Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Lebanese Chickpea and Chicken Stew

middle eastern recipe

I thought I would make this Lebanese chickpea stew I saw on because it looked too good to be ignored. Turns out, with a few tweaks to the original recipe, the taste is pretty fantastic too! :) So if you're looking for something flavorful and different, try this recipe for dinner one day this week!

middle eastern recipe

4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2-4 chicken legs
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 6oz can of tomato paste
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
2 15oz cans chickpeas/ garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped, drained roasted red pepper (from jar)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine and 1.5 cups chicken broth, or 2 cups chicken broth
flat-leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Heat 2 tbsp oil in pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt; add to pot and brown, 8-10 mins. Transfer to plate.
Reduce heat to low and then add garlic, cumin, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir until a smooth paste forms, about 203 minutes.
Add chicken, bay leaves, and chicken broth (and wine).
Scrape up browned bits.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to plate. Shred chicken.
Add chickpeas to pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Add red peppers, remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and chicken back to pot.
Stew for 5 minutes.
Serve over rice or with bread.

springing back to life

Spring is 21 days away!

winter garden
herb garden
winter herb garden

There may still be snow on the ground, but the plants are definitely feeling it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

new block prints

hoosier hysteria linocut
'hoosier hysteria'
12 1/2" x 9 1/2"
i must have the dirtiest print shop in the world.  most printmakers i know keep their shop pristine so as not to ruin the paper with spots and mess from dirty surfaces.  mine is covered in sawdust, broken, disassembled and random junk, stencil and linoblock scraps, art ready to show, art waiting to show, spray cans and dust, and just general mess everywhere.  it's an obstacle course.  but i navigate it, and yesterday was print day.

i started in on a new round of prints, quickly burning through the paper.  i decided to print some of the collage/mural blocks that i had cut several months ago.  i had tested most of them but never actually printed any.  yesterday, they resurfaced as some great pieces with spray paint underneath.

linocut singapore print
12 1/2" x 12 1/2"
this block is several scenes of singapore created from a combination of several sketches from our trip last year.  can't wait to go back and visit family and eat great food!
12 1/2" x 19"
this piece i think may still need some work.  i love the pattern with the image, but it feels a bit blank across the top, and i'm not sure the paper is beautiful enough to carry off the emptiness.  it's nice paper.  but i'm not sure it's that nice.

the weather was horrendous yesterday, and mindy had a shortened class, so she decided to join me in the studio afterwards.  she always makes the afternoon go by faster.  while i was cranking out prints on paper, she printed several shirts and onesies for friends and family with young kids or who are expecting.  we are using a heat-set silkscreen ink with linoblocks on fabric, and it can be a bit difficult.  the ink is very thin compared to relief inks, but we make it work by letting it dry a bit before applying it to the block.  then we iron the shit out of it and make sure that it's set as well as it can be.

linocut block print t-shirt

it's fun to see what she does with my stamps.  i tend toward narrative.  she tends toward cute.  and i love that she can make something that cute be cool, and that she can take my stamps and make them look totally her own.

p.s. you can see more of the wearable block print pieces mindy made by going here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

cat haiku

an automatic
bag handle tenderizer
this silly cat is!

Monday, February 25, 2013

reconfiguring for friday's show

letter blocks say what
i've been in the studio most of the day preparing all of my work and products for the installation and opening of the show this coming friday.  shit.  it's monday.  i'm running way short on time.  i have to decide how i'm going to install all this stuff.  i have an "L" shaped corner space with 2 brick walls and a logo to cover up, probably about 20 feet of running wall space.  i'm debating building some kind of structure to hang/shelve it all on.  but it's monday.  i need to probably be working on that if that's gonna be happening.  i can also hang things (like the door in the image to your left) from a rafter bar that looks to be about a foot out from the wall.

i'll, more or less, be showing the work from midwestern landscapes, only, with a reconfigured layout, some updates, edits, and reassembles.  this time around i'll have a much more urban space to install.  and where bear's mill was beautifully rustic, and pulled all the small town, rural life vibe out of the piece; i'm hoping the concrete walls of the upland room at the murphy arts center will provide a more urban, fast-paced, and powerful vibe.

i made a few new pieces.  the door to the left is the main re-do.  it was a sky and power lines at bear's mill.  now it is covered in patterns, buildings and people walking around on iphones.  it has several layers.  i actually painted it once, thought i liked it, realized it was shit, and then repainted it to get what you see at your left.  but all those layers are what give it that grimy guttery glow.

i've also been using my bigger, more elaborate stencils to make some 'prints' on paper.  after the success of the 5" x 5" prints w/ spray paint, i decided i should just do some copies of some of my favorite stencils.  this will help use them up too.  all the images are in a very limited run, because the stencils lose detail really fast, but thats great, because then i can retire them.  i needed to find a way to make versions of the stencils people can actually afford, since the installations and the public art are not exactly feasible for your living room.  well, maybe they are.

letter blocks say what
here's the town skyline stencil on paper.  there's 4 prints in the series.  this stencil is no where in particular.  it borrows from several places and mashes it all into one skyline, it's one of my favorites because i love the exaggerated perspective with the high contrast black and white, and adding the fading sky gives it a great evening glow.

next up

Zach's next show opens this Friday. He will be showing alongside a group of young, high-energy, Indiana-based artists. Iggy Arana and Justin Vining are painters, Jason Rowland is a stencil artist, and Ryan Spencer is a furniture maker.

This is shaping up to be a great show, so if you live in the Indianapolis area, do drop by the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square. It'd be such a fun way to kick off the weekend!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

fun news!

I have a Facebook page! Well, kinda, sorta ...

zach medler

Zach and I jumped on the Facebook wagon really late. We had just gotten married and we thought having an account was a good and efficient way we could stay in touch with friends and family. But instead of having separate accounts, I've been "sharing" Zach's for a while now. Zach has been super patient and generous, allowing me to post cat pictures and chat with my cousins in his name whenever I want. But I think it's time ... our blog could use a FB page and I could be the one to manage it. I can use it to share as many cat pictures as I want, as often as I want to. And of course, my friends who were previously too shy to communicate with "Zach," can now interact with me on the new page!

So, if you'd like to, you can now find the blog (and me!) here on Facebook.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

40 blocks. 225 prints.

40 blocks.

block print

225 prints.

block print

a long day, but a fun day in the studio.

after i spent the morning spray painting all the paper and getting all the blocks cleaned up, mindy joined me in the afternoon to print the images.  all of the images have purposeful ties to the midwest.  and with a stack of paper ripped up into 5" x 5" squares, we started inking and pressing.  we ended up with 225 with a few we should probably throw out.

p.s. see more pictures on Facebook.

Singapore street art

My brother, Leon, sent Zach these pictures of some street art he found in Singapore. 

Given how strict the Singapore laws are against street art/graffiti/vandalism (yes, the powers that be tend to conflate all three) you'd think my brother was wrapped up in some sci-fi space time warp when he chanced upon this colorful wall. 

Upon further probing and investigating, it turns out that this is the mural wall of the Substation, the contemporary arts center. All the work is legal. Wonder if they'll let Zach paint a portion of the wall when we go back to Singapore?

Friday, February 22, 2013

We're back at Shades

Zach had a meeting at the Athens Art Studios and Gallery in Crawfordsville this afternoon. After he got done, we drove to Shades State Park. It had snowed overnight, so we were in for a treat!

Hiking is doubly tedious in the snow. We chose an easier trail but we are still spent. We are going to be couch potatoes for the rest of the night!

p.s. our first ever blog post was about Shades too. You can read it here!
p.p.s. here's the other post about Shades.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

sun or shade?

Most cats I know love to lay in the sun. Our cat seeks out the shadiest spots in our home. He snoozes in the darkest rooms, cupboards, closets, and the shower. Today I found him just chilling under the comforter.

Is he strange? Or do you have a cat that prefers the shade to the sun too?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Pasta E Fagioli

I love the pasta e fagioli that Zach's mom makes. I always ask for it whenever she's taking requests for dinner. Pasta, beans, and vegetables ... what's not to like? :) I'll have to ask for her recipe the next time we're in Portland. But in the meantime, this is our simplified version ...

1lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of diced carrots
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5oz) cans of diced tomatoes
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, with liquid
1 (15oz) can great northern beans or cannellini beans, with liquid
1 (15oz) tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
1 (12oz) can vegetable juice
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
1.5 cup ditali pasta
top with grated Parmesan cheese

Brown the ground beef and garlic in a deep pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.
Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute for 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
Cook pasta separately, add to pot in during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Serve, topped with Parmesan cheese.

Hope this soup keeps you warm! It's a frigid 15°F here in Indiana today!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

boy eats corn

zach medler linocut

Today, Zach cut a linoblock image of a boy eating corn ...

winamac, indiana

 ... that was based on the stencil he used in the mural in Winamac last summer!

freeaakkkk ouuttt

now that midwest existential is up, running, and open, it's good to have a day to reflect and relax, but i'm still stressed.  my next show opens in a couple of weeks.  i will be showing with my friend and fellow purdue alum, Justin Vining, and 3 other guys at the Upland Brewery Room at Murphy Arts Center in Indianapolis.  It promises to be a fun, high energy show, and i have no clue as of right now what exactly i'm going to be showing.

i went down to the studio yesterday to clean up my mess from the previous work, start filtering through the midwestern landscapes show, and trying to figure out what to show in indy.  it's always a process when i'm reworking a show/idea.  and hopefully this one won't take too long and i won't have to make too much new work (i mean the show opens march 1st, how much could i possibly crank out in that time span).  with the other work, i'm going to have limited space this time, but hopefully we'll have a fun addition or 2 we can make for this event.  right now, my piece will be titled midwest invasion (i seem to have a running theme here for some reason or another).  but we'll see where this goes after i get things organized and figure out what i can do with it.

ok so i just looked at the calendar.  i have 10 days to finish up.  not 2 weeks...freeaakkkk ouuttt...

Monday, February 18, 2013

monday night music

We were too busy to write today so here's a song instead! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

in the press

"New Works" is featured on the local paper, the Journal & Courier. Click here to read the article!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

a colorful night

last night's opening went very well. we were crowded all night.  most of the night we were so crowded that you couldn't hear the movie in the theater. i guess that's why they ask for quiet at the movies. in fact, i can't remember what the hell i did last night. i feel like it just flew passed, and i have no clue what i said to anyone. it was a lot of fun though. pete was in one part of the gallery talking to the guests, craig in another. and i just kinda meandered through the space talking to everyone that stopped me.

artists' own
zach medler

the mural was a raging success. all night long people were drawing on it. making marks and coloring; occasionally making a mess and destroying some beautiful work underneath, but that is part of the point. temporality is an important part of art, because it allows for a dynamic vision of creation. one that doesn't stop, but rather continues with whoever wants to put their mark on the wall. art is democratic, giving everyone who wishes to speak a voice with a pen. it does not have to be authoritarian or elitist.

(photo credit: Pete Brown's Art)

the ritz and midwest existential were a hit. people really seemed to enjoy and appreciate the 4D experience of going to the 'theater' to see the film. i had many people come up to me and tell me it reminded them of the old smalltown or village theaters that they went to as kids or had memories of from somewhere. i made a simulacrum, and that's the fun of it. it really can relate to anyone's idea/interpretation of what that experience of 'the theater' is or was.

artists' own
zach medler

one girl interacted with the piece like it was her own personal playhouse, talking to the ticket booth guy, and 'buying' tickets for everyone (she was quite a generous little kid), and always called me 'sir,' which was a bit embarrassing for me, but she seemed to really enjoy herself and that is what i care about when people come to experience my installations. she has no reference to the vaudevillian textures and color tones i plastered all over the walls, but her experience was her own, and that is valuable.  especially for a child. and her imagination was impressive. i hope she can keep it is she grows up.

the wall worked in a similar way, more with the adults though. kids know how to draw on the wall. it's as innate as language itself. adults typically have to be prodded a bit though. but you could see, as they added small timid marks that grew into larger ideas, their walls breaking down a bit. i think everyone had fun with it. and stressing the temporal nature of it was good and help people not be quite so afraid to add their touch to it.

it was a fun night. thanks to pete brown and craig martin, whose works helped bring artists' own a new crowd of visitors, and a new aesthetic. and thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed the night with us. we wouldn't be able to do these things without your support. that's the nature of art. the audience is just as important as the maker. so thank you all.

Friday, February 15, 2013

see you tonight!

What are your plans for the weekend? The opening reception for New Works at Artists' Own is this evening, so that's where we're going to be. We're excited for people to come see some new art, watch Zach's short film, draw on the wall of the gallery, and mingle with the artists. So if you live within driving distance of Lafayette, we really hope to see you tonight!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

screen stills

... just a couple of screen stills to whet your appetite for the premiere of Midwest Existential tomorrow!

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