The ocean, especially ocean colors, speak to my soul. It seems like I’ve always been drawn to those colors: from the 80s turquoise of my childhood to the aqua of the 2000s to the mint and sage colors that have been so popular the last few years. I love them all.
About 4 years ago I found that Winsor and Newton had two beautiful colors of artists watercolor: cobalt turquoise light and cobalt green. After ordering them I played happily with them for days. They were (and still are) delightful! I will never forget my great watercolor professor in college, Hollis Howard. He told us we would be painting light, not objects and that watercolor had an amazing ability to be translucent and you could layer it like stained glass. Watercolor soon became my favorite medium and thanks to Hollis Howard I learned to make it sing.
I am always on the lookout for the colors and things that remind me of the many ways the light plays on sea water to show us its gorgeous colors. I call it waterlight.
And of course more cookie cutters! These are my very favorite Martha By Mail copper cookie cutters by Michael Bonne. I got them for my birthday in 2017 and celebrated by painting them and, of course, making cookies! I plan to make these cookies again very soon! (And post about it, of course.)
A few years ago I really got into urban exploring. I have to live through others doing this fun stuff on the internet. I’m so lucky to live in a time where I can just cue up Dan Bell on YouTube and go on adventures with him instead of getting myself in serious danger or trouble. So, one thing I ran across was the beautiful interior tile mosaics of the Sea View Hospital in New York. They incorporate the most exquisite porcelain 3-D like tile shells in the most stunning rutile glaze of cobalt turquoise light and cobalt green.
I loved these shells so much and the color so much that I had to use my new W&N cobalt turquoise light and cobalt green to paint them (many, many times)!
In the process of working on our renovations I am smitten by many things, but very much by a new saucepan my husband bought me in cool mint from Le Creuset. We have had the same pots and some pans as when we got married 19 years ago. Back in 2000, we got a lovely set of Caphalon anodized aluminum when we were newlyweds. Only the saucepans remain as we have worn the non-stick coating off of many skillets since then. Now our saucepans are looking really bad and the teflon is damaged. We are trying to replace them with a non-stick cookware that is heavy-duty enough for our foodie family to use until we are dead! So we settled on Le Creuset, but it is VERY expensive new! Yikes! But, you can find great sales at outlets and used pieces on Ebay which is what we have done. The Cool Mint saucepan is my muse for the whole color scheme of ocean in my home!
With my new saucepan I warmed up some of a wonderful French seafood dish called Mussels Bernaise. Along with my love of ocean colors comes my equal love of seafood. I would eat it every day if I could. (Although not this recipe- I would get so fat!)
(Healthier Version and Unhealthy Options LOL)
1 package 1-3 lbs frozen or cleaned fresh mussels
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter (unhealthy? use 4 Tablespoons here)
1 Cup white wine
1 Cup milk (unhealthy? then use heavy cream here)
1-2 Tablespoons Tarragon depending on taste
Kosher salt to taste
Melt butter in large pan, such as a dutch oven. Add garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant- just a minute or two. Add the other ingredients and stir before adding the mussels. Simmer, covered, for 5-7 minutes for frozen mussels, 3 minutes for fresh. When done discard any that do not open and serve warm. This is excellent with the easy bread recipe here.
Also our outlet store had tools on sale so I got some silicone lids and trivets in cool mint and my other oceanic favorite color- Caribbean (which rhymes with amphibian!).
Here my studio is looking very murky in a cool film and lens from Hipstamatic. There is a lot of aqua in this room.
My passion for pottery is a funny one. The pieces that tend to make my heart sing are in ocean color. I have, over years of collecting, found many pieces that had to come home with me, even if they were cracked or broken. The piece that means the most is this McCoy jardiniere and pedestal base duo that I bought in a tiny town two summers ago. I first saw these in Martha Stewart’s How to Decorate book. Gosh that woman has amazing taste. This color of McCoy is spectacular. I had been looking for this set, in my budget for years and it was 20 minutes away the whole time.
There is also my love of the TV show “Flipper” and the many colors of the underwater photography. Along with that is our Adventure People Sea Explorer which is a perfect flipper set!
With love and marine loveliness to you from Kansas Street,