Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mason Jar Painting

Today was a good day. I started a new piece, laying in bright colors to describe the iconic Mason Jar by Ball.
It is not finished yet, but I am excited by this fresh start.

Your artiste,

Mason Jar, 10 x 8", Oil, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

In Progress: Still Struggling Through

Blue Swallowtails, 12 x 24"

Daylily, 8 x 10"
By Patricia Miller Uchello, unfinished

Recent Painting

Dear Imaginary Friends,
I have been working on many different oil paintings simultaneously lately. Keeps me off the streets!
Branch of Peaches, Oil, for sale
After much struggle, this one is finally done. Phew!
Those peaches may look easy to paint, but trust me, they are only easy to eat. The variation of hues, and the fuzzy texture had me really working hard.
I feel great to have it finished. Now on to the other three projects I am working on...


Monarch Butterfly

Now completed!

Monarch Butterfly, 12" x 24", Oil

Spike Mendelsohn, Of Thee I Sing! OOh La La.

Dear friends of the dining pleasures,

Many of you who have watched Top Chef on Bravo TV are familiar with Spike Mendelsohn. He is a force!

Last week, I stumbled quite by accident into one of his restaurants: Bearnaise on Capital Hill. Only open for two weeks, there are no kinks that need ironing out!! The restaurant has a Parisian ambiance and menu, even though it is a stone's throw from the U.S. Capital Building, at 315 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

First, I must swoon over the fresh crusty French bread. It has a great texture! Crisp on the outside, rustic on the inside, yet light.

The chicken paillard was magnifique. The French fries were to die for. Although the place calls itself a steak frites menu, I did not have the chance to taste their steak. However! Tomorrow is another day.
And yes, bearnaise is one of many sauces offered alongside one's chicken or beef. It is truly delicious and not heavy.

Bearnaise Restaurant 

Down the same block is Spike's wildly different offering: 
We The Pizza! It had a line twenty deep of eager eaters. A casual restaurant that offers unusual pizza flavors and toppings, it has little ambiance and little seating. There is a stand-up counter inside, and a few tables out on the sidewalk. Judging by the line, it must be delish!

In addition, in case two restaurants in the same block are not enough Spike, there is a third of his in between: Good Stuff Eatery.  Heaven help us!

Your imaginary Foodie,


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Just Peachy

My latest oil painting is a whole lot of peaches. It is for sale for $350 and is 8" x 10".

Lord Baltimore Hyacinths

As big as a plate, these crepey hibiscus are wildly impressive with deep red coloration. They grow as perennials in the Washington, DC, area.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What Is Fun To Do In July in Washington, DC?

At the Aquatic Gardens

The National Aquatic Garden Today

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Today we enjoyed a trip to the National Aquatic Gardens, in Washington, DC, which bloom in July and August. The lotuses were in almost full bloom, but it was a little early for the water lilies. 

I was especially interested in photographing the Aquatic Gardens, as I am really interested in butterflies, and have started a new series of paintings of the winged beauties. There was an abundance of butterflies at the gardens, attracted to the lithrum and Queen Anne's Lace, among other flowers.

The delicate beauty of lotuses and water lilies is short-lived, in the tradition of most flowers. So also goes the life span of the butterfly. Fleeting, fluttering beauty:) Carpe Diem.

Lotus in Bloom

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Green Apples and Irises

                      "Green Apples and Irises," Oil, for sale

My Egypt

 Dear Imaginary friends,

Woe is me. My Egypt has suffered these last 10 months. We visited in December 2012, after our original trip was canceled due to the Arab Spring riots,  years prior.
We finally made it to the land of the Pharaohs, but had to avoid Tahrir Square, as even then, riots, tear gas, and police intervention were rampant. Our hotel had to be moved away from Tahrir Square, so that we would not be caught in the fray. By the time we left, there were additional protests in front of Morsi's home near the airport. Violence was spreading. Eight people were killed that week.The Muslim Brotherhood-backed President had taken away many of the Egyptians' rights during his brief tenure.

Unfortunately, Egypt is split down the middle with pro-Morsi vs. anti-Morsi much like our Republicans and Democrats who see eye to eye on precious little, but at least we rarely break into economy-crippling protests and violence.

This week, I feel so badly for the people who depend on the suffering tourism business, which is the major source of income for Egypt. When we were there, we were two tourists in a group of seven to visit Egypt, a country  rich with spell-binding history. The trip customarily accommodated 100.

I have extremely fond memories of our exciting adventure to Northern Africa, and when remembering all the children who tried to sell us bracelets and trinkets for souvenirs, I wonder how they are surviving. Their sales were part of the family budget. Where are those families now, when nobody would dare travel to Egypt this summer for vacation?

Here's a hope and a prayer that Morsi's replacement will be a great improvement --  a man who nurtures democracy instead of feeling threatened by it.

Your fellow traveler,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Connor, Not to be Outdone

As liaison to the White House for the Pentagon, I would like to start a new protocol of compulsory naps at 11, 2 and 4. Pampers will be sold in the bathrooms, and  formula will be served in traditional, coffee-flavor, and chocolate in the Pentagon commissary.

Strict discipline will rain down upon those who make fun of my height-challenges. They will find that I am small but mighty.

Baby in chief,

Patsie Does the Pentagon

As the new Secretary of Defense, I would just like to say that more art will henceforth be hung in the Pentagon. And Seafood Gumbo will be served every Friday in the cafeteria.