The Miniatures of Joshua Smith 

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Joshua Smith is a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in Norwood, South Australia. With a career spanning 17 years he has showcased his work in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Japan and all over Australia in over 100 exhibitions. Formerly a self taught stencil artist Josh refocused his career to establishing Espionage Gallery, an Art Gallery based in Adelaide, South Australia showcasing both emerging and well established local, interstate and international artists. For 4 years he showcased over 600 artists from over 20 countries.

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In 2015 after the closure of Espionage Gallery Josh refocused back onto his own career this time as a self taught miniaturist. His miniature works primarily focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti perfectly recreated in 1:20 scale miniatures.

miniature-urban-architecture-joshua-smith-7See more of his work here.

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Artsy Fartsy – Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue – What are your thoughts?

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According  to CNN, “Fearless Girl” was installed Tuesday by State Street Global Advisors as part of the asset-manager’s campaign to increase the number of women on their clients’ corporate boards. 

A group of women who work together also came to the financial district to see the statue on International Women’s Day. “We really like the little girl standing up to the bull,” one said. 

A man who works nearby said, “I have two daughters and I thought it was pretty impressive that they have this up here.”

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“Fearless Girl” wasn’t the only one overwhelmed by attention. The woman who created her, artist Kristen Visbal, says she’s been inundated with calls and emails from fans. 

Visbal said that team behind the campaign,which includes the advertising agency McCann NY, approached her to design a statue of a young girl. “We were focusing on making a statement about the future of Wall Street,” she said. “We wanted this wonderful contrast,” she said, between the delicate child and the aggressive bull. 

“I think the fact that she’s a child makes the figure much more endearing.” 

Visbal was particularly moved by an image of young girl wearing a cape and posing beside the statue. 

“The whole project is about girl power,” she said. “I love that phrase, because it makes us a lot stronger if we are in unison.” 

Anne McNally, SSGA’s head of public relations for North America, told CNNMoney that the group has a permit that allows the statue to remain in place for one week, but that they are seeking an extension that would keep “Fearless Girl” in place for a month. 

“After that, it’s up to the city,” she said. “We would be very supportive of a permanent installation as a piece of art.”

What are your thoughts on the statue?

Epic Fail of the Week – At least this isn’t your Family (Psycho Kid Ruins Thanksgiving)

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Artsy Fartsy – Freedom from want by Norman Rockwell

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Freedom from Want, also known as The Thanksgiving Picture or I’ll Be Home for Christmas, is the third of the Four Freedoms series of four oil paintings by American artist Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s 1941 State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms.

The painting was created in November 1942 and published in the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. All of the people in the picture were friends and family of Rockwell in ArlingtonVermont, who were photographed individually and painted into the scene. The work depicts a group of people gathered around a dinner table for a holiday meal. Having been partially created on Thanksgiving Day to depict the celebration, it has become an iconic representation of the Thanksgiving holiday and family holiday gatherings in general.

Three generations circle the food—a nuclear family more rarely seen today, but still existing in some hearts and minds as an ideal. (If Rockwell were painting now in 2013, what might that modern American family look like racially or even in terms of sexual orientation?) From the lower right corner, in the finest Renaissance tradition of painting, a young man looks out at you directly—the classic challenge to the viewer posed by the painter and his painting. His smile asks you to join in with the wonder at the bounty set before them, but is that all it asks? After more than a decade of overseas wars draining of us blood and treasure and an economic downturn further depleting our reserves of good will and thankfulness, that young man’s smile reminds us that the Thanksgiving thanks are not necessarily for abundant protein and four kinds of vegetables. Instead, the thankfulness is for having each other and the enduring capacity of people to free one another from all kinds of want—physical, emotional, and even spiritual.

Credit: Wikipedia

Bacon, Onion and Rye Breard Stuffing Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  1. One 9-inch-long loaf seeded rye bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, halved and thinly sliced
  4. 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  6. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  7. 1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  8. 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  9. 1 egg
  10. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast the rye bread cubes for about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until lightly golden and dry. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
  • In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery; cook over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into the bowl with the bread.
  • Wipe out the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl with the bread. In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the egg. Pour over the bread mixture and add the kosher salt and pepper. Toss until the bread soaks up the liquid. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes, until hot throughout. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.

Credit: Food & Wine

Happy Thanksgiving Day in Canada – Turkey and Stuffing Casserole recipe by Rachael Ray

Turkey and Stuffing Casserole

Ingredients
Turkey Filling:
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds ground turkey, at room temperature and patted dry
About 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons flour
2 to 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup organic frozen peas
Stuffing:
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 to 4 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
2 small apples, such as Macintosh or Honeycrisp, chopped
1 large fresh bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
About 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, such as Rachael Ray Perfect Poultry Seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (if not included in the poultry seasoning blend)
1 bag traditional seasoned stuffing mix, such as Pepperidge Farm, or 5 cups cubed stale bread
About 3 cups turkey or chicken stock
Butter, for dotting casserole
Directions
For the turkey filling: Heat the EVOO in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and melt in the butter. Add the turkey and cook, crumbling the meat, until browned. Season with the Worcestershire and some salt and pepper. Add the celery, carrots, onions, potatoes and thyme and cook, partially covered, to soften the vegetables, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute; add the stock and cook to thicken. Stir in the peas until warmed through. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.
For the stuffing: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When melted, add the celery, apples, bay leaf and onions. Add the poultry seasoning and salt and pepper if using and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the stuffing mix and moisten with the stock. Arrange the stuffing on top of the turkey filling and dot with butter.
Cool and store for a make-ahead meal, or bake to serve immediately. If baking immediately, bake at 375 degrees F until brown, bubbly and crisp on top, 15 to 20 minutes. If baking later, bring to room temperature and bake at 375 degrees F until brown, bubbly and crisp on top, 40 to 45 minutes.

Credit: Food Network

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The Dragon’s Philosophy – School is always in Session

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Thankful Thursdays – Moments of Tenderness

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The Dragon’s Philosophy – Shoot for the Stars

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Hate the Holidays? – Happy Humbug Day!!! – Tell us what annoys you about the holidays?

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When the stresses of the holiday season have piled up, many of us start to feel a bit like Scrooge.  This day was created to allow us an opportunity to express our frustrations.  Humbug Day is celebrated annually on December 21.

Tell us what annoys you about the holidays?