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.