and the temperature dips below 60° (I grew up in Florida) I start craving soup. Then there's pumpkins everywhere and I can't stand it anymore. It's time for pumpkin tomato soup. I re-worked this soup this time around to be much lower calorie than years past, which is why I can afford such a decadent sandwich. I only ate half the sandwich thus making this a delicious and satisfying 350 calorie meal. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Tomato Soup
(makes 8 servings)

2 fresh medium tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion
1 small poblano pepper
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of pepper
½ tsp of garlic powder
½ tsp of onion powder
½ tsp of chipotle powder
1 tbsp of olive oil
2¼ cups of canned fire roasted tomatoes (1½ cans)
3½ cups of pumpkin puree (2 cans)
¾ cups of fat free half & half
4-6 cups of water

Sauté the fresh tomatoes, onion and poblano pepper in the tablespoon of olive oil until all ingredients are soft. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder & chipotle powder should be added during the sauté process. In a blender combine (in two batches) the veggies and the remaining ingredients on the liquify setting. Return to soup bowl and add water until you have the desired consistency. Let simmer for 45 minutes to allow ingredients to marry (and finish cooking).

A bit of crumbled goat cheese on the top is a nice sour punch to the sweetish soup.

Grilled Cheese
(makes 1 serving)

2 slices of whole wheat bread
   (use a sandwich thin and cut 40 calories)
½ ounce of cheddar cheese (sliced)
1 ounce of chipotle gouda (sliced)
1 ounce of fat free mozzarella (shredded)
½ of a Haas avocado
1 tbsp of smart balance light
½ tsp of garlic paste

Smear the smart balance and garlic paste on the outside of the bread, stack up the cheese with the avocado slices in the middle. Griddle to perfection.

You could easily substitute all fat-free cheeses instead and cut the avocado to cut out about 150 calories.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Egg White Scramble with Crab & Jalapeño

180 Calories per Serving!
¡(not including the bacon... but hey, at 180 calories, you can eat some bacon)!

So, this was super easy to make and incredibly 
filling for so few calories. 

3/4 cup of egg white or egg substitute
4 ounces of lump crab meat
1 ounce of gruyere cheese
2 ounces of reduced fat jalapeño cheddar
1/2 a small onion
1 jalapeño
1 tbsp of Smart Balance Light

Saute the onion and jalapeño in the Smart Balance until tender. Add the crab & combine. Add the egg white and cheese & fold until cooked. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scallop & Muffin Frittata

Seared Scallops and Muffin Frittata
with Champagne Gravy

This tasty low-cal meal was a result of leftover scallops and 
garlic mashed potatoes. To good to leave behind and not enough to 
make into another meal they ended up combined with a few extra 
ingredients and became the perfect dish. 

Serves 6 (350 calories per serving)

English Muffin & Potato Frittata
      3 light (100 calories each) English Muffins
      1/2 cup of garlic mashed potatoes (pre-made or homemade) OR
            1 cup of hash browns (cook before adding to frittata)
      1/2 cup of sautéed yellow onions
      2 cups of egg substitute
      1/2 cup of fat free cheddar cheese
Champagne Gravy
      4 ounces of champagne
      1/4 cup of AP flour
      1 tbsp of butter
      1 cup of chicken stock

Seared Scallops
      18 sea scallops
      2 tbsp butter
      cooking spray

Spray the bottom of a 9x13" pan with cooking spray and place the six halves of        
      the English Muffins on the bottom. Place the potatoes and onions on the   
      tops and then our the egg substitute over the top. Sprinkle the cheddar  
      cheese over the top and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.     

Sauté the scallops on medium heat until they are browned on each side         
      and slightly resisting bouncing back. Set aside and add champagne to 
      deglaze the pan, add the flour making a roux. Add the butter and chicken 
      stock slowly until you have the consistency you want.

Serve one sixth of the frittata with three scallops (about 5 ounces) and gravy 
      drizzled over both.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brookhaven Buzz Coverage

Brookhaven artists show their work at 'hometown show'

By Joe Earle
joeearle @ reporternewspapers . net

Painter Kimberly Landers plans to show and sell her latest crop of “semi-psychedelic abstract landscapes” during the Brookhaven Arts Festival. Jewelry maker Chris Howell will be there, too, showing and selling her hand-crafted necklaces and earrings.

After all, they’re both artists who happen to live in Brookhaven. The Brookhaven Arts Festival, which celebrates its seventh anniversary this year, has become their hometown festival.

“If I’m going to do one show a year, it might as well be the one in my neighborhood,” said Landers, who lives in the Ashford Park neighborhood.

The 2010 Brookhaven Arts Festival takes place Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17. It’s open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Exhibitors will set up booths along Apple Valley Road between Dresden Drive and North Druid Hills Road, which is behind the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station. More than 125 artists have signed up to participate in the show. Admission is free.

Landers has taken part in the Brookhaven festival twice before. She says she enjoys it, in part because she sometimes spots familiar faces in the crowd trooping past her booth. She recognizes neighbors or former students from her days as an art teacher at Chamblee High School.

“I see former students from Chamblee and their parents. I see friends, people who have businesses in the area,” the 38-year-old painter said. “It just feels like hanging out with everybody.”

click on link below for full article...

Brookhaven Buzz

I Love these Colors!

This canvas has been sitting in my basement, sketched, but not painted for a year or so. Why was it neglected for so long? I'm not completely certain, but I am loving it now. I'm finally in my new home and able to expand my work space throughout the house. The studio is amazing, but I need to get some better lighting for the late night painting sessions. The dining room will do in a pinch.

Today was PSAT day and I had five kids in my room who had already taken their SATs. So, we painted. I occasionally bring work in to my classroom so they can see that I am a working artist. This piece will be finished tonite so I'll share it with them tomorrow and post a final picture.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Have Been Making Art, Really!

Okay, so it's been a little while since I've posted, but I've been quite busy. My big art project was purchasing and remodeling a home since my last post and got into chronicling that entire process on facebook. Meanwhile, I have been doing a few festivals a year, Virginia Highlands Summerfest and the Brookhaven Arts Fest (which is this weekend - Oct 16 & 17, 2010).

I spent some time up on Lake Lanier right after school got out in May and worked on a few paintings for Summerfest. I've been obsessively painting with reds, oranges and greens, so naturally, the first large painting I did in a while was the muted palette of those colors instead of the brilliant beachy colors (which I would pick up again after a summer full of beach travel).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The New Style

Here is a finished version of a piece in my experimental new style. I was feeling quite confined by the technical aspects of the meticulous hard edge pieces and wanted a looser option. In the classes I've been teaching recently at SCAD my students were pushed to play with texture, so naturally it spilled over into my work. I finished this last spring, but haven't really worked on any paintings all summer. Summer is sort of a down time for festivals and with two new jobs, my brother's wedding and learning metalsmithing over the summer, painting sort of took a backseat to life management.

Autumn Fields, 2009 (acrylic on wood) 16" x 20"

Yesterday however, I finally busted out the mini-frames and canvases and got the drawings completed for the next batch of paintings. I got the modeling paste on them as well (although not photographed). The modeling paste is a thick opaque spackle like substance that can be used to create texture and height where acrylic paint cannot. The paste is put down first, allowed to dry and then I paint with acrylic over it, both with watery washes, and thick applications with the palette knife. It is difficult to see the pencil lines in the little frames (if you click to enlarge you can see them better), but I will upload another photo soon of the modeling paste phase that will be easier to see the composition (along with the layer of added texture).

Not sure what to do about the fact that my beloved House of 10,000 Picture Frames has finally closed. After 35+ years in the business, the owner's were ready to retire and could not find a buyer interested in keeping the business alive. In addition to being right around the corner from my house, they were super friendly and willing to let me scrounge through the back room for scrap frame. This warehouse was full of every piece of frame that had ever been cut down, scraps saved no matter the size, and they would put together great frames for very little cost (after I dug them out of the heap). House of 10,000 Picture Frames... you will be missed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mixed-Media Experimentation Class

Summer at SCAD-Atlanta

In addition to taking classes this summer, I was teaching classes as well. I spent eight weeks with a great group of high school students in a mixed-media experimentation course. We worked in a variety of media, playing with color, texture and layering. It was a very productive summer, each student completed five pieces.

The next two pieces were direct observation studies. India ink was used to gestural lines and while it was still wet we began densely coloring the peppers with oil pastel. The smearing of the ink was worked into the oil pastel and created an interesting texture as one resisted the other.

The next two pieces are inspired by the abstract landscapes of Richard Diebenkorn. His high horizon, color field paintings use line and bold color to indicate the magnificence of the environment in which we live. Students used modeling paste and a palette knife to scrap on a textural undercoating. After the modeling paste dried, watercolor was brushed onto each section separately. After the watercolor was dry acrylic was scrapped across the top edges with a palette knife to pick up a highlight on the ridges. The resulting pieces, while small, were stunning.

Whoa Nelly!

Jewelry Class - Summer 2009
Amalgam Arts

We were asked to find something that interests us as
the inspiration for a few pieces of jewelry.
I chose the Art of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

These pieces are sterling silver, copper and brass.

It's been a crazy summer, and it turned out to be a true teacher summer for me. I have entered back into the world of public education, accepting a postition at both Norcross High School and Georgia State University.

At Norcross, I am teaching 2-D Design, 3-D Design and Jewelry. I spent a bulk of the summer in a metalsmithing class, brushing up on technique. Turns out it is not like riding a bike. After getting over my initial fear of the acetelyne torch I was able to create a few really nice pieces. Picking the brain of my instructor Wendy Tonsits at Amalgam Arts was my main focus after becoming comfortable with the equipment. I was constantly assessing what we were doing in the small jewelry studio and figuring out how I would accomplish the same thing in an art room with up to 30 teenagers. I had a great time and am looking forward to seeing what I can get my high school students to produce.

There is more to share regarding the position at Georgia State and I will share that in another post.