I've loved cats forever! The first cat that was my "very own" was a gift from my brother Conrad who was away in college and I was in the 5th grade. That sweet little Siamese kitten was about 3 weeks old and abandoned. I got to feed it pablum from a tiny doll bottle and I was in heaven! My Mom - not so much. You can imagine who did some of the feedings, especially in the middle of the night . . .
For some reason I was afraid to paint cats until about 3 years ago. I couldn't decide how to portray them to show how special they were to me. Finally I decided to just have fun and go for it and show them in a whimsical way. My cats bring me such joy - hopefully I'm sharing this whimsy and joy in my art.
20" x 16" acrylic on canvas
©2014 Claudia True
I'm donating "Smiley Yellow Cat" to the 7th annual Picassos for Pets fundraiser for HELP HUMANE, a no-kill pet shelter in Belton, Mo. (See flier below). I hope Miss Smiley finds a perfect forever home with someone who spends lots and lots of money on her to "keep the lights on" at the shelter. Maybe you'll find a spot for her or some other pet art? Better yet - maybe you'll find a real "furever" pet!
"Smiley Yellow Cat"
12" x 9" acrylic on canvas
©2014 Claudia True
Now - if you have a cat - you know they love tuna! I swear mine dream of the stuff. Here's a tuna appetizer recipe I created - it's in the 2014 Cooking with Friends calendar. My babies are happy, happy when I make it!
"Spicy Tuna Dip"
1 7 oz can tuna, drained
1 8 oz block cream cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon or more (I like its of lemon)
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 to 2 minced pickled jalapeno peppers
salt to taste
Mix everything together. Add a little "jalapeño juice" if it's too dry or to add more "zip." Good with crackers or Fritos. Simple and delicious!
original: 14" x 11" acrylic on canvas - sold
©2013 Claudia True
available in print
Here's more information about the fundraiser for HELP HUMANE. Hope you'll support this or some other place that takes care of pets who need a home. Maybe you'll find a little fur friend of your own! Maybe a precious little cat - ??
Happy St. Patrick's Day - when everyone's Irish!!
Celebrations started in Kansas City last Saturday with parades in the Irish parts of town. Again - everyone's Irish for this holiday, so there were lots of parades! Thursday is the official "green beer" day. For those not into beer, here's an alternative cocktail - shared by my friend J.K. O'Hanlon - author of Three Ingredient Cocktails. She has a variation of a Manhattan, using Irish whiskey to create the Emerald Cocktail - also known as the Paddy.
16" x 12" acrylic on canvas
©2014 Claudia True
Emerald Cocktail Recipe:
2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitter
Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with maraschino cherry.
That's it! How easy! And how delicious. I can just hear the Irish laughter after one of these. But - since you're Irish at least for this day - I bet you won't stop at one . . .
O'Hanlon shared her Emerald Cocktail and an appetizer recipe in the 2015 Cooking with Friends calendar. I've done 8 calendars - each month has a friend's recipe and my art. So many paintings inspired by recipes! We're starting work on the 2017 calendar - the 9th! Look for more "recipe art" coming soon -
If you have the 2016 calendar, this art is hanging in your kitchen or somewhere with a recipe for a tasty pasta dish - Richard's Pasta Pappardelle. Thinking of it makes my mouth water! Richard Goldberg had this with his son in Charleston, SC and has a fun story about their experience.
"Richard's Pasta Pappardelle"
16 x 12" acrylic on canvas
© 2015 Claudia True
Don't have a 2016 calendar? Click here to purchase your very own.
This Thursday on your way for green beer or Emerald Cocktails, stop by Art Source & Design for their Third Thursday art openings and enjoy the art, wine and appetizers. 4:30 to 8:00. I'll be there 4:30 to 6:00. Would love to see you and share some Irish spirit.
Have a festive and safe St. Patrick's Day! Hugs to all my Irish friends - well that's all of you on March 17.
I recently delivered art for an exhibit at Art Source & Design and I decided to "think spring" when I was painting for this show. Today I'm sharing some of my happy "spring" art. I hope it makes you smile!
Three Chubby Birds 1 2016
12" x 24" acrylic on canvas - framed
©Claudia True 2016
These Three Chubby Bluebirds are ready for spring. And so am I! This painting looks like our back yard now - a few flowers are starting to make their way on the trees that are still mostly barren. I love when the trees and flowers begin to wake up and give the birds some cozy hiding spaces. Especially when our neighborhood hawk is around (oops that's another story).
Chubby Red Bird and Yellow Flower
7" x 5" acrylic on canvas
©Claudia True 2016
Today the cardinals were super active. My husband had just put out the birdseed and they managed to get there before the squirrels. That's the daily challenge! Cardinals were soon joined by Blue Jays, Juncos, Chickadees (I love that word!) and lots of little finches. You know - cardinals really can be chubby! Well lots of birds are getting chubby this time of year and we'll soon be hearing the chirps of their little ones.
Happy Yellow Flowers
7" x 5" acrylic on canvas
©Claudia True - 2016
I was thrilled today to see the first yellow crocuses blooming in the "way back" part of our yard. A small hint of all the color to come soon. Yay!
These paintings and many more will be at Art Source & Design through April 16, 2016. Stop by to see them and maybe take home a little piece of Spring! They have fun and casual Third Thursday openings. The next will be March 17, 4:30 to 8:00. Visit on your way for green beer.
Think Spring! And smile -
Remember how wonderful it was to color when you were a kid? All those amazing colors to play with and no rules? How you'd just get lost in making something? Well - you can still do that - right here in my studio!
Paint Parties are the rage these days. This group of friends made their evening a REAL party!! Appetizers - wine - a "happy hour" before we got down to painting. Check out their crazy whimsical fish! I wish I had a recording of all the "happiness" and laughs during the evening. It was a special bonding experience and they went home with their own unique paintings and super special memories.
We've had lots of "paint along" days - no big party but a great time making art in a supportive and safe environment. All materials are provided - you just show up, have a great time and go home with a painting of your own!
Check out Paint Parties & Classes on my website for information about the classes and parties. You can organize a group of 5 to 12 people for a private party. Or sign up for a class. Or get a few people for a class and I'll try to find others to have at least 5.
I also want to organize a beginner's class - one session per week for 4 weeks. This is for people who want to explore painting beyond a one day session. Please contact me if you're interested. Again check Paint Parties & Classes on my website for pricing and more information. It's a good refresher course, too if you haven't painted in a while.
I'd love to share my studio and my love of painting with you. Come be a kid again - and make some art!
"Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip"
Acrylic painting inspired by a recipe from Glenn Ryan for the 2014 Cooking with Friends calendar. Recipe included below.
14" x 11" acrylic on canvas
Okay - I'm a huge Bronco fan and I'm so ready for the big game this Sunday. Thought I'd share this super easy and super tasty dip that I got from my friend Glenn Ryan. Glenn and I are both native Texans, and share that Texas love of spicy food. I've had a recipe for artichoke dip for years - why didn't I think of adding jalapeños? Glenn - you're a Texas spicy culinary genius!
And - because it's a "Texas" dip, I had to really punch up the colors in the painting. Like I need an excuse to do that . . . . This is kind of a hot/spicy Mexican artichoke painting with those wild and crazy Mexican color combinations - orange and pink right next to each other. And of course turquoise - gotta have turquoise!
Click here for 2016 recipe inspired paintings and click here for earlier recipe art
This painting has a new home - some of my most loyal local collectors purchased it last weekend at my studio sale. Here's a photo of the Dad and their new baby in front of the painting in their home. How precious is this! It's great that they're sharing their love of art with their daughters. They're already planning a family painting party with me when their daughters are old enough - I can just imagine the wonderful creative experience.
Click here for information on painting parties and classes.
Back to the Super Bowl game - I really, really hope it's a good one! Must admit, as a Bronco fan it's kind of scary. Those Panthers are pretty tough. At our home we'll have some good appetizers and a great football spirit - and will love the commercials no matter who wins.
Let me know if you make this dip and what you think about it. It's so yummy - so here ya go with the recipe -
Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip - thanks for sharing, Glenn Ryan!
1 4 oz jar chopped pimentos
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I always use the small size hearts)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 7 oz can diced green chilis - or fresh chilis
6 chopped canned jalapeños, or fresh jalapeños (adjust to taste)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus some to cover the top
Grease a 1 1/2 quart shallow casserole dish. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain the pimentos and reserve 2 teaspoons to put on top. Mix all and pour into the dish. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and the reserved pimentos. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm but it is also good when cool.
Click here to share your comments - thanks!!
Acrylic painting inspired by a recipe from Emily Goldenberg for a most delicious soup! See the recipe and story below -
20" x 16" acrylic on canvas
click for more information
Tuscan Kale Tuscan Kale and Farro Soup with Butternut Squash
It's hard to believe that before I made this recipe, I'd never had kale, farro or butternut squash. Now I love them all!
Emily Goldenberg - a chef and co-owner of Caffe 817 in Oakland, Ca- shared this recipe in my 2010 cooking and art calendar. Oh my is it delicious. Very hearty - I might even make this for my Super Bowl soup! Scroll down to see the recipe. Note for my vegetarian friends - it's easy to make without meat and still have a full flavored meal that's loaded with tasty stuff that's really good for your soul!
The last time I was at Costco I made a wonderful discovery - butternut squash that was already peeled and cut up. Yes you get a lot - a la "Costo sized purchases." I roasted some with onion, olive oil, salt and pepper and a drizzle of honey for another meal and didn't waste a bit. Sure cuts down on the prep time when you don't have to peel and cut the squash. Whew!
The painting illustrates many of the ingredients in this soup and also Emily's love of strolling through the farmer's market or her garden. Check this out, and other recipe-inspired art on my website. These have all been in one of my Cooking with Friends calendars which I save for all the recipes. The collection is my favorite cookbook!
Okay - here's a fun story about how I know chef Emily Goldenberg. Her Mom and I are friends - we connected on the internet because we're both "Claudia True's." Really!! How cool is that -
RECIPE - Tuscan Kale and Farro Soup with Butternut Squash
4 to 6 servings
3 Tbl olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 prosciutto or ham bone (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole chili pod or 1/4 tsp of red chili flake
1 Tbl minced fresh sage
1 bunch kale, washed and sliced cross-wise into 1/4" strips (include stems if tender)
2 cups diced (1/2" cubes) raw butternut squash
1 cup uncooked semi-pearled farro (or barley)
2 quarts home-made chicken stock (or low sodium store bought)
Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
Glug of extra-virgin olive oil
In a soup pot over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and stir. Slowly saute' until the onions become translucent. Add the prosciutto or ham bone (if using), garlic, chili flakes and sage. Continue to cook for a few minutes longer.
Add the kale to the soup pot with another pinch of salt and continue to cook, covered, stirring every so often, until the kale collapses. Add the butternut squash, stir and cook for about 5 minutes to soften.
Pour the chicken stock into the soup-pot and bring it up to a simmer. Add the farrow and continue to cook at a simmer until the farrow is al dente. By this time, the squash and kale should be completely cooked.
Taste for salt, and serve! Garnish with cracked black pepper and your best extra-virgin olive oil. Yum!
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.