Casa Blanca gardens

Just felt like sketching… has been a while since my last one!!! A quick doodle of the beautiful leaves…
Pen brush, micron .01mm and watercolor on paper

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cooking heritage… pasteles!

I’ve always loved cooking, must have it in my blood.  My grandmother Elena… Mamá Elena, as we all call her was always known for feeding everybody that came to her house even with her extra limited budget! It was almost like magic… you arrived to her house and in a matter of minutes, while you were chatting with her she will start some kind of rice, steak with onions, beans, maybe a ham soup (my favorite by the way), fry some tostones and no matter what time of the year, she will get out of the freezer some pasteles and put them to boil!!! Every year on her grandkids birthdays we will get our favorite particular cooking treats, they ranged from tembleque (in my case), alcapurrias, arroz con dulce, among other puertorrican traditional meals. Food was always present… also in my childhood I remember my mother making pasteladas, her initiative on keeping the tradition and art of preparing pasteles.  We used to gather in my mom’s kitchen, everybody wearing some kind of handkerchief around our heads to keep hairs from falling on the food… the chef’s hat of the puertorrican cook!  I loved to steal the filling on a plate and hide to eat it… I had to hide because my mother was always worried that it won’t be enough…  I’ve been always known for being difficult when it comes to eating, a lot of things that I didn’t like, but somehow pasteles always made my day!!!

In the past my mother has sent me already grated masa and I used to do the rest of the process, but this christmas I really wanted to try it all by myself.  My father lend me a homemade grating machine and after consulting various family members about tricks and tips on the craft and I started to plan my own recipe for my very own pastelada!!!  I enjoyed the process of developing my own recipe and process, but I surely missed the camaraderie, the bonding that comes out of sharing a hard labor of tradition, love and patience… definitely I will be recruiting some friends and family for my next pastelada!!!

For the benefit of people who have no idea what pasteleles are:  they are a traditional christmas food made of “masa” and some meat filling, traditionally pork.  The “masa” usually consist mostly of grated green plantains, green bananas, pumpking, yautía and some other root vegetables according to taste.  The meat filling is traditionally pork, cooked in a stew fashion that includes chick peas, fresh made sofrito, olives, ham, hot peppers and even raisins.  The masa is combined with some broth and seasoned to taste, then its poured over a banana leaf that has been heated over the fire to make it pliable. The filling is added in the middle of the mix and everything is wrapped with a parchment paper and tied with string.  The pasteles are then boiled.  This usually accompanies a plate filled with rice cooked with pigeon peas, roasted pork, guineítos en escabeche, morcillas and anything else that the guest had brought to the party!!!!!   Here I wanted to share some photos from the process… enjoy!

verduras picadas

starchy vegetables ready to gratemasamasa

relleno

meat filling

masa y relleno lista para envolver

masa and filling ready to wrap

pasteles listos

pasteles ready

pasteles hirviendo en la olla

boiling pasteles

pasteles listos para comer

ready to eat pasteles!!!

Campechada 2012

Its been a while… The trip to Santo Domingo was great, soon will be posting my work there. But now I would like to share what I drew at La Campechada. I didn’t had the opportunity to enjoy all the activities but I really loved what happened on San Sebastián street. There were lots of artist dedicated to different media… all working live. There was a paper roll extended on the street for everyone to draw. It was impressive to see how willing is most people to pick a crayon and start doodling… I wonder what we need to do to attract people to our Garabateando project!!!! Here are my sketches done on Saturday and Sunday:

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Keeping up with the EDM Challenge

As far as sketching goes today I only did the challenge… three days already on my quest to establish a new habit!!!

#2 – Draw a desk lamp:

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Warming up for the Urban Sketchers Symposium!

Next wednesday I”ll be attending the third Urban Sketchers Symposium to be held at Santo Domingo. We met at San Juan with another urban sketcher who came from Portland, Oregon. We took our new friend Kalina to a sketching day in Ponce… and I finally got the opportunity to start warming up for the drawing marathon that awaits me. It was awesome… I’ve been reading a lot of sketching blogs and books to learn tricks and get ideas, but until today I wasn’t able to practice. I’m so glad also because we took Esteban to draw with us and he finally did (something other that Sonic and Ninjago)!.

Here are the sketches I did:

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Every Day Matters Challenge

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I’ve been doing lots of different things since last time I posted. Among them I started to teach various drawing courses to adults and children. It has been a wonderful experience… surprisingly I have learned so many things about drawing this past year and a half, I really noticed how my drawings have improved. The thing is that I lack discipline to draw… I would really like to draw a little every day, but even when I sit to do it I struggle to find a subject. Yesterday, while searching the Internet for blogs about sketching I discovered the EDM challenge. Everyday Matters is a weekly challenge that gives you a list of topics to draw. Each person picks their preferred medium to draw and their rules… as how detailed the drawing should be for example.

I took this idea as an opportunity to establish some new habit. But I intend to do the challenge daily!

Let’s see how it goes… I will be posting often!!!

my latest garabatos…

It’ s been a while since the last time I posted… I haven’ t bee able to assist every saturday to garabateando but these are a few of the ones I did:

These two are from the outside tables at Starbucks on the Ashford Tower Building

On these two I used as models the statues in front of the Celestino Art Galery and another statue that was hanging from the ceiling… very interesting!

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