Tuesday, September 06, 2016
Though the temperature reads almost 90 this afternoon, there’s a real difference in the air that smells like Fall. This morning’s early walk around my neighborhood circles was cool and light, the sun just coming up above the rooflines. And I’ve still got the doors open with a breeze floating through now and then.
In the studio, at work painting some cards for Holiday with Friends , the November Open Studio I’m doing here at Rachel’s House with my neighbor and talented jeweler, Cathy Burnham, I noticed that the color most enticing me was a dab of yellow, with crimson and ochre. Together, they’re cinnamon. Soon the center of my palette was an effusive variety of that spicy mix. "Fall Garden",the first miniature painting, which is really what my one-of-a-kind cards are, seemed to shine with it, even on the flower petals.
I remembered that Asheville Bookworks has a two-day workshop which includes using rust to stain paper (sign me up!). The model bookcovers on the webpage looked so rich you could eat them. And later, I picked up a piece of Cathy’s leftover copper, thinking about what I could do with it in a hanging.
So, cinnamon is everywhere today. And no wonder. Down in the kitchen, rice pudding was baking (my mother’s recipe, low temperature, stirred often) with plenty of that spice in it. The whole house smelled of it for hours. And outside, given our mostly rain-less month so far, the landscape itself is turning toward those earthy shades.
It’s interesting the way nature finds its theme no matter which of the senses we’re using to take it in. Oh, there’s plenty of green left, and the reign of purple blooms—Liriope, verbena, bee balm to the fore, typical of late summer—isn’t abdicating yet, but across the street, Jean-Marie and Maureen’s dogwood has been shedding leaves more fit for a carnival than for early September in these parts. The breeze brings an invigoration that calls us outdoors, or at least calls the outdoors in. It pushes us farther into the season than the calendar allows. On the front door, I've hung a ring that brings October to mind. Something in the air makes me disdain sunflowers in favor of nutty, leafy arrangements, and in my studio leaves and branches fall out of the paint onto paper, instinctively knowing it's their season, no matter what the calendar says.
Mom's Creamy Rice Pudding
1/3 cup rice, uncooked
4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (heaping)
1/2 cup raisins