Monday, March 7, 2011

blog love...

Come along for a quick skip around some favourite blogs! But first... I was just reflecting...

Anyone who's visited here before will know its my great pleasure to be inspired in this world by things art-related... but that my inspiration doesn't stop there. Oh no! IMPOSSIBLE!
Its a bit of a story ... less than 3 years ago I bought a Mac... before that I really didn't get the fuss about computers and spent all my time in my studio painting when not working at a day job and being part of the world!
During the relocation to a new city 3 years ago I was laid up with  medical complications that stopped me working flat out for a major length of time (fabulous really!) yet weren't so awful as to stop me having a chance to reinvent my interest in things literary /artistic /philosophical and get to know my Mac!

Well... I got started with this blog...and I had no idea really how it really should take shape. I felt a little shy putting my work up so I gathered that you could post on whatever inspiration you might find I did. From the first that meant serious or whimsical... anywhere on the spectrum was possible... and why not!

Only later did I realise that for many bloggers there was a distinct and definite space being occupied ... unswerving in continuity, content and approach. Mmmm I thought.... is that what I should be doing?

Then I thought of my musical interest in;
polyphony |pəˈlifənē|noun ( pl. -nies) Musicthe style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with each other.• a composition written, played, or sung in this style.• (on an electronic keyboard or synthesizer) the number of notes or voices that can be played simultaneously without loss.ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Greek poluphōnia, from polu- ‘many’ phōnē ‘sound.’

and also;

contrapuntal |ˌkäntrəˈpəntl|adjective Musicof or in counterpoint.• (of a piece of music) with two or more independent melodic lines.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Italian contrapunto (see counterpoint ) + -al .

... and a gravitation of mine to multiple layering of co-exisiting elements;

multiplicitynounthe multiplicity of species abundance, scores, mass, host, array, variety; range, diversity,heterogeneity, plurality, profusion; informal loads, stacks, heaps, masses, tons; literary myriad.

All these ideas I'd spent the previous 7 years painting in one form or another... Blogging then new (to me) offered a very exciting scaffold for these various ideas and interests... and so this blog became a house with many rooms... a thinking space .. a conversation hub ...a testing ground ... i needed it not to be prescriptive... i had some exploring to do... and this was the place!

In time I created a studio blog to think exclusively about my own work undistracted ... then I ended up with the homage blog a year ago to document the residency project (see navigation: blog top right) and that also extended way beyond strict boundaries of thinking... yet on reflection remained very focused and entirely useful for deepening understanding of the entire world of seeds and biodiversity. It was important that there was room for others in that process... information came from many sources and layers... and was critically useful.

Halfway along last year I scrabbled together a website ... serving a particular aim adequately ... this January, during the Qld floods, I started tumblr blogging which was such a different process and quite good in a whole new way for thinking about/collecting art and ideas... The came twitter which... surprise excellent for tracking news on my continuing seeds and biodiversity project...and other stuff!

For the computer dud of 3 years ago it been quite a journey and the time was ripe for it... I still have shocking gaps in computer know-how and waver around thinking about content and direction of these web-vehicles ... but the thing is it has brought the world to me and taken me a little more out into a bigger sense of world...

Often i think ... OK here's a great find... and intend to post links to what I  come across... so forgive me for this. I will just share just a few blogs from the huge list of ones I love to eclectic range prized for hugely different reasons .. and can I apologise to some lovely bloggers in case they read this... I have some new entries to do on my blog roll...long if you're a new follower or blogger... good to have you pop in indeed!

first on the tour... from Melbourne... or is it the country Lucy?

click on puttering along from Nourish me

click on rose salt - rose sugar at nourish me

rose salt
Lucy at Nourish me writes:
Rose salt

Though inordinately proud that for once I have a finished picture of a recipe to share, I'm not convinced that this salt is as good as Silvena Rowe's beautiful Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume suggests. Good with fish, she says, but I wouldn't go out of my way to make it again. The fragrance improves after a week; prior to that, it has a grassy, earthy smell, one not entirely unpleasant, but not exactly inspiring either. Still blogworthy for its edible use of roses.

Gently pull the petals from 1 large, unsprayed red rose. Wash and dry the petals with care. Using fingers, rub the petals with 2 tblsp of sea salt crystals, keeping things a little chunky. Store in a lidded jar and allow a few days for the flavours to get to know one another. Keeps for at least a couple of weeks at (cool-ish) room temperature.
Best added to dishes at the table.

Dont you love those images above? Thanks Lucy ... whose words are as delicious as her pics! Do take a visit to Nourish me...Lucy has a passion for the garden to table experience which was well nurtured by living in Melbourne for me... to visit Lucy takes me back to my old Studley Park rambling 1928 house and garden rented paradise ... she remindsme of some of the best things about that former time... Big Thanks Lucy!

Skipping continents now! From southern Australia to L.A.  ...and Singapore too actually

corner view

Some of you may have seen my rather quirky post stolen from the NY Times 2 posts back - wackadoo, cheffy bravado"... I came across it just after visiting Passage Paradise: Corner View - My Kitchen Counter and I really thought this reviewer was chanelling my friend over there in LA! Quirky, lovely and a most encouraging blogger many of us have gladly met out there in the sphere! She regularly takes me/us visiting (via her blog) the backstreets of her city, country... and others and can recommend where to eat the best kim-chi or eclairs any old where!I picked this recipe from her blog and the wonderful photo below! Mlle Paradis is an appreciator as well as a creative... in this world of driven creatives it is easy to forget to tell another what we like about their work... we choke sometimes on those important compliments... hold back. Generosity is not a given .... so this Mlle gets my thanks for the smart and witty joy and care she spreads around liberally to all! And can she write a seriously gutsy epistle too!
Big Thanks Mlle Paradis!

 Recipe: Cheaters' Spaghetti
            Take one small enamel pot.  Fill with water and boil.  At boiling point add enough spaghetti for person. (They usually say take a bundle about the diameter of a quarter.)  Break it in half as you desire.

            Let boil till the pasta approaches "al dente".  While it's cooking get out a scant handful of dried mushrooms, rinse and then soak them.  (You could also pop them in the microwave with their soaking h2o very briefly to get them softened.)  Set the mushrooms aside.
             Pour most of the pasta water off, leaving barely enough to cover.  Generously drizzle over a stream of extra virgin olive oil, add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and grind over some salt and pepper.  Stir in.  Let cook a 1/2 minute to a minute or so over low heat.
             Add leftover canned crushed tomatoes approximating about 1/3 c. (or twice as much volume fresh plum tomatoes if you have some) mixed down with an equal measure of dry vermouth.  Add a generous pinch of dry basil.  Continue cooking.
              Stir in the mushrooms and let cook till soft.  Dig out the truffle oil from the back of your cupboard.  Shave in some nice aged  parmesan cheese to your taste.  Drizzle in a soupcon of truffle oil.  Salt.  Pepper.  Stir.
             Take it to a comfortable seating area and write a blog post!
Three words:  SIMPLE.  QUICK.  YUMMY!!!!  And GREEN!  (It's a one pot dish.)    Buon Appetito!

click here to read All Singapore, All week. EATING from Mlle Paradis

On my mind for sometime to post on has been the gorgeous Ms Mary Zeran of Northern US - Iowa in fact. She slipped into my world last year when I was ridiculously busy... suddenly here was this delightfully warm person leaving comments that made me purr! Mary has been posting on dream studios of late - have a look at this one here.... and on another topic altogether quite hilariously but cleverly at this post:


           Candide, Syphilis, Tuberculosis and the Family Dinner table.

acrylic paint, acrylic medium,
vellum, masonite, and fir
30.48 cm x 30.48 cm x 5.08 cm
Mary Zeran 2011

You really must pop over and read that post... its precious... but also thought-provoking! At her other Blog Discovering the world of Art she focuses mainly on the art from her region... the State of Iowa... which for those of us from other parts of the globe is excellent for getting a sense of what happens outside centres like NY, LA etc. Have a look at her post on mixed media/installation artist Joan Webster-Vore here. I was extremely honoured to have Mary include me on this blog as an honorary Iowan in early December. I can only apologise for being so worn out at the time and unable to out this post together then to say thank you! Big Thanks Mary!
Im going to post a studio pic for mary for her blog....

Roald Dahl's writing shed ... and inside Gypsy house...

For some reason my linking facility has just starting mucking up.... cant seem to link you to the great place where I found these 2 images... and the post title famous writer's small writing sheds and off-the-grid huts... included Virginia Woolf and Dylan Thomas... Bernard Shaw... jolly annoying my friends! Anyway Mary... they were for your blog post some time!

See if that works... ???

Oh...I did have a few more mentions... I'll have to write part 2 and part 3 I think... so I'll finish with a visit to Germany to Ralf Bohnenkamp who is a wonderful painter who allows us glimpses into his daily studio progress and is most charming to boot!

Ralf is found at and these excellent studio photos are from a post dated 2011/02 Im-studio. The sensibility of Ralf's work is very particular to his location ...  Artists the world over work along similar lines and with similar materials...and on one level it is hard to distinguish where people are from ... but blogs leave tell-tale signs that websites often do not... and there is the pleasure of different languages... Sometimes Ralf has a small laugh at some words I might use and this makes me smile and wonder...what could it mean to him in German...Oh well... he is always charming! And his site has been most enjoyable to visit over this past year! Thank you Ralf!

I very much enjoy these excursions to places near and far ... travel is not always possible and to blog is to
have a taste of that experience of life beyond. Ill be back for follow up posts to this...
may your week be most productive and enjoyable all!
Sophie x


Anonymous said...

Dearest Sophie...I am overwhelmed, full of joy, and deeply honored to be in such fine company. I follow and enjoy, two out of the three blogs and will head over to Lucy's as soon as possible! I LOVE the writing shed. Wonderful...
This post was so beautifully written. BRAVO! So nice to hear your journey. Thank you once again!
xo will never know how much you have improved my life.

notmassproduced said...

Wow what a post and what a journey. Although I was slightly frieked out when I saw the date (Monday 7th) and didn't realise you are a day ahead! Love your seed pod images and the inspiring links.

Mlle Paradis said...

Sophie! I'm abashed and flattered. Mostly, now that you've posted my picture of tofu and veg in Singapore, I'm hungry!

Well you know that I feel very much the same about you and your blog. As I've said from the very beginning, you always find the BEST THINGS! How honored am I to find myself occasionally among them!? xoxoxo

rivergardenstudio said...

wow Sophie, what an incredible post, filled with artists, studio spaces and artist's corners, and the food and rose petals! The shot of the curled up tree is a perfect contrast for your first photograph too... Have a wonderful week... roxanne

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Thanks, Sophie. I found each link very interesting. It took me quite a while to work through them all but it was worth it.

Maggie Neale said...

Thanks you, Sophie. Fun to take some side trips, a diversion from the heavily falling snow. Will our plane be able to take off tomorrow morning?

Lucy said...

Sophie, you are such an inspiration for me. Whenever I think, 'oh, this is all just me blathering away into space', I try to remember that it really IS part of an art practice and that it really DOES all count toward the whole.

So many trails to follow here...wonderful. Made my Monday morning, thank you! x

Leovi said...

Poetic and beautiful pictures and the first two very conflicting, the austerity of a bare tree and a mantle of delicious petals.

Sophie Munns said...

Oh lovely bloggers...
Thank you.
Im about to go off on a bike ride while the sky is looking a little less like rain.. and then I will be back later with proper comments...
S xo

r.bohnenkamp said...

Hi Sophie,
I'm back from my holiday and I read your post with pleasure :-)
I am overwhelmed and excited about your contribution.
I'm really happy that you like my blog and you mentioning him so great.
Many many thanks Sophie you are so sweet!
dearest greetings Ralf

Sophie Munns said...

Hello Ralf,
wonderful that you have been on a holiday... this must have been a little surprise to find on your return!

It was a total delight to post these photos and send people, I do hope, to visit you at your blog! I have certainly enjoyed seeing what you have been creating over there... lessening the distance between artists all around the globe!

My pleasure Ralf ... your words are so kind!