Sunday, September 28, 2014


Aviation. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

I'm going a bit out of order with this one. We tested Aviation on the last recipe test night for the classic cocktails book. It probably would have happened much sooner had I been able to find Creme de Violette, but the timing was perfect in the end. It is a lovely drink and fit well into the "best for last" category (although there are so many good ones!). Best of all, by the time I got to it I was pretty sick of my shaker options, and thus willing to splurge on the beauty you see here. It doubled as a festive centerpiece:

Teya and Kate enjoy an Aviation Cocktail
We fully tested this drink before indulging in Teya's delicious dinner (more on that later), which led to some issues when we moved on to Whiskey Sours… stay tuned...

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Work in Progress and Book Release Party

While it may appear that I have given up at the eleventh hour and stopped painting altogether, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm painting nonstop. The trouble is just that I ordered a new camera.

My lovely 10-megapixel Canon SLR has served me well for many years, and aside from being covered in paint, it is in perfect condition. I love it. But I realized as I started putting this book together that although at one foot square, these paintings are not huge, 10MP doesn't allow me to reproduce them at full size. And I may want to do that someday. And after the opening I may not have them all in one place again.

So I bumped it up to eighteen megapixels, and immediately lost all motivation to photograph artwork until the camera arrives. Doing it once is hard enough, so I feel no need to photograph any more work twice than is completely necessary.

In the meantime, I've created a new page for the Art Exhibit/Book Release/Cocktail Party.

And, here is a detail of Whiskey Sour V2 in progress from my easel (a long story for another post).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Twelve Miles Out

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". Sold.

I veered off course a bit from my list of vintage drinks to try with this one. The plan was to feature old drinks that were still a bit familiar, or had experienced a popular revival. This drink, I'd never heard of. Someone mentioned it in an article about old drinks worth trying (Serious Eats, maybe?) and it was definitely worth a try. Plus, the story of the name was great. Twelve miles was the distance ships carrying alcohol were required to stay from US shores during Prohibition. And, no doubt, where the party was.

I'm in the home stretch for book paintings, and I have so many props I don't have anyplace to put them all, BUT… Raising the Bar was in my neighborhood this past weekend, and you know how that always ends. This time it was the amazing etched and cut-glass shaker. Who could resist? Well, luckily for me, I guess everyone that had already looked in the Travel Trailer of Vintage Barware Wonders before I got there could resist. But I couldn't.

My beautiful new find was definitely a challenge to paint. It's been a while since I had to wipe part of a painting down and start over. The second attempt was a huge improvement though. Whew.

Oh, by the way, Raising the Bar, along with Atticus, will be selling my book after the Book Release Cocktail Party on November 7. Yay!

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Monday, September 15, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". Sold.

I might just keep this one. The color of this drink is simply amazing, even though we cut back on some of the sweet stuff in our recipe. And I had yet another beautiful art deco wallpaper pattern to make me crazy inspire me. 

The Negroni is one of Tom's signature drinks, but as always I started with a recipe from out in the world. Only subtle adjustments were required, but in the end you could actually taste the gin, which, around here, is considered to be a good thing. 

While we enjoyed our last Negroni, we dove into Teya's newest recipe find: a vegetarian version of Bebimbap, accompanied by delicious vegetarian kimchee. (Yes, to the dismay of Tom and Paul, Teya and I are—you guessed it—vegetarians.) 

Her recipes are coming soon, and they were good!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

None of us had ever had a Prohibition cocktail before. But with a name like that, how could it not be in a book of vintage cocktails? In fact, I was so sure that it needed to be in the book, I painted it untested. The recipe did sound pretty good, after all. And we were behind on test nights, or I'm getting faster at painting, or something.

Anyway, I wanted a real 1920s feel for this, so I googled art deco wallpaper patterns and hit the jackpot. This was not an easy pattern to paint, but I loved it and did it anyway. Really happy with it in the end. So happy that I went to T & T's house and declared that by the end of the night, everyone in the room MUST like this drink. Including our unsuspecting guest testers, their new neighbors Scott and Nancy.

Fortunately, everyone did like it. To the point that for only the second time, we left the original recipe alone. Sadly, that meant we only got one, but we still had work to do.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Corpse Reviver

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

Death, Gin and Lemon Juice, Part 2: we brought ourselves back to life with the Corpse Reviver. Actually the Corpse Reviver 2. The recipe tests always start with a recipe straight out of a book or the internet, then we tweak it to taste and I rewrite. The Corpse Reviver 2 recipe came from the Savoy Cocktail book, and for the first time ever, everyone agreed the drink could not be improved. It was perfect! We had a few more just to be sure, but remained convinced.

Given the zombie-ish name, I wanted a zombie-esque look for the painting. The startling green of the Absinthe made it pretty easy, along with the day-glo depression glass. A floating chunk of orange skin always looks sort of creepy too, although here it looks a bit like an egg. Which would also be creepy.

On Death, Gin and Lemon Juice night, we all sat around at out respective houses for about a half hour, wondering why everyone else was late. After we got it together and figured out where we were supposed to be, Teya treated us to possibly my favorite dinner yet. Inspired by the French 75s, she baked a French-ish, pizza-ish, savory pastry. Seriously, yum. Sorry, couldn't photograph, eating. But I'm getting the recipe, will post soon.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

French 75

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12". $595. Click to buy.

"Death, Gin and Lemon Juice" was the theme for our last recipe test night. For the first half, we offed ourselves with the French 75, named for early French artillery. This is normally a champagne cocktail with a bit of gin. Ours ended up more of a gin cocktail with a bit of champagne. Is that bad?

I'll get to part two next week. In the meantime, I'm happy to announce that I have a venue for the Mixology Book Release Cocktail Party: it will be at Mizuna, a wonderful Spokane restaurant committed to delicious cocktails and an exceptional vegetarian/vegan menu (in addition to the regular menu, don't worry). It's happening the first Friday in November.

This is getting real!

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