Syrup

September 19, 2018

23 Responses to “Syrup”

  1. kestrelart said

    I especially like the one with royal blue trees

    • Thank you KA. How are you? Are you eeking some art time in here and there? I am looking out for a good exhibition in Birm to come visiting again

      • kestrelart said

        Hi OA
        Yes I’d be keen to find some time. I’ve been not-drawing for some months, which is different from saying I’ve not been drawing, though that is also true. I did just a couple of sketches on holiday. I found a stimulus in throw away descriptions buried in Ursula Le Guins novels that I’m busy not-drawing at the moment though I did lapse and sketch one.
        There are some exhibitions at the RA in London I’d like to go to coming up soon. I had already intended to suggest that.
        Birmingham is not without art but it looks a bit thin in the next few weeks. But it would be good to set aside proper time to steep myself in drawing if we can find a day. Apart from that, I realise I have an hour or so in town tomorrow when my son goes to his first youth theatre session, so I might not not-draw for a change.

  2. JMN said

    Your titles have a mysterious resonance. “Syrup” seems somehow appropriate to the opulent colors in this lovely sequence. Isn’t “treacle” a British equivalent? I’ve seen “treacly” somewhere, too. I’m not sure it has a good connotation. No reflection on your drawings — quite the contrary! They’re stunning.

    • I’ll let you into the secret of this title. When I’m looking to name a post, I root around in what else has been happening, I’ve been listening to, watching, reading, hearing. In this case it was tasting. That day I had attempted to follow a pear crumble recipe where you poach the pears in apple juice, then reduce the liquid to a syrup with sugar. It was a recipe that was for 6, only me and my daughter were in. I burnt the syrup so it tasted of toffee apples. We ate it all between the two of us anyway. All I could think of and taste afterwards was syrup! That’s why I don’t usually cook. Treacle I don’t like, so it would have to be something I didn’t like in a post to name it that. The titles, as you can see, are all throwaway, but acutely personal!

      • JMN said

        Very interesting back-story! That recipe sounds delicious. You’ve confirmed my suspicion about “treacle” — not an especially affirming word. I’ve stooped to Googling it, and see its literal equivalency to “molasses,” but also its figurative use for “cloying sentimentality.” Thanks for your follow-up. (BTW, I enjoyed the comment thread between you and Kestrelart. I visited her site, loved her remark to a young person that much of drawing is believing that you CAN draw, and starting to make the marks.)

        • Can’t bear the word Molasses either! KA gives some great insights into his thinking and drawing. Worth reading through his posts. We’ve met up for the odd sketching session too.

          • JMN said

            Oops, I mistook his gender. Maybe it was his reference to the Klimt-Schiele “male gaze.” “Molasses” is a homely word, isn’t it? I think it has a Southern vibe to it.

            • It’s a bit like, treacle. It makes me think of an oozing, sticky, advancing evil. I may be thinking too hard here!

              • JMN said

                I think you have a good bead on molasses. I’m fond of overthinking word associations! I keep something called “blackstrap molasses” in my pantry. It’s a byproduct of the third cooking of the sugarcane, tarry in consistence and evil in taste, but rich in iron, potassium, magnesium and what-all. It has in spades all the treacle properties! 🙂

                • There’s a whole process there I never even knew about – third cooking ?! Sounds almost like it’s locked away in the attic like a mad aunt. What do you do with it? spread on toast?

                  • JMN said

                    Excellent questions that you ask! Indeed, it’s part of the process, I think, of extracting sugar from the cane. The various cookings occur, and the third one results in a kind of residue that’s low in “sugar” but concentrated in certain benefits. That’s the best I can describe it. The look-and-feel of blackstrap, even the color, is similar to that of Marmite — sticky, gooey, oozy. What I do with blackstrap, truthfully, is very little. It’s best taken medicinally, with a little apple cider vinegar and warm water in a kind of penitential tea, for example. Never, I repeat never, pour it on pancakes or the like. It’ll ruin them! “Locked away in the attic like a mad aunt” is actually an excellent description of blackstrap molasses! One bottle lasts ever-so-long. 🙂

                    • You’ve nearly sold it to me mentioning marmite. There is not a day that goes by without me having marmite. I will have to try blackstrap molasses, wonder if you can get it here. Penitential tea sounds very english. I’m going to see if I can drop it into converstaion tomorrow and see if anyone notices.

                    • JMN said

                      I’m happy and surprised to be a reluctant evangelist for blackstrap! And Marmite isn’t native to my tradition, but I’m addicted to it in the last few years. I first encountered it during a stay in Holland. I smear it indiscriminately every day. It’s good combined with Bonne Maman apricot preserves on Swedish “Wasa” brand rye crackers — sweet and savory combined. Perhaps you could host a penitential tea. Low tea? 🙂 An old Spanish idiom for inviting someone to stay for dinner is “Would you do penance with us this evening?” It combines hospitality with exaggerated modesty!

                    • It is my (overdue) turn to have friends round. A penitential tea sounds like a good theme. I’m going to try to source some blackstrap too. You’ve won me over with it’s extreme unpalatableness. Marmite and jam, have never thought of this. Could be on the tea menu too

                    • JMN said

                      I get my blackstrap from Amazon. Don’t know if that’s a possibility. I think my Marmite has shipped from the UK at least once. I also get Green & Black’s dark chocolate from the UK (through Amazon). It says Uxbridge on the labels. Best wishes for your tea event.

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