Friday, November 22, 2013

Celebrating National Adoption Day

In honor of National Adoption Day all art prints and cards in my Etsy shop are 25% off now through Monday November 25th.
Use coupon code 4EVERLOVE25

Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Moo Shu Pork and the GF Princess

Last week was the annual book fair at school and after circling dozens of books in the promo flyer, my daughter walked the fair and narrowed her choices down to a wish list of 5.
3 of which were cookbooks.
Her #1 pick was The Disney Princess Cookbook. And she was consumed by the idea of this book. So excited about the opportunity to make Tiana's Gumbo- "we can make it for real, not like in a video game!!"
So, I bought the Princess cookbook for my little foodie, figuring I could convert just about anything to a gluten-free version. I am always up for that challenge!

The first recipe that enticed her was Moo Shu's Pork... easy enough to adapt with GF San-J Tamari sauce, and I even made a killer housin sauce if I do say so myself!  (I used a recipe from but used Tamari in place of soy sauce, cashew butter in place of peanut butter, and maple syrup instead of honey - and fresh ground ginger!).

"Ginger sketches" watercolor & ink on paper, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

My husband and I were anxious to sit down to eat, but the little princess took one look and her face fell. "What is that?" she asked.  "It doesn't look right."

We assured her it would taste great, but instead of sitting she went to get the cookbook to show me how it was "supposed to look!"  She was devastated that it didn't match the full page, glossy, color enhanced, picture perfect culinary photo masterpiece.  (when does it ever?!)

Ah, but, the taste - it was perfection!
When hunger won out, and she was ready to taste it - she was sold!  and plowed through a few wraps (Udi's tortillas) with her Moo Shu pork. 
And, We all ate like royalty!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mantle Monday - Ready for Halloween!

Preparing for Halloween, my 7 year old helped me decorate the mantle this weekend, or maybe I was helping her.  Based on her pumpkin snowman, I believe she may already have Christmas on her mind!!

Some produce from the farm stand, a piece of Mommy's art, a sparkling orange and black boa, and of course a little bit of self-adhesive bling!  And the Vampire Queen is happy! and the rock star, and Cleopatra (depending on the event).

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Love Affair with Lettuce

It's no secret among my friends and family know how I feel about lettuce!  I can eat it, in fact I love a good salad - but, touching it has been an issue since High School.
Yes. Touching it!
For almost as long as I can remember touching lettuce - with my hands - has made me gag. 
Yes. It's weird.
Touching it. Cleaning it. Cutting it. 
All a major problem.
I was so happy when bagged, washed lettuce came on the scene.  I could have salads at home with a minimum of interaction with my hands.
I got used to people looking at me sideways when I couldn't touch the leaves - and never found any explanation (until recently).  Romaine and Iceberg were at the top of my list of Please-don't-make-me-touch-them.
Happy with my dark leafy greens in the bag I ate salads at home all the time.

Then, along came my gluten-free life, (now pretty much grain free)... and I was out of sandwich and bun options.
Until I happened upon a burger wrapped in iceberg lettuce.
Then I discovered the beauty of the lettuce wraps at PF Changs. And, romaine lettuce as a wrap with tuna salad, chicken salad, scrambled eggs... the possibilities are endless!  
But, obviously for these purposes the lettuce had to be touched to be eaten. And I was touching them - without triggering the reaction I had gotten for decades! 

Recently an occupational therapist we know explained that my reaction to touching lettuce sounded like a sensory issue.  
A sensory issue that has faded the longer I am gluten-free.
So bring on the romaine!! And let the salad games begin!

Check out this yummy recipe I found for grilled romaine at The Daily Apple... might have to make this tonight!

Sketching Romaine

"romaine lettuce studies" watercolor sketch 9"x12"

As I struggle through an allergic haze today, precious little has been accomplished!  And, in passing moments of clarity I am frustrated by this as I have a pile of art assignments needing my time and attention.

So instead of staring blankly at a wall (or FB) I cracked open my trusty sketchbook and painted before I ate lunch... focusing on the romaine leaves as they were an infinitely more interesting subject than the tuna salad!  

Happily, this shook me out of my haze long enough to get a few things done.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

GFAF Expo in NJ

Today I am heading to the GFAF Expo in Secaucus... and I couldn't be more excited!
Think, Christmas morning excited!

I have that pre-trade show rush - and I am not even exhibiting.

Just looking forward to meeting lots of GF cyber space friends, and being surrounded by a plethora of gluten free and allergen free abundance.  I am bringing my little girl with me so she can experience the abundance first hand.  We are all about focusing on the positive side of allergen free living... and all the good that it brings!

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Granny's Summer House memories

When I was a child both of my Grandmother's had cottages in beach communities. I absolutely loved visiting them. I adored the freedom of the indoor and outdoor blending together... Evenings on the porch or in the yard, kids free to roam, wooden screen door banging as we ran in and out, and most especially the sunrise walks with my Grandmother through the neighborhood. Before anyone else woke, just me and her, in our pajamas (so exciting to go out and about in pajamas!). Together we enjoyed the quiet, peacefulness of those early mornings, strolling and holding hands. 

I was inspired by those memories to create this painting, and enjoyed the thoughts of my grandmother as I painted, and relived those special moments.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Hour Painting - Next class Thursday June 27th

A relaxing and fun environment to tap into your creative side! 

It's a BYOB painting party with step-by-step instruction and demonstration as we go, and everyone will be able to complete a finished 14x18 painting during the 2 hour class.
Bring your favorite bottle of wine or beverage of choice - and we supply all the necessary painting supplies, step-by-step instruction, and encouraging guidance.
All levels are welcome.
No experience necessary!
The next class is Thursday June 27th.
We encourage everyone to arrive by 7:15 so we can start right at 7:30.
We ask that you reserve a spot in advance at Geralyn's Art Studio or by calling Geralyn's Art Studio at 973-275-1966.   Class size is small, a maximum of 10, so everyone gets personal assistance.  
And everyone leaves with a finished canvas!

Geralyn's Art Studio in Maplewood, 103 Baker Street.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gluten in the Air

I have learned to avoid the traditional bread aisle especially in large grocery stores.
And if I have to get coffee, tea, honey, or syrup which sometimes share the bread aisle I will actually hold my breath, quickly enter and exit.  No dawdling, no label reading. In and out.

Surely there are people that think I am crazy for this but I have found that when I breath by all that gluten bread my lungs feel like they can't get enough oxygen. A weird cough starts... like my lungs are forcing something out. It's an odd and kinda scary feeling.  Feels a bit like suffocation.

I thought it was just me. (though I have learned there are always others - no matter how seemingly odd the symptom)

Then I read about airborne gluten in bakeries and farms (from the animal feed). Where flour particles can stay in the air for up to 24 hours.  24 hours!  So if there is baking going on nearby, everyone is breathing it.   Could there be that much in a long narrow bread aisle, so much outside of the packages, that came from gluten factories, that I can feel it?

I first noticed it after about 2 years gluten-free. Now it happens every time, in any store with a concentration of gluten bread. 

I don't mind if people think I am crazy, I would guess others have had that experience in the grocery store. Besides I have had practice with people thinking I am a bit odd... all those years of a laundry list of medical complaints & illnesses, a rolodex filled with specialists, migraines and auras at every turn. 

And it was simply that I was was being poisoned by gluten day in and day out.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Custom House Portraits in Watercolor

Nothing quite like the feeling of home - your home!  And a house you have been in for years, and created memories in, becomes part of the family and your history.

Custom house portraits make a very special gift for an anniversary, moving, new home, birthday.

Let me know if I can capture a piece of your history - and a create a painting that can be handed down in the family.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Zebra - Looking for a Good Home

Wanted: A good home for a peaceful Zebra
She's quiet.
Respectful if shown respect.
And will bring a peaceful feeling to any room she is in.

At 24"x24" she is large enough to make a statement, but small enough to fill the perfect wall.

Is there room in your life for some wildlife?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The "Boudoir" wall

The Boudoir Wall for The SOMA Studio Tour
Sunday June 2nd 2013

"Historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a lady, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber, being the female equivalent of the male cabinet. In later periods, the boudoir was used as a private drawing room, and was used for other activities, such as embroidery or spending time with one's romantic partner"

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Zebra in Violet

"Zebra in Violet" acrylic on canvas, 24"x 24", copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

Counting down the final days to the SOMA Studio Tour and starting to hang paintings all over the house.  Every wall will have something... thank goodness for 3M Command Strips!

I just finished "Zebra in Violet" and she will get the place of honor over the fireplace.

Friday, May 24, 2013

TEN: The Soul of SOMA

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour.   All the artists were invited to create a 10" x 10" piece to commemorate the anniversary. Last evening was the opening of the exhibition at The Baird in South Orange. 
You can find the schedule for TEN: The Soul of SOMA on the Baird Arts Facebook page.
Here are a few photos from the exhibition.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Under dressed, Studio Tour Sneak peek

Just 10 days until the SOMA Studio Tour and the paint is still flying in my studio!  I will run out of time before I run out of ideas and inspiration!  
And, for that I am grateful.

"Under dressed" acrylic on canvas, 12"x24", copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

I finished the corseted lady yesterday.  She is ready to join the other on the wall, even if she is a little scantily clad!
And, you can see a small slice of the shy zebra still in progess, hiding behind her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Unpredictable Muse

"Sisters", acrylic on canvas, 12"x24", copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

It's funny, though I shouldn't be at all surprised, but I had planned to paint a large series of paintings inspired by the Mississippi Delta Blues, music that moves me beyond words.  And, is my go-to music now matter what I am painting.

But, don't you know... my Muse had other ideas.  Every time I meditated or ran, the paintings that kept asking or rather demanding, to be painted were dress forms.  
I am not sure I can get them all done by the Studio Tour, June 2nd, but am surely being guided (pushed) by a source larger than me.  I have learned not to fight inspiration... and to let it take me where I belong...
"Tea with the Ancestors", 10"x10", watercolor on paper, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

So, my studio has it's fair share of dress forms waiting to be unveiled. And they make me very happy. 
I am just glad they are on canvas and paper, and not actual forms on stands - otherwise there would be no room in here for me!!

SOMA Studio Tour 2013 Interview

Here is my interview for the South Orange/Maplewood Studio Artist Tour which will take place on Sunday June 2nd.  With over 70 artists showing throughout the 2 towns both in public/group spaces and in the home studios.

Sure to be an amazing and inspiring day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”  ~Aldous Huxley

Recently I wanted to treat my daughter to her all-time favorite cookie, Russian Tea Cakes.  I have embraced the positive side of gluten free for all it has given me, and want her to grow up with a good attitude about the abundance that is still possible. 
Ah, but maybe not quite as positive as I had thought.  
Knowing (or believing) they are not the easiest cookie. And, with the substitutions needed to keep them gluten and dairy free, I went into the project feeling more than a little daunted

The original batch was a total disaster - I mean total disaster.... and I was growling and swearing in the kitchen (out of the little one's earshot) blaming gluten-free flour, 'fake' butter, etc!  "How can anyone make stuff with these ingredients? This will never work! How can anyone do this!"

Assuming the substitutions were the culprit. They were the easy target to blame, right?  

But, on quiet reflection of the recipe, a good night sleep, and then checking to see if there was enough butter in the house to try again - it hit me!  I had only put in half of the 'butter' needed!  HALF!  Anyone who's made Russian Tea Cakes knows that the butter is key to holding them together.

It was my error. 
Not the gluten-free flour. 
Not the butter substitute.  
In fact, my second attempt, with the correct amount of everything, they came out deliciously, abundantly perfect, and exactly like a 'normal' Russian Tea cake.

I used Emeril Lagasse's recipe on Food Network using an all purpose gf flour and Earth Balance natural buttery spread.

My daughter was thrilled with the cookies and said they were the best ever!  And, I learned a valuable lesson about perception.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Gluten-Free...

Vintage Kitchen Utensils in Red, 8x10, watercolor and ink on paper, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

I learned to cook. really cook.
I learned I could make salad dressing as good or better as I ever bought
I learned to bake.
I learned to make ice cream (best ice cream ever!)
I took control of my health
I became more empowered
I left pain behind
I said goodbye to a lifetime of migraine headaches
I went back to running
I returned to my art
And, I went back to living!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy May - Celiac Awareness Month

May has arrived with abundant sunshine (vitamin D) and all is in bloom. Out of nowhere everything is bathed in a soft palette of green, pink, white and lavender. I can ignore the pollen sticking to my contact lenses in favor of appreciating the beauty all around!
And, with May comes Celiac Awareness Month... and I will do my part to help spread the awareness. My awareness tip of the day (and a pet peeve of mine) :
Contrary to popular belief gluten does not add flavor to baked goods.
When baking cake, cupcakes or muffins it's the chocolate, the vanilla extract,the almond extract, the orange zest, the bananas, etc that supply the flavor. Not the gluten.
Texture, yes. Flavor, no.
Though with all the brilliant gluten free bakers out there these days - there are more and more recipes and mixes that have fantastic texture sans gluten. And, of course, flavor.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc... Brave. Strong. Confident. 
Intelligent. Valiant. Courageous.

And, Steadfast in her Beliefs.

Qualities to instill and encourage in our girls!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Into the Canyon

"Into the Canyon" acrylic on canvas, 12x12, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

About 12 years ago when the need to paint became a steady roar inside of me. A roar that I could no longer ignore in pursuit of "more worthwhile" activities and career choices... I saw or rather felt a vision - a series of paintings that I needed to create. Something I needed to bring to life.
Persistently calling me, they were so very distant.  I told my boyfriend (who is now my husband) that I felt as if I was standing on one side of the Grand Canyon, and this soul-searching series of art that was begging to be created, was on the other side of the Canyon. 
Miles and miles away. 
With the most enormously deep and wide space between me and  my soul vision - the place I was supposed to be.
Greatly frustrated, I didn't know how to get there.  

"Yes, you do.  You need to go into the canyon. You need to paint your way through. There's no other way." (there's a reason he is now my husband)

And, so I went in a bit, came back out. Tentatively, in and out a few times.  Skirted and thoroughly explored the edges and trails on this side. The side I knew. For a while I set up camp - watching and keeping and eye on the distant place I would eventually need to travel to.

Now, it is time.
I am going in!
I would say 'Wish me luck', but I don't need it.  I've got my paints, my imagination, and faith. 

wow - reading this today, January 25, 2017, is a real eye-opener! By following my daily art practice, and the commitment to make something every day... now, I am truly in the canyon - and loving every minute of the journey!!

You can follow my daily illustrations on my Instagram page. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Joan of Arc Illustration in progress

When I mentioned to my husband that I was going to illustrate another Pixie this week, he challenged me to "think outside the box."  He wanted to see me go beyond the expected, the mainstream, and push myself and my ideas.

This is a sneak peek of Joan of Arc in progress.  I love her!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Raw Veggies and GF Ranch Dressing

Since the year started I have been making an effort to increase the vegetable intake for me and my family. Approaching each meal with the question, "How can I add one more vegetable?"

And, as I transition toward grain free (more to come on that), and more and more raw food... the focus is adding more raw vegetables.  While keeping it interesting, exciting and tasty.

Yesterday I went searching for a dairy free ranch dressing recipe, of course it would need to be GF too, and stumbled upon Once a Month Mom, and found a winning ranch dressing recipe!

I saying winning because not only was it easy, and superb tasting, but a huge plate of raw vegetables were dipped and consumed during dinner last night!

This dressing is a new staple in our household.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Today we woke up to a deep dense fog.
Grey, hazy, smoky and smoldering, mysterious, eerie and romantic...
A perfect fog for the final scene of Casablanca.
A very film noir morning.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy & Healthy New Year!

Simply Gluten Free Magazine, Jan/Feb 2013

Kicking off the New Year with a nasty cold was not exactly what I had planned. I am all about the vision boards, resolutions, reviewing the past year, and setting my sights and goals for a new year.  I love that stuff!! But, this year I am easing in a little slower, taking care of myself, and taking the time to allow my body to get heal.

Today I am sitting in the sunny spot of my kitchen, soaking in the warmth of my chai tea - and the sun, enjoying my favorite magazine!  And, yes, I am quietly thinking about goals reached in 2012, goals to reach for in 2013... and beyond.

This magazine represents a life-long goal of illustrating for a printed magazine (you can find me on pg 21) and it was realized in  2012 with the premier issue.  It is especially important to me, to be part of something I believe in so strongly.  Living gluten-free gave me my life back, removed 30+ years of debilitating migraines, and gave me the ability, energy and focus to go for my goals.

Wishing everyone a Joyous, HEALTHY, Gluten-free New Year!!