Deep in the Art of Texas

The Storm has momentarily abated (both inner and outer) and I see a crack of blue midst all the dark grey thunderclouds. Clark is digging post holes behind the studio and I am in need of a shower after a run/walk around town lake. Foreground among thoughts floating through my Saturday afternoon brain concern two of my favorite topics: food and art. Respectively.

Last night, we ate at Lamberts, a hip, downtown Austin Restaurant which is a wonderful combination of rustic and gourmet. Their food is comfort food, no nonsense to the core, exquisitely prepared and delicious. Our dinner companions (who had just returned from Paris) thought that Lambert’s food was on par with some of their better gastronimical experiences in both Paris and the Netherlands. Ah—the fried blackberry pie and ice cream and the lemon ice box pie and the cornmeal coated deep-fried rock shrimp, to die for. On a previous visit, I had the Fried Green Tomatoes Salad which is in all ways surprisingly exquisite.

And then there is the Hacked Chicken Salad at Mirabelle and Castle Hill, french fries at Hyde Park Bar and Grill, and my daily “bread”, black bean, avocado and mushroom tacos at Taco Deli. On many mornings I go into that little “divey” place, park myself at a counter, swat the flies and write in my journal. Food and art become one there as I use my colored pencils and micron pens to make lists, plan classes and note dreams in the book. My lists become word art, elaborate doodles which I happily color, and I am oblivious to the comings and goings of others around me. Meanwhile, I forget the time, my taco has come and been devoured, I glance at the headlines in the Austin American Statesman, swat another fly and go back home to begin phase II of my day.

Eating out is not just treat or sport here in Austin; it is an inevitability given the array of affordable and delicious options around town. The eateries I name are a few among many fantastic restaurants unique to our city. Famous among downtowners, movie stars, politicans and ordinary folk like myself is Las Manitas, a Congress Avenue landmark where the aforementioned congregate on Saturday mornings to drink cinnamon coffee and eat migas. Las Manitas, Eastside Cafe, Gueros–all are part of the fabric that make this city one I love to live in, places which define what can be described as the “Austin Experience.”

Back in the studio after my morning’sTaco Deli reverie, I am greeted by a number of half-finished canvases. Looking at them I feel excited, purposeful, mindful of my obligation to finish them and let them go out into the world. The most recent canvases are thrilling to me because I am using a newly learned technique: rice paper collage. By Summers’ end there will be enough work to have a show, here or elsewhere. I look forward to presenting this work, the culmination of a year and a half. The exhibit is a way to express to friends, community members–anyone who shows up:”Welcome to my inner world, and here is what I have been doing all this time, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the outer world.”

Wherever my show will be, I am certain that afterwards my family and friends will celebrate at one of the eateries mentioned above. No doubt I will come away feeling blessed that I make art and eat well in my beloved city.

2 Comments

  1. Sharon, write too many posts like this, and I’ll end up on your doorstep, asking that you take me on a tour of your favorite eateries!

    Isn’t it a privilege when we love where we live?

    Can’t wait to see you here on the island!

    Alice

    Reply

  2. Yay!
    Sharon
    I Just found your blog site.It is as awesome as I knew it would be.

    I’ll add your name to my list of blog links if that is OK with you.

    Looking forward to seeing you in Victoria!

    Reply

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