Monday, June 8, 2015

Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? New speed painting video "Canarian Timple with bananas and gofio"

"Canarian Timple with bananas and gofio" by Birsen Ozbilge
oil on canvas sheet, 29,5 x 42 cm, June, 2015

Last week I finished a still-life oil painting for "Kitchen Stories" series (see pic above). I filmed the process and made a time lapse (speed painting) video and uploaded to my YouTube Channel. (See pic below) Most probably you are not familiar with "gofio" ingredient, unless you know about Canarian food. "Gofio" is originally a Canarian product, first produced by Canarian aborigines called "Guanches" and took this name from their almost lost language as well. It is a type of flour made from roasted grains such as corn, wheat or mixture of beans. It is very rich in vitamins, proteins, fiber and minerals.We use gofio in our kitchen often to make a typical Canarian dessert which is made with bananas, orange juice and condensed milk. All we have to do mix them well until it is smooth, a little bit denser than the pancake batter and chilling in the fridge with individual bowls before serving them. You must be curious now, how to find gofio? Maybe in Latino food markets... Canarian immigrants spreaded gofio to many countries in South America; Hispanics call it "harina tostada". Thera are many other ways to make gofio recipes also; caldo escaldado; side dish for the fish, gofio pancakes or just a spoon of gofio over a vegetable soup...

Time lapse Still-life oil painting video. click on image to see.

I grew up in Istanbul, Turkey; in a culture deeply connected with both tea and coffee drinking tradition. Even though I lived nearly 20 years abroad I didn't change that much my tea and coffee drinking habit. This week I started to work on two new compositions related to this subject. This season in our patio garden the yellow rose tree gave seven buds and last week they started to bloom. I am watching their growth through the kitchen window right before serving the tea in the mornings. So I set the second easel at the kitchen and drew the composition today. I will use watercolor I think. (see pic below) 

First bloom

work in progress

For the coffee composition, I will work at my studio.(see pic below). Recently our family in Turkey sent us artisan Turkish candies called "akide sekeri" which we both can't resist them, they are so delicious. Even after a tasty Turkish coffee in the afternoon. This one will be oil painting, I will soon share the work in progress, so stay tuned and have a great week.

Working on "Turkish coffee and candies (akide sekeri)"

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Monday, June 1, 2015

¡Feliz día de Canarias! Just another busy week at the studio

Canarians are celebrating "Día de Canarias" (Canarian day)

Every year at the end of May Canarians celebrate "Día de Canarias" holiday in each of their neighborhood. Men and women with traditional Canarian folkloric clothing play Canarian music with timple guitars and they dance on the streets. It is a real fiesta, a great tradition and a cultural event. This year, at very same day of this wonderful celebration, I wanted to dedicate an artwork to this beautiful Canarian cultural event using the typical Canarian food and a music instrument  which are; bananas with gofio flour and a timple guitar (see pic below). I will share the work process soon on my YouTube channel.

Work in progress, still-life project with very Canarian subjects

Last week I worked on a new still-life for the "Kitchen stories" using my old time favorite books "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll, four tiny perfume bottles in their lovely box, related to Alice's story with a "Keep me" card on it and the final item, a spoon of red lentils which look like tiny magic wonder grains... I used Arches ivory vellum watercolor paper for this project. It had great tooth for holding the pastel layers. I sketch the composition with pencil first and worked on shapes with good afternoon sunlight about 2 hours. The next day I worked on the details mostly.

Work in progress first day

Work in progress first day


"Keep me red lentils" by Birsen Ozbilge
Sakura Cray Pas oil pastels on Arches ivory vellum watercolor paper, 
11,75" x 16,5" (29,7 x 42 cm)
Available, contact me for purchase details

I finally shopped last week for some art materials that I needed for my next project (see pic below). This weekend I made a sale and packed an oil painting artwork from "Kitchen Stories" series. (see pic below). 

New painting materials

Preparing the package for the shipment

In my last post if you remember, I was talking about a still-life project called "Sugar bowl with two strawberries". I finished the piece finally last week. I used Prisma color pencils on Stonehenge paper. I really like working with this paper. It has a great texture to hold many layers of colors. If you are a strawberry jam lover, I have a recipe for you. Recently I made a jar of it and it's all gone already :) Enjoy it and have a great week!
"Sugar bowl with two strawberries" by Birsen Ozbilge, 
color pencil on paper, 8" x 8" (20,2 x 20, 2 cm) 
Available as a ready to hang framed reproduction print, click on SHOP 

Strawberry Jam


2 pounds of strawberries
4 cups of sugar
1/4 lemon juice
to preserve it: 
2 medium size of airtight jar

Clean the strawberries, take out the green part and cut them in half. Put them in a pot, add sugar and the lemon juice. Cook them gently in medium to low heat about 20- 25 min. until the mixture softened well. Cool the jam and transfer to the airtight jars. Try to consume in a month and keep them in the fridge. 

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