Sunday Food: Greek Lamb

Dish of roast lamb
Dish of roast lamb

(Picture courtesy of Kal Hendry at

Cannot resist taking the day of the Greek referendum on whether or not to cave to EU demands that it sacrifice its economy, for the offering of that sacrificial lamb cooked up in Greek fashion.   This takes a twist on the usual lemon flavoring, and goes with the Orange is the New Black theme too.

While I’m treating the situation with humor, this is a classical tragedy for the people whose ability to make a living by doing the honorable work available to them has been taken away.   It is fraud by deception to offer one thing, in this case a working economy, and give another for the exchange value.   The Greek workers have not been treated honestly by banksters, or the former leaders who made this bad bargain on their behalf.

Greek Orange Roast Lamb:

Serves: 4 

  • 1 half leg of lamb

  • 10 to 12 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 4 tablespoons dark french mustard

  • juice of one large orange

  • 1 tablespoon oregano

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. In large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, mustard, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Once combined, add potatoes to bowl and coat thoroughly with mixture. Transfer the potatoes to a large roasting tin.
  3. Next, cut 2cm deep slits into the lamb, and stuff the garlic cloves into the slits. Place the lamb into the bowl with the remaining orange juice mixture; coat thoroughly and transfer to roasting tin on top of potatoes. If any of the orange juice mixture remains in the bowl, pour over the lamb and potatoes.
  4. Bake uncovered until potatoes are done and lamb is medium / medium-well (approximately 60 minutes). Check every 20 to 30 minutes while baking, and add a bit of hot water if you find the potatoes are drying out.

Cook’s note

If you prefer, use the juice of two lemons instead of the orange for another traditional preparation.

This should be delicious, as the result of the referendum may also prove to be.

(Picture courtesy of Sharon Mollerus at

Carrying water for the EU
Carrying water for the EU

Saturday Art: ‘Tea Time’ by Jean Metzinger – Beginnings of Cubism

File:WomanWithFlowers1920 - MetzingerLegoûter.jpg

Cannot find a picture of just the right side painting, sorry.

(Picture courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art at wikipedia commons.)

The beginning of the movement in art called Cubism is sometimes ascribed to the display of the painting above right, by theorist and artist Jean Metzinger.   Building  on Cezanne’s later paintings, it left behind the style of perspective that made a two dimensional canvas give the illusion of another dimension, and presented many surfaces at once.

The original concept startled and inspired Picasso, Braques, Gris and several other esteemed artists of the day, and discernibly influenced their painting of that time.

Tea Time is an oil painting on cardboard with dimensions 75.9 x 70.2 cm (29.9 x 27.6 in), signed Metzinger and dated 1911 lower right. The painting represents a barely draped (nude) woman holding a spoon, seated at a table with a cup of tea. In the ‘background’, the upper left quadrant, stands a vase on a commode, table or shelf. A square or cubic shape, a chair or painting behind the model, espouses the shape of the stretcher. The painting is practically square, like the side of a cube. The woman’s head is highly stylized, divided into geometrized facets, planes and curves (the forehead, nose, cheeks, hair). The source of light appears to be off to her right, with some reflected light on the left side of her face. Reflected light, consistently, can be seen on other parts of her body (breast, shoulder, arm). Her breast is composed of a triangle and a sphere. The faceting of the rest of her body, to some extent, coincides with actual muscular and skeletal features (collar bone, ribcage, pectorals, deltoids, neck tissue). Both of here shoulders are coupled with elements of the background, superimposed, gradational and transparent to varying degrees. Unidentified elements are composed of alternating angular structures, The colors employed by Metzinger are subdued, mixed (either on a palette of directly on the surface), with an overall natural allure. The brushwork is reminiscent of Metzinger’sDivisionist period (ca. 1903–1907), described by the critic (Louis Vauxcelles) in 1907 as large, mosaic-like ‘cubes’, used to construct small but highly symbolic compositions.[8]

The figure, centrally positioned, is shown both staring at the viewer and gazing off to the right (to her left), i.e., she is seen both straight on and in profile position. The tea cup is visible both from the top and side simultaneously, as if the artist physically moved around the subject to capture it simultaneously from several angles and at successive moments in time.

“This interplay of visual, tactile, and motor spaces is fully operative in Metzinger’s Le Gouter of 1911″, write Antliff and Leighten, “an image of an artist’s model, semi-nude, with a cloth draped over her right arm as she takes a break between sessions […] her right hand delicately suspends the spoon between cup and mouth.” The combination of frames captured at successive time intervals is given play, pictorially, in simultaneous conflation of moments in time throughout the work. The Cézannian volumes and planes (cones, cubes and spheres) extend ubiquitously across the manifold, merging the sitter and surroundings. The painting becomes a product of experience, memory and imagination, evoking a complex series of mind-associations between past present and future, between tactile and olfactory sensations (taste and touch), between the physical and metaphysical.[9]

Though less radical than Metzinger’s 1910 Nude—which is closely related to the work of Picasso and Braque of the same year—from the viewpoint of faceting of the represented subject matter, Le goûter is much more carefully constructed in relation to the overall shape of the picture frame. “Not only was this painting more unequivocally classical in its pedigree (and recognized as such by critics who instantly dubbed it ‘La Joconde cubiste’) than any of its now relatively distant sources in Picasso’s oeuvre,” writes David Cottington, “but in its clear if tacit juxtaposition, remarked on by Green and others, of sensation and idea—taste and geometry—it exemplified the interpretation of innovations from both wings of the cubist movement that Metzinger was offering in his essays of the time, as well as the paradigm shift from a perceptual to a conceptual painting that he recognized as now common to them.”[10]

The quite atmosphere of Tea Time “seduces by means of the bridge it creates between two periods”, according to Eimert and Podksik, “although Metzinger’s style had already passed through an analytical phase, it now concentrated more on the idea of reconciling modernity with classical subjects”.[11]

A preparatory drawing for Tea Time (Etude pour ‘Le Goûter’), 19 x 15 cm, is conserved in Paris at the Musée National d’Art ModerneCentre Georges Pompidou.[12]


Pictorial space has been transformed by the artist into the temporal flow of consciousness. Quantity has morphed into quality, creating a ‘qualitative space’, “the pictorial analogue”, write Antliff and Leighten, “to both time and space: temporal heterogeneity and the new geometries.” In accord with this view of pictorial space, Metzinger and Gleizes encouraged artists to discard classical perspective and replace it with creative intuition. “Creative intuition is manifest in an artist’s faculty of discernment, or ‘taste’, which coordinates all other sensations.” Antliff and Leighten continue, “As we have seen Metzinger celebrated this faculty in Le Gouter, and Apollinaire advised artists to rely on their ‘intuition’ in The Cubist Painters (1913).”[9][28]

Metzinger’s interests in proportion, mathematical order, and his emphasis on geometry, are well documented.[10] But it was his personal taste (gout in French) that sets Metzinger’s work apart from both the Salon Cubists and those of Montmartre. While taste inTea Time was denoted by one of the five senses, it was also connoted (for those who could read it) as a quality of discernment and subjective judgement.[10] Le gouter translates to ‘afternoon snack’ but also alludes to ‘taste’ in an abstract sense. This painting, writes Christopher Green, “can seem the outcome of a meditation on intelligence and the senses, conception and sensation. The word in French for tea-time is “le goûter”; as a verb. “goûter” refers to the experience of tasting.[24]


Over Easy: Friday Preview

L'Oiseau Bleu by Metzinger
L’Oiseau Bleu by Metzinger

(Picture courtesy of steynard at

This is a short Over Easy to give pups a conversation shelf and introduce tomorrow’s art post about Jean Metzinger and his significant contribution to cubism.

Hope you are enjoying the summer, it’s been messy a lot of places and my sympathies to Hawaiians and Oregonians suffering the extraordinary heat there.  We’re staying out of the heat of the day, here, as much as possible but the ‘tube’ or London Underground, can be a trial.

We’re not doing ourselves any favors.    The Brits’ austerity takes aim at the very operation that is needed for the future well-being of the planet.

‘The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) faces cuts of 90% to its staff budgets within three years, threatening the government’s ability to tackle climate change and move the energy supply to cleaner sources, according to an expert analysis.’

Forging into the future wasn’t supposed to indicate an attack on same.   Oh, my.


Over Easy: Around the World

Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see
Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see

(Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford at

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene. As, again today, you’re hearing from Over There direct, we have a couple of changes, and the computer doesn’t want to reproduce my domestic egg picture.

From RT, Wikileaks publishes TiSA agreement documents which if authentic show multinational corporations wielding powers over governments in the treaty.

WikiLeaks has published secret “core text” related to the controversial trade agreement currently being negotiated behind closed doors between the US, EU and 23 other countries. Big corporations look to be the biggest winners in the deal.

Leaked documents of TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) negotiations reveal that the treaty is looking to undermine “governments involved in the treaty” by supporting multinational companies instead of local businesses, according to a WikiLeaks press release.

The deadline for nuclear agreement between Iran and western nations (P5 + 1) has been extended from the original one that was to occur on June 30.  A five year plan issued by Ayatollah Khomeini included economic and military objectives, claiming that the nuclear development has peaceful purposes.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returned to the talks on Tuesday, along with Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) chief Ali Akbar Salehi and Hossein Fereidoun, President Rouhani’s younger brother and special adviser.

The presence of Mr Salehi was a sign of Iran’s serious desire to accelerate the negotiations and achieve a comprehensive deal, Iran’s state news agency Irna said.

On Monday, the US warned that a framework deal agreed in Switzerland in April had to remain the basis for a comprehensive agreement.

Argentine Chief Minister Anibal Fernandez praised Greece’s rejection of EU demands to shrink their economy, describing it as similar to Argentina’s spurning court demands that the country pay off vulture capitalists.   He described the buying up of Greek debt now going on as another example of the attempt to suck up other countries’ economies into their own coffers by these corrupting financial institutions.

“Tsipras demands adjustment to be held. They say they want to be in the EU and not leave the eurozone, but they want a wayout like the one Argentina had. Néstor (Kirchner) used to say ‘the dead don´t pay.’ Here, they want (Greece) to die, the government to fall and make decisions of another type to plunder the Greek,” the head of ministers said referring to Néstor Kirchner, President Cristina Fernández’s late husband and predecessor in the post.

In 2003, in his first speech as head of state of Argentina in the United Nations General Assembly, Kirchner said “the dead don’t pay” alluding to the country’s financial situation with the credit organism commanded by Christine Lagarde.

Predicted increased ‘el Nino’ effects in 2015 – 16 are anticipated to be threatening world supplies of wheat, coffee and sugar in particular.   Copyright restrictions do not allow the inclusion of text here, but readers may follow the link for descriptions of the shortages, and abundance elsewhere, which will be entailed.

As you no doubt have all heard, we’re having a heatwave, but today it’s lots cooler and clouds have moved in.   That will make the ‘tube’ a lot nicer.   Have also seen we’re on the way to another record heat year in 2015, just like last year.   My sympathies go out to our Pacific NW and Hawaii, as well as other places around the world that are suffering.


Sunday Food: Visit to Neal’s Yard Dairy Farm Cheeses from the British Isles

Cheeses at Neal's Yard
Cheeses at Neal’s Yard

(Picture courtesy of Kalina Wilson at

Some posts come out to get you, and this is one.  Last Saturday I was strolling around the Covent Garden area, just enjoying the ancient cobblestone streets and the bric-a-brac of stonework and sculpture on the buildings.   Then I happened onto a lady out in front of a shop giving out cheese samples.  Now I don’t usually do a plug for particular businesses, but this time I don’t think you will fly to London to visit the shop, anyway.

Never could I say no to a cheese.   So I sampled, oh, my!   This was every kind of nice, and creamy and tasty so I stopped into the shop and walked through their display of more beautiful rounds of cheese than you want to think about.   At the very back, I found the Stilton.  Some people, I hear, don’t like the stipling of green/blue in their cheese.  I crave it.   This was simply gorgeous, with a creamy rind, looked wonderful.   So I caught the eye of one of the servers and asked for a sample.

\There are no words./

I took some back with me, not a lot since I was traveling by the Underground/Tube and it was warm.   The Stilton came back to the home where I’m staying, while the friend there is having radiation treatments and needs help traveling to them.   It sat in the refrigerator, on top of the clotted cream, and waited until evening.   Then I offered it to the friends, who just happen not to have a taste for those blue/green stippled sorts of cheese.   It was mine, all mine.   I lightly toasted a piece of bakery bread, and applied thick slices of Stilton on top, and munched through one of the delectable pleasures of enjoyment.   If you get the pleasure, I wish you all the wonderful moments, yourself.

The shop itself is a wonder, has a few branches and spreads joy to the cheese lovers in these parts with great refinement.   I’ve become a fan, and will visit again.

In going online to learn more, I find that there is a prohibition now on the Stichelton cheeses from England as they are made from raw milk and regulations demand milk be pasteurized for consumption, for safety’s sake.

The reason the Stichelton cheese is in demand of course is taste and texture, and pasteurization makes changes that aren’t part of the qualities the cheese presents.   The Dairy production knowledgeable want the regulation changed because:

To produce the best cheese, all aspects of the process need be exceptional: the inputs, the skill of the cheesemaker, and the talent of the maturer. Excellent raw milk provides a better ingredient for the cheesemaker then pasteurised milk. It doesn’t guarantee a better cheese, but great raw milk cheese trumps pasteurised milk cheese for flavour. We sell cheese on flavour and provide accurate, transparent and honest information to our customers. It is a prerequisite that the cheese be safe.

As a devotee of great cheese, I agree.   Sometimes safety measures interfere with reality.    Cheese is made by something we consider spoilage, frankly.    To make a good cheese, milk has to go beyond the stage that we drink, and anyone who eats cheese knows that.   We ought to be sensible and make sure the product is safe, not interfere with the way it’s achieved.



Saturday Art: Diego Rivera

The Flower Carrier by Rivera
The Flower Carrier by Rivera

(Picture courtesy of Wally Gometz at

Mural representing history of Mexico
Mural representing history of Mexico by Diego Rivera

(Picture courtesy of pegatina1 at in Palacio Nacional.)

En El Arsenal by Diego Rivera
En El Arsenal by Diego Rivera

(Picture courtesy of Shannon at

The previous Art Saturday subject was the artist Frida Kahlo, who was married to the subject of today’s post,  Diego Rivera.   Both were credited with many styles, often as impressionist, and shared the fervor of the times they lived in during the Mexican Revolution and worldwide turning away from feudal standards and repression.

From the age of ten, Rivera studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. He was sponsored to continue study in Europe by Teodoro A. Dehesa Méndez, the governor of the State of Veracruz. After arrival in Europe in 1907, Rivera initially went to study with Eduardo Chicharro in Madrid, Spain, and from there went to Paris, France, to live and work with the great gathering of artists in Montparnasse, especially at La Ruche, where his friend Amedeo Modigliani painted his portrait in 1914.[7] His circle of close friends, which included Ilya Ehrenburg, Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani and Modigliani’s wife Jeanne Hébuterne, Max Jacob, gallery owner Léopold Zborowski, and Moise Kisling, was captured for posterity by Marie Vorobieff-Stebelska (Marevna) in her painting “Homage to Friends from Montparnasse” (1962).[8]

In those years, Paris was witnessing the beginning of Cubism in paintings by such eminent painters as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris. From 1913 to 1917, Rivera enthusiastically embraced this new school of art. Around 1917, inspired by Paul Cézanne‘s paintings, Rivera shifted toward Post-Impressionism with simple forms and large patches of vivid colors. His paintings began to attract attention, and he was able to display them at several exhibitions.


Rivera returned to Mexico in 1921 to become involved in the government sponsored Mexican mural program planned by Vasconcelos.[10] See also Mexican muralism. The program included such Mexican artists as José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo, and the French artist Jean Charlot. In January 1922,[11] he painted – experimentally in encaustic – his first significant mural Creation[12] in the Bolívar Auditorium of the National Preparatory School in Mexico City while guarding himself with a pistol against right-wing students.

In the autumn of 1922, Rivera participated in the founding of the Revolutionary Union of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors, and later that year he joined the Mexican Communist Party[13] (including its Central Committee). His murals, subsequently painted in fresco only, dealt with Mexican society and reflected the country’s 1910 Revolution. Rivera developed his own native style based on large, simplified figures and bold colors with an Aztec influence clearly present in murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City[14] begun in September 1922, intended to consist of one hundred and twenty-four frescoes, and finished in 1928.[11]

His art, in a fashion similar to the steles of the Maya, tells stories. The mural En el Arsenal (In the Arsenal)[15] shows on the right-hand side Tina Modotti holding an ammunition belt and facing Julio Antonio Mella, in a light hat, and Vittorio Vidali behind in a black hat. However, the En el Arsenal detail shown does not include the right-hand side described nor any of the three individuals mentioned; instead it shows the left-hand side with Frida Kahlo handing out munitions. Leon Trotsky lived with Rivera and Kahlo for several months while exiled in Mexico.[16] Some of Rivera’s most famous murals are featured at the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo near Texcoco (1925–27), in the Cortés Palace in Cuernavaca (1929–30), and the National Palace in Mexico City (1929–30, 1935).[17][18]

Outstanding for his participation and commemoration of changing and dramatic times as well as for his talent, Rivera made the arts a promotion of equality as well as a presentation of history.

(Picture courtesy of Joaquin Martinez at

Prehistoric Mexico, cover for book, by Diego Rivera
Prehistoric Mexico, cover for book, by Diego Rivera

Book cover for Pablo Neruda’s Canto General. 1950

Also, thanks, dubinsky, for linking this Bruce Springsteen tribute to Rivera;


Late Night: Friday Preview

En El Arsenal by Diego Rivera
En El Arsenal by Diego Rivera

(Picture courtesy of Shannon at

As the art post for Saturday will feature Diego Rivera, this is Friday’s Late Night post, giving a preview of the work and artist.

Hope you will find the opportunity for conversation here.   As previously announced, I am visiting in London, and my time zone is a way from the usual one so I don’t get to visit with you much.  I may, however, be able to drop in at what are middle of the night times there, since that’s morning here.

Over Easy: Around the World


Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see
Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see

(Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford at

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene. As today you’re hearing from Over There direct, we have a couple of changes, and the computer doesn’t want to reproduce my eggs so we’ll see what picture goes up.

Yesterday I was visiting Kensington Palace, which to my surprise, and Avedon‘s, you can now walk right up to and into, and can use the great spread of castle and grounds as scenery for your dining pleasure.   This is a great use of public expenditure, imho, and it was quite wonderful to visit the Serpentine Gallery on the Kensington Gardens grounds also.

Now I see that Buckingham Palace is falling down, in pieces, and realize that the proceeds from all those tourist dollars for the gift shops and tours, and cafes on the grounds, help pay for those lovely ceremonial sweeps.   Not the worst way to fund the monarchy.

On a visit to the British Museum, it was a pleasure to view treasures from Nimrud.   These are the ones that the Brits took back home with them, which is a little bit overbearing, but I can’t help being relieved that they were not left to be smashed by the religious fanatics that are at war with their own past, and the cultures of the ages.

ISIL needs to be stopped from destroying such accomplishments, ones its own people are proud to have produced.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group says it has destroyed two ancient shrines close to the Syrian city of Palmyra, seized by the armed group a month ago. Photographs posted online appeared to show the shrines, 4km from Palmyra, being blown up and reduced to rubble on Saturday. It was the first reported damage to ancient sites since ISIL captured Palmyra, known as Tadmur in Arabic and famed for its UNESCO-listed Roman ruins. Pictures showed smoke rising from the hilltop tomb of Mohammed Bin Ali, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, Imam Ali.

Success bringing suit against government for its failure to give the governed a decent life may be coming back to the fore, after bringing about civil rights gains in previous history.

…world leaders have failed to protect the most basic of human rights – to exist.

But today, thanks to 886 Dutch citizens who decided to sue their government, all of that may change. We may not have to wait for the politicians to save us – the lawyers may step in instead. In the first successful case of its kind, a judge in the Hague has ruled that the Dutch government’s stance on climate change is illegal and has ordered them to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a hefty 25% within five years.

Coming from RT, this is a bit suspect for its advocacy, but IMF backing of the perilous Ukraine economy is a puzzle.

…despite Ukraine hurtling towards bankruptcy, the IMF remains willing to lend. There may be American background influence through their 17 percent shareholding.At the same time, Ukraine has the advantage of being such a basket case that some structural IMF medicine could deliver measurable improvement. A better organized public sector, with a sound, fair legal framework to promote private property and grassroots commerce could deliver great progress in Ukraine. Underdeveloped Ukraine contrasts with a Greece which zealously guards a dysfunctional post war status quo, wanting to have its cake and eat it, despite Athens’ magic money tree having lost the power to generate cash, let alone bake. The IMF choosing to keep funding Ukraine may have some shady US overtones of influence but at the same time, the Washington based international lender is deploying a pragmatism which sends out a chilling message to Brussels. Even while yet another Europhile European politician leads the development bank, in truth, the IMF has seen through the simply dismal EU track record. True, past performance is no guide to future outcomes as investment small print always attests. However, with nothing but relative decline to show for Europe’s lost decade, the IMF is now decoupling from riding sidesaddle alongside Brussels’ aloof incompetent delusion.


Sunday Food: Clotted Cream

(Picture courtesy of enni at

Being in England means being close to, and able to get, clotted cream.   I wish you all to be able to have this delicacy.

Clotted cream (sometimes called scalded, clouted, Devonshire or Cornish cream) is a thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow’s milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms “clots” or “clouts”.[1] It forms an essential part of a cream tea.

Although its origin is uncertain, the cream’s production is commonly associated with dairy farms in South West England and in particular the counties of Cornwall and Devon. The current largest commercial producer in the UK is Rodda’s in Redruth, Cornwall, which can produce up to 25 tons (25,000 kg; 55,000 lb) of clotted cream a day.[2] In 1998 the term Cornish clotted cream became a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) by European Union directive, as long as the milk is produced in Cornwall and the minimum fat content is 55%…. regional archaeologists [14][15] have associated the stone fogou (dial. ‘fuggy-hole’), or souterrains, found across Atlantic Britain, France and Ireland as a possible form of ‘cold store’ for dairy production of milk, cream and cheese in particular. Similar functions are ascribed the linney (dial. ‘lean-to’) stone-built form, often used as a dairy in later medieval longhouses in the same regions.[16]


Today, there are two distinct modern methods for making clotted cream. The “Float Cream method” includes scalding a floating layer of double cream in milk (skimmed or whole) in shallow trays. To scald, the trays are heated using steam or very hot water. After the mixture has been heated for up to an hour it is slowly cooled over 12 hours or more, before the cream is separated and packaged.[5] The “Scald Cream method” is similar, but the milk layer is removed and a layer of cream which has been mechanically separated to a minimum fat level is used. This cream is then heated in a similar manner, but at a lower temperature and after a set amount of time it is then chilled and packaged.[5] In the United Kingdom the resultant cream is deemed to be equivalent to pasteurised for legal purposes. Unlike pasteurisation, however, there is no requirement for the temperatures to be recorded on thermograph charts.[28] As the temperatures are lower than used in standard pasteurisation, much care is needed in ensuring high standards of hygiene.

Now I’m going out to the store for some clotted cream.   Can’t help it.   I wish you clotted cream one of these days, but I can’t bring you back any.


Saturday Art: Frida Kahlo

Image 10 | by libbyrosof

Frida Kahlo-Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

 (Picture courtesy of Yuan Tian at

5268454628_5c132fa657_z(Picture courtesy of Maria de Oro at

Born to a photographer who moved to Mexico and adopted it as his home, Kahlo gave her birthdate as that of the Revolution there, in 1910.   She has attained some of the resonance of the fiery days of that time, and much of her artwork has the distinction of her time, and its atmosphere.

Kahlo’s life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.[6]

Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as naïve art or folk art.[7] Her work has also been described as surrealist, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo’s art as a “ribbon around a bomb”.[6] Frida rejected the “surrealist” label; she believed that her work reflected more of her reality than her dreams.[8]

Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. She suffered lifelong health problems, many caused by a traffic accident she survived as a teenager. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people, and this isolation influenced her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort or another. Kahlo suggested, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”[9] She also stated, “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”[10]


Kahlo created at least 140 paintings, along with dozens of drawings and studies. Of her paintings, 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds. She insisted, “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”[24]

Diego Rivera had a great influence on Kahlo’s painting style. Kahlo had always admired Rivera and his work. She first approached him in the Public Ministry of Education, where he had been working on a mural in 1927. She showed him four of her paintings, and asked whether he considered her gifted. Rivera was impressed and said, “You have got talent.” After that, he became a frequent welcomed guest at Kahlo’s house. He gave her many insights about her artwork while still leaving her space to explore herself. The positive and encouraging comments made by Rivera strengthened Kahlo’s wish to pursue a career as an artist.[25]

Kahlo was also influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her use of bright colors, dramatic symbolism and primitive style. She frequently included the monkey, which in Mexican mythology is a symbol of lust, and Kahlo portrayed it as tender and protective symbols. Christian and Jewish themes are often depicted in her work.[26] She combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition with surrealist renderings.

Kahlo has a position of isolation, and unique femininity and is one of Mexico’s most recognized artists.

(Picture courtesy of Theresa Huse at

 Self Portrait by Frida Kahlo

Theresa Huse 2010 Frida Kahlo | by Msartist Theresa Huse