Omar Ortiz – born in Guadalajara, Mexico (1977) where he still resides.
His paintings are surreal. His work is characterized as minimalistic – described as hyperrealism where the human body is predominate, done in oil with texture-filled backgrounds. He has also worked with pastels, charcoal, watercolor, acrylics, and airbrushing.
Omar describes his work:
“Since I started painting I have always tried to represent things as real as I can. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes not, but it’s a fact that it is very difficult for me to do the opposite. I really enjoy the challenge of reproducing skin tones under natural light and the nuances that it gives us, particularly in bright conditions. I like to keep simplicity in my pieces since I believe that excess make us poorer rather than rich.”
Art moves us. Everyone should be in agreement with this. While we may not all agree on liking a specific piece enough to want to hang it in our home, we can admire the work for what it is and the dedication involved in bringing something to life and/or giving us something to ponder. Everyone can visualize something different in abstract, but in realism everyone sees the same – it’s like looking in the mirror (technically speaking).
Every single morning while I was away I woke up to the intriguing sounds of what appeared to be many different types of songbirds right outside my window. Not only birds, but frog sounds too.
While there were plenty of other types of birds in the area, especially dainty little hummingbirds, the pleasurable noise as it turns out was made by one ordinary looking little bird. And now I know the name of the specific type of bird – it was a mockingbird. Which makes sense since it made a variety of sounds mocking other animals and noises, even that of a car alarm (heard in this video). On my phone video the sounds are awesome but the picture didn’t come out very clearly so instead I found one on youtube (below). I also came across one that calls out a dog’s name. Amazing creatures.
After listening to these captivating sounds it made me question why in the world anyone would want to kill one. Kiss one maybe.
Then I came across a post I did 3 years ago re: birds of a feather from photos I’d taken of birds from my travels:
Spotlight on: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer
A moisturizer that has an exfoliant to make your face glow? This just might be the perfect product! – d. king
Once referred to as a “shopaholic” (although not really) I hardly shop at all anymore. At least not in the actual stores. I love that many products now find their way to me from like minded people who carefully select high quality ingredients that are most likely to maintain a good reputation once reviewed. I mean what would be the fun of trying products you’re not excited about?
“My skin never can be hydrated enough. This product is one of my latest obsessions—I apply it a few times a day for an instant refresh and an immediate glow.” – xoRZ
1.7 fl. oz.
Key Ingredients: Glycolic & Lactic Acids, Pineapple, Pumpkin, Papaya Enzymes. and Napol Cactus Fruit Extract
Reduces the appearance of dullness and uneven skin texture to reveal beautiful, glowing skin.
Eight days ago the fashion world mourned the loss of style icon Kate Spade.
I still covet my roomy, elegant Kate Spade cowhide black bag and my tortoiseshell reading glasses. What makes my bag standout is what’s on the inside – the lining has all red + pink polka dots. It makes me smile and it’s the real reason why I bought it. Because there are, let’s face it, so many black leather bags on the market.
And it was always the fun little touches that set her bags apart from the rest. Not only polka dots, but butterflies, bows, strawberries and the like.
Kate Spade was an original and when she sold her company her handbags still had the recognizable KS touch that made them stand out . You have to wonder why anyone who put so much thought into creating fun, whimsical designs would choose to take her own life leaving a young daughter behind.
There’s still so much we don’t know about deep depression. There are so many layers beneath the surface. Just because someone looks a certain way on the outside doesn’t mean they’re not suffering on the inside. How very sad that we seem to be hearing about people taking their own life more regularly. We hear about the famous people, not the countless others who also suffer from this crippling disease. With the right help suicide is preventable.
If you, or someone you know suffers from depression please Google the centre for disease control to find the contract in your city .
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
Kate Spade’s Sparkle will live on in her eponymous brand.
From Bland to Beautiful. Cauliflower; you dress up nicely.
My food goal this week was to make the easiest Anthony Bourdain recipe I could find. There were two. But I chose this one for two reasons. 1) I had a head of cauliflower in my fridge intending to make cauliflower rice. 2) Anything that makes cauliflower more flavorful is worth a try. This one will not disappoint. It’s actually very delicious – tastes better than it looks. What I find funny is that Cauliflower is one of my least favorite vegetables yet I’m appreciating how adaptable it is. Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of the cruciferous kind. But there are exceptions to every rule.
This recipe is dead simple to throw together too. It’s also intriguing because it mixes Greek & Italian herbs with Middle Eastern tahini and Japanese miso. Proves we can all get along.
The cauliflower gets crisp and charred on the edges. After the florets are roasted and tossed in the thick sauce of tahini, miso, red wine vinegar and a splash of water, the heat of the cauliflower will loosen up the sauce and coat every inch in delicious nuttiness, umami and a tad of tang.
It’s a side dish but Bourdain said one adult could easily polish off the entire dish for dinner. As usual, he said it exactly like it is. I did it.
So when he described this dish as This s–t is compulsively delicious, you can bet that he was right.
“Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame” is from his book, “Appetites: A Cookbook”
It’s the last cookbook he wrote. This isn’t a collection of necessarily cutting-edge cooking, but rather recipes for dishes that he loved to cook at home — well, on the rare days that he was actually in New York and not traveling the globe for his must-see “Parts Unknown” show on CNN. They’re also dishes that Bourdain thought every home-cook ought to have in his or her repertoire. It will be a part of mine from now on.
Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame
(Serves 4 as a side dish)
1 head of cauliflower, broken by hand into florets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (I used fleur-de-sel)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon white miso (it’s a paste that you can readily find now at most grocery stores)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds (I used a mixed sesame seasoning seed blend)
*I squeezed a little bit of fresh lemon juice over top but try it “as is” first.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower, oil, salt, coriander, oregano, and pepper and toss well to evenly coat the cauliflower with the oil and spices. Transfer to a sheet pan and arrange in an even layer, making spaces between the pieces as much as possible. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the tray and lightly tossing the pieces halfway through.
While the cauliflower roasts, combine the tahini, miso, vinegar and 1 1/2 tablespoons water in a small mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth.
Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven, transfer to a mixing bowl, and toss with the sauce and sesame seeds to coat evenly.
Side note: Bourdain’s chapter on desserts is all of one page, which essentially says, “F–k dessert.” Turns out he wasn’t big on sweets, preferring cheese instead.
Adapted from “Appetites: A Cookbook” by Anthony Bourdain
It takes a special personality to make someone who never met you evoke great sadness upon hearing of your passing. Such is the case with the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain. Aside from his friends and family, numerous others were shocked and saddened over hearing the news just three days ago.
Bourdain always reminded me a little bit of Leonard Cohen. He was a Foodie, not a Poet although with his artistic combination of mixing food with storytelling through travel, you could almost describe him as being somewhat poetic. His lifestyle influenced so many people. He represented to dining what Muhammad Ali represented to boxing or Leonard Cohen to poetry. A master of his craft – which was food.
According to the New York Times, Bourdain rose to fame after writing a darkly funny memoir about life in New York City restaurant kitchens which made him a celebrity chef and touched off his second career as a journalist, food expert and social activist.
His mother, Gladys Bourdain, was a longtime editor at The New York Times. She said she had no indication that he might have been thinking of suicide. “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” Ms. Bourdain said.
Despite his untimely death, Mr. Bourdain taught us a lot about enjoying the good life and that is something to celebrate.
Life Lessons from Anthony Bourdain
Never one to shy away from dramatics, Anthony Bourdain’s latest cookbook, Appetites, begins with an interpolation of a famous quote from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”
“If I’m in Rome for only 48 hours, I would consider it a sin against God to not eat cacio e pepe, the most uniquely Roman of pastas, in some crummy little joint where Romans eat. I’d much rather do that than go to the Vatican. That’s Rome to me.”
“Tokyo would probably be the foreign city if I had to eat one city’s food for the rest of my life, every day. It would have to be Tokyo, and I think the majority of chefs you ask that question would answer the same way.”
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain.
Anthony Bourdain’s legacy is that he left a lot of good behind.
The brochure perfectly describes it. Ocean sunsets, sheep filled pastures, rocking chairs and award winning grounds. Piles of pillows and a cozy fire. Serenity and Relaxation.
On my side trip to Carmel I was taken to the charmingly historic Mission Ranch, one of the most spectacular spots on the Monterey Peninsula. It is a sight to behold with meadows stretching to the south which join the wetlands and Carmel River Beach. The exquisite views are unrivaled. Point Lobos, a scenic coastal natural reserve featuring a variety of sea life, wildlife, hiking trails and a whaling museum can be seen in the distance across the bay. Mission ranch is a place unto itself but close enough to the town of Carmel-by-the sea. You might just want to stay put because there’s also a great restaurant with a view and nightly live piano bar. On Sundays their live jazz brunch was voted “best brunch” by local newspapers.
A little history:
In the 1850’s, the property became one of the first of the early California dairies. The creamery, which supplied the county with cheese and butter, now houses the restaurant. The barns were used for hay and milking. The ranch has had some 17 owners.
The Ranch now encompasses 22 acres. Originally it consisted of 160 acres and was owned by Juan Romero, a Native American who is believed to have lived in the village next to the Carmel Mission. In 1852 he deeded the property to William Curtis, a Monterey storekeeper, for $300. The Martin family, who owned the Ranch for 60 years, also farmed potatoes for the Sierra gold miners.
The Ranch operated as a private club, an officers’ club for the Army and Navy during World War II. At that time the windows were occasionally blackened against a possible Japanese landing. It had a rollicking reputation, with dance bands and a lively bar scene.
In 1986 Clint Eastwood bought the Ranch, rescuing the property from an impending fate as a condominium development. Once again, Dirty Harry to the rescue! He sought out the best craftsmen for renovation, who have replicated moldings, door frames and hardware to match the style of the original buildings. Each structure reflects a different architectural period: from the 1950’s feel of the restaurant and dance barn, to the century old Martin farmhouse.
The one time Bunkhouse is the oldest structure on the Ranch. It’s nestled among historic cypress and eucalyptus trees, as well as newly planted gardens, which adorn the entire Ranch.
Sure beats the old bar he used to own in Carmel “Hog’s Breath Inn” although I’m told the artichoke soup is to die for.