How many times have I heard this from my painting students - "I can't even draw a stick figure!" And I've always said, "well we're not drawing or painting them so that's okay!" But then I actually painted stick figures, and I realized they're really fun and can even be a pretty darned cute work of art!
This whisical painting was inspired by a recipe from Mary Ann Rodgers that she contributed to one of my Cooking with Friends calendars. She got a recipe for Cabbage Patch Stew from her fellow teacher when they needed quick dishes after a full day at school. It was easy and her kids loved it - perfect for a busy teacher and Mom. When I got Mary Ann's recipe, I was "stuck" on how to illustrate it for the calendar. Hmmm - trying to make a head of cabbage into an interesting piece of art just didn't get me too excited. Then I had an "aha" moment - how about trying some of those little stick figures, representing young kids and their joy of school and learning and playing together. That's how this painting came about - using bold colors of course and lots of youthful whimsy. It's featured with Mary Ann's recipe in September in the 2016 Cooking with Friends calendar. I figured lots of Moms could use an easy, kid-friendly recipe in that crazy back-to-school month!
Look how this painting has been "repurposed!" This month it's on the cover of Kern County Family Magazine - a free monthly magazine for everyone who loves family, kids and Kern County, California. My dear friend L.J. Corby is publisher of this magazine and asked to use the painting for the January 2017 issue, focused on education and resources. Well of course I was thrilled! An interesting twist is that Mary Ann whose recipe inspired this painting was L.J.'s elementary teacher at Colonel Nichols School in Bakersfield. So the 3 of us are re-connected here - L.J.'s magazine, her teacher's recipe, and my whimsical artistic interpretation of that recipe. How fun is that!
Are you interested in making Cabbage Patch Stew? If so you're in luck - click here for the recipe included in Kern County Family Magazine. Thanks Mary Ann Rodgers for the delicious and very do-able recipe and the inspiration for a delightful painting! Thanks L.J. Corby for including all this in the January 2017 edition of your wonderful magazine!
You know what -maybe you CAN draw a stick figure!! Once again I've learned to keep my mind open to new painting inspirations. Doing these playful little figures was lots of fun. I know I'll do more - why don't you give it a try!
It's calendar time! And time for a little hashtag fun. AND a chance to win a cute little pig, painted for a recipe . . .
About the calendar -
My 9th annual Cooking with Friends calendar is hot off the press. Yay! If you're not familiar with these calendars, they're a collection of recipes from my friends and art I created to illustrate them. Yes - I paint recipes!
About the hashtag fun -
Let's have a little competition using #claudiascalendar. Lots of you have calendars hanging in your kitchen or office or "somewhere." Wouldn't it be fun to see where they are!
So here's our contest - post a photo on Facebook or Instagram with something calendar related and you're entered in a drawing for a pig, painted for a recipe! Tag your post with #claudiascalendar to be in the competition. Do this by Thursday, October 13 to be in the drawing.
Here's a sample - 2016 calendar hanging in my studio. I posted this on Instagram and tagged it with #claudiascalendar Thanks to Mary Ann Rogers for her recipe for Cabbage Patch Stew, enjoyed by her children when they were in school and she was a teacher. All the recipes have cute stories that bring them to life!
Want some ideas of what to post?
About that pig -
Meet Miss Piggy and Peppers. Is this the cutest little pig or what. And she could be yours! Just post a calendar related photo on Facebook or Instagram and use #claudiascalendar. Easy!
Miss Piggy is an 8 x 6" reproduction on canvas and is framed. She was inspired by John Fulton's recipe for Raspberry-Chipotle Pork Chops and first appeared in the 2013 calendar. Hope you're saving these calendars - the art and recipes are timeless.
Just Do It!
Okay - get the picture? Want to join the hashtag fun and maybe win Miss Piggy? Let's see where all these calendars and recipes and art are in the world. And some yummy food created from the recipes. Post by Thursday, October 13 - drawing will be on Friday, October 14
Are you ready to order your 2017 calendars with bright, colorful art and delicious recipes?
Click here to get them for you and your friends.
Thanks for joining the fun - happy posting!
Well actually it was a recipe. OR - to be honest - a calendar! Okay - really, it was the idea to do a calendar that would combine my two passions - painting and cooking. I had never painted "critters." Who knew this would be the start of one of my most popular series of paintings. The first critter I ever painted was this crazy "Kickin' Chicken," inspired by a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. And so it began -
"Kickin' Chicken" - 20 x 16" acrylic on canvas - $450
also available in giclee print
©Claudia True 2008
We created our first calendar for 2009. "We" being me and Holly Bikakis, a graphic design guru who's my partner in the calendar project. (She makes it look really spiffy!) I was new in Kansas City, didn't know anyone and for the first time in years I had lots of free time. I needed a project, but - what to do??? I came up with the idea to develop a food and art calendar. I love to paint - as you know - and I also love to cook. So I thought I'd get some recipes, paint illustrations of them - and put them in calendar format with a recipe and painting for each month. Voila! The calendar was "born!"
After 8 years of "painting recipes" I now have quite a collection of Critter art. These are mostly colorful and happy little fellas that lots of people want, so they're available in prints and are hanging out in many homes and hopefully bringing smiles and happy thoughts to their owners
"Potter's Goat" - 10 x 8" giclee print on canvas - $55
©Claudia True 2015
One super special thing about this project - getting new recipes! I have over 100 recipes that my friends have shared. My friends love seeing how their recipes "come alive" in my artistic renditions.
This cute little goat was inspired by a recipe from Nancy and Sam Potter for "Boursin Chèvre" - a delicious goat cheese spread that's perfect for a party. "Kickin' Chicken Enchiladas" was shared by Cheryl Miller. And here's a sweet little pig inspired by a recipe for "Raspberry-Chipotle Pork Chops" - shared by John Fulton.
"Miss Piggy & Peppers" - 10 x 8" acrylic on canvas - $55
© Claudia True 2012
I always say "life's an adventure!" You see, I never started out to create a series of critter art. I don't think I would have thought about it - except for these recipes in a calendar that I wouldn't have thought about doing if I hadn't moved to a new town and was bored and needed something to do! Now these are some of the paintings most loved by my fans.
It's very interesting that I only recently realized I had this collection of critters! Now I'm developing a new page on my website -"Critter Club" - to give them a home and show them off.
And it all started with a chicken . . . .
Note: it's time to work on the 2017 Cooking with Friends calendar! Do you have a recipe you want to see in a painting and share with others in the calendar? If so, please click here to contact me about what's involved. Click here if you want to purchase a 2016 calendar - the art and recipes are timeless!
Have fun and remember - life's an adventure! Who knows what's ahead for all of us - or how it will start.
I'm an artist living in Kansas City with my hubby and cats. My passions: colorful paintings, yummy food, and sharing my love of art and cooking with others.