Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Strawberry Jam & Watercolor Pencils

October is heralding a beautiful season here in the mid-west.  The kids are settled in school, and our routine seems to be bubbling along.  My studio has been abuzz with new release colors of Silks Acrylic Glaze, and looking very sparkly.  However, now it's time for me turn my mind back to watercolor pencils. The summer season of my classes was really wonderful.  Chock full of incredible people, with incredible talent, now after a short break, I'm ready to launch back into my fall season of teaching.

In one weeks time, on October 9th, Watercolor Pencil Workshop launches for it's fall run.  This hugely popular class is once again open for registration and is filling up fast. So many of us have a box of watercolor pencils lying around, and so few of us use them to effect.  They are very versatile, no mess, easy to use tools.  I take a small set with me everywhere I go, and I am always thrilled with how they work.  If you've been wanting to learn about watercolor pencil technique, then take a look at this fun and easy 6 week class.  It is delivered in 6-comprehensive PDF books for you to download and keep forever, with access to a private class forum for sharing, engagement and questions. 

Take a look at the Watercolor Pencil Workshop Gallery in Flickr, and if you're a Facebook user, then stop over to the Water Soluble Art Group that was started and inspired by participants of this workshop.

In the meantime, I've been out and about a lot this season, capturing images of the season in my sketchbook using my watercolor pencils. I will have plenty of autumn glory to share over the coming weeks.  But for now, I'm still preoccupied with the harvest. It never fails to amaze me how delicious and plump the yields of a vege patch are in this part of the world.  It seems to be better than anything we get in a supermarket. 

One thing I haven't managed to grow is strawberries.  And sadly these are one of our favorite fruits.  So, every week, I bring home a huge punnet of strawberries from the store.  We usually eat them fresh and raw, and they have been really tasty and sweet.  But I got curious about making strawberry jam recently, and had a go at this lovely recipe.

Strawberry Jam

2lb Fresh Strawberries
4 Cups White Sugar
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice

In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berries.  
 In a heavy saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
 Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. 
 Bring heat to high until a full boil, stirring often until mixture reaches 200 degrees F/105 degrees C.  Transfer to jars and seal, then process in a water bath.

I must admit, I didn't make a huge batch, I halved the recipe, so I didn't to the last bit.  Instead, I let it cool, then started eating it!!  YUM. But I did managed to sketch a jar in the process, using my watercolor pencils.

If you'd like more information about Watercolor Pencil Workshop, or would like to register, please click here.

Thanks for checking in. xx