The Important Integrity In A Painting: Format And Subject

One of the most important things about an artist is how well they can interpret their work of art and how well the viewers can interpret the story behind their painting. There is a lot that goes behind the colours that are splashed on the canvas. Hence the right interpretation of the artwork is essentially what the artist desires the most. Painting is not just about colours, it also about how you can give forms and textures to the artwork and how you strategise the placement of the elements on the canvas. All of this makeup to form the composition of the painting. This is what brings us to the most important question of this article – what is more important to an artist in a painting – the format of the painting or the subject in the painting?

When we talk about the format of a painting it does not just mean talking about the size of the canvas or the piece of art paper. One need not restrict themselves to certain sizes just because that is the standard size of the canvas of art sheet that you are supposed to use. See what your painting is going to be about and also strategise how big the sizes of the elements in the painting will be, and how you will fit them all in one frame. No one size is the perfect size for building up the composition of the painting. You can find some amazing paintings and portraits on instapainting if you looking to order some or want to take a idea of a perfect painting.

Aforementioned, the size is just one of the main things in a painting but not the most important, what matters most is the subject in it. Once you have confirmed on the subject of the painting, only then can you move ahead with the painting.

So how do you decide on the format of your painting? We have come in three distinct types of format that can best describe the format of your painting.

  • The Horizontal Format: The horizontal format is usually used in making landscape paintings. The allow the onlookers to move their eyes across the painting without making effort to move the eyes up and down. In simple words, they give a panoramic view of the painting.
  • The Vertical Format: The vertical format is distinctly common among portrait paintings. In this kind of painting, the viewers are encouraged to move their eyes up and down depending on the height of the painting.
  • The Square Format: This format for paintings is not much common until one wants to focus on only one object such as a fruit, a vase of flowers. It is commonly used when one paints abstract or makes geometrical patterns. It gives a balanced impression of the painting.

So, whatever format you choose for your painting, you have to make sure that you first decide on the subject matter of the painting, only then can you finalise the format of the painting. If you feel the canvas of the painting is unconventional don’t be afraid, go ahead with it. The more challenging the work may be, the more you will be happy when the results will be as desired.

Another very important thing about artwork is the kind of spacing you give among the elements in the painting. The kind of spacing helps to understand the relationship between the different elements in the painting. For example, if you are painting a busy street you don’t need to go with the regular horizontal format, what is important is how you determine the painting and what is it that you want to covey. So in this case, what will work is your understanding of spacing among the many elements in the busy streets. If that is a great endeavour for you and you cannot figure out how to place the elements in the painting, you will be seriously disappointed with the end result. Tell us what you think about this topic and share your thoughts with us on the importance of format and subject matter in a painting. Happy Painting!

This entry was posted in Blog.


I’ve sat down to write a blog post at least fifty times, and each time I find I don’t know what to say. It’s like writing a letter to a long lost friend and you just don’t even know where to start.

So I’ll just start by saying that I’ve missed all of you. I miss having a place to vent and catch up with friends, new and old. I miss knowing what’s happening in your lives. You move me and inspire me every day, and I really need that in my life right now.

I used to think my parents were insane when they would mumble things like “where does all the time go?” And “Man this year really flew by.” I was desperately afraid of turning into them. Yet here I am wondering where the hell this past year has gone.

What on earth, you may ask, have I been doing this past year? Since it obviously hasn’t been blogging…

Well, I got my first job as a pastry chef. That’s the biggest news. Most days I love it. Other days I feel like I’m in way over my head and I’m waiting for someone to catch on and tell me the gig is up. I frequently come home cut and/or burned and smelling like a bizarre mixture of buttercream frosting, seafood, and I’m sad to say, sweat with the bottoms of my feet so sore that all I want to do sit down and never move again.

Bet you didn’t know being a chef was so glamorous, did you? All kidding aside it’s like I’ve finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. It’s truly extraordinary, despite smelling badly and the scars I will eventually need a plethora of tattoos to cover up.

My son has been working on his driver’s license, and my teenage daughter has been working on driving me crazy with her newfound love of texting and stupid boys, and worse texting stupid boys. Being a teenage girl must be harder than I remember because it blows my mind that anyone can cry that much. I’m sure I was NOT like that when I was younger.

Meanwhile my youngest has been doing her best to make me feel good every day by reminding me how old and tired I look all the time. Sweet isn’t it?

I’m busy enough that picking up The Grammercy Tavern Cookbook now qualifies as reading a book, and my daily dose of news involves the pop radio station telling me which 52 celebrities supposedly have herpes. For reals… (A side note– if Derek Jeter ever asks you out, tell him hell no!)

I’m a full season behind on The Walking Dead and Glee – so PLEASE don’t spoil them for me. And I have been sleeping on an unmade bed for three days now because I just can’t be bothered to put clean sheets on it. I tell myself I’m just doing my part to keep the mattress industry going strong.

When I’m lucky, all the planets align and I have an entire day off with nothing to do and can spend the day playing with my camera and catching up on my favorite blogs. Pretending I still have a life that doesn’t revolve around my kids and my white coat. Pretending is the key word here.

I’m thinking I may need to rename my blog Le Cirque du (insert something catchy here that I’m just too tired to think of) after the three ring circus it has become. Some days I’m seriously not sure if I’m the ringmaster of just one of the clowns.

But enough about me, how have you all been? Any exciting news I’ve missed?

This entry was posted in Blog.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Cranberries

After giving you, pork recipe today I want to share with you my personal favorite lamb recipe.

Lamb Shanks


  • 3 lbs Lamb Shanks
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 10 Whole Cloves
  • 2 pods Cardamom
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2? knob of ginger grated
  • 2 Onions, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Sugar
  • 12 ounces Stout Beer (like Guinness)
  • 1 cup Beef Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 ounces fresh Cranberries


  1. Generously salt and pepper the lamb shanks.
  2. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid on medium-high heat until very hot and add the oil.
  3. Sear the shanks until golden brown on all sides and transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the cumin, cloves, and cardamom and swirl in the oil until you start to hear them pop.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger, onions, sugar, and sauté until soft and very fragrant.
  6. Add the beer to deglaze and let reduce by half.
  7. Add beef stock and cranberries, stir together, then nestle the lamb shanks into the cranberries and onions.
  8. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and let braise for 3 hours in a 300-degree oven.
This entry was posted in Recipes.

CHRISTMAS DINNER – Mexican Chocolate Tart

For the second year in a row, I was the only one of my siblings to make it home for Christmas.  If you liked our Tomato Basil Recipe. While the holidays aren’t quite as exciting when you’re the only one home, it certainly has its advantages. For one, I get way more presents than either of my brothers. And isn’t that what Christmas is about? Just kidding, Bobby and Kyle. I’m sure mom and dad gave you just as many presents as they gave me. You guys got ponies, too, right? If not you should be happy to know that they at least hung up your stockings this year unlike the last when mine was the only one dangling from the mantle.

Mexican Chocolate Tart

Since there were only three of us around to eat Christmas dinner, we kept it pretty simple. I brought my pasta-making discs home, and my mom and I made an Italian dinner from scratch. Noodles, tomato sauce, meatballs, and a caprese-like salad were on the menu, followed by a chocolate tart and a mincemeat pie for dessert. Yes, you read that correctly. Three people and two desserts. That’s just how we roll. If it were up to my dad it would have been three desserts and no main course. That’s just how he rolls. And due to his running regimen, he has no rolls.

When I was in Matt’s hometown last week I picked up a deeply discounted copy of the Silver Spoon Pasta cookbook at their soon to be no longer B. Dalton, satisfying my several month long desire to add that book to my collection. I set out to make meatballs and sauce from recipes in the book, and I ended up tweaking and adding on to both dishes. For the meatballs, I combined about 1/2 lb. ground beef and about 1/2 lb. ground pork with an egg, a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, maybe 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.

The fresh parsley was key to the tastiness of the meatballs. The original recipe called for a single sprig of parsley, but I used several. It helped to brighten the flavor of the little balls of meat.
The meatballs were first browned in a little oil over medium-high heat, and then the lid went on and they were transferred to a 350 oven for maybe 20-30 minutes until they were cooked through.
My mom’s 30+-year-old KitchenAid may be on its last leg, but it still managed to crank out all of these pretty noodles.
The sauce was diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt. It was OK (and much better than it looks in this photo), but it could have been better.

My mom and I wanted to add olives to the pasta sauce, but since we knew my dad wouldn’t be thrilled we resorted to sprinkling them on top as a garnish. It was slightly weird, in part because they were cold and raw and in part because they were of the green, pimento-stuffed variety. Next time I’ll plan ahead and buy different olives and cook them with the sauce.
The salad was grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, chopped artichoke hearts, fresh basil, vinegar, and oil.
I’ve been going through this awful phase lately where I haven’t been very impressed with desserts, but this Mexican Chocolate Tart has completely changed my outlook on decadent, chocolate things.

The tart was incredibly easy to make, it looks elegant, it tastes delicious, and it goes perfectly with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
I was going to post a picture of the mincemeat pie, but the amount of time it takes to upload a picture with this slow internet coupled with the fact that I don’t like mincemeat held me back. Maybe next year.

This entry was posted in Recipes.

4 Types of Food Processors for Your Kitchen

Are you thinking of buying a Food Processor for yourself? If so, then you should learn more about the different types of food processors available.

There are basically 4 types of Food processors available in the market: Batch Bowl, Continuous Feed, Combination, and Buffalo choppers. Each of these food processors is different in its structure and its functioning and have different pros and cons associated with them.

Batch Bowl

In this type of food processor, batches of food are passed into the processor which gets collected in the bowl. A user drops the food items inside the bowl to slice the food item and a central pillar in the processor holds an ‘S’ shaped disk which cuts all the food items that come into contact with its surface.

This blade or disc cut the food into your desired shape and size and the bowl can be detached so that the sliced and diced food items can be emptied from this bowl.

Usually, a bowl can hold 1-6 quarts of cut food items and a few commercial food processors can hold even larger quantity. One can even use multiple bowls in a rotation to save time and prepare large batches of food at a time.

Continuous Feed

In this type of food processor, a user can continuously feed the food to the food processor which simultaneously processes the food items and dispenses them out into another container. This saves time and allows one to process large batches without any interruption, quickly and efficiently.

So, basically you don’t have to wait or empty the bowl in this type of food processor, you can keep on feeding it the food items until you are done.


This type of food processors employ both the features of a Batch Bowl processor and a Continuous Feed processor.

This food processor allows the user to continuously feed the food into the food processor and processes the food simultaneously while using the bowl or attaching an additional unit for dispensing the food outside the processor. This again saves time and makes the entire process more efficient and powerful.

Buffalo Choppers

One of the best types of food processors for someone who is looking for a sturdy and heavy food processor, a buffalo chopper can handle all kinds of food. You can use this food processor to chop meat, raw carrots, etc. They have an all-metal structure which makes it more powerful than other types of food processors and makes them an all-purpose tool.

You can also attach add-ons like slicers, graters, etc. to their accessory hubs and make them more versatile and useful. Trust me, buffalo chopper is the type of food processor that one should opt for when they would be chopping a lot of different types of food items and would need to perform large batches of processing on food items.

So, now that you know about the different types of food processors, why not go out and check some model for yourself?

If you still have any doubt please feel free to contact us here.

This entry was posted in Blog.


I used to think that chefs ate like kings every day. I mean they have all this culinary talent in a kitchen loaded with amazing equipment and a pimped out pantry.

Truth is, we seriously suck at feeding ourselves. By the time I’ve spent a 12 hour day making other people food, the last thing I want to do is make one more stinking thing. And after you’ve made the same exact dish, plated the same exact way like a thousand bazillion times, it kind of loses its charm.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that eating Golden Grahams straight out of the box does not qualify as dinner and that caffeine is not a food group. Not on any planet.

As a working single mother of three, time is a precious commodity. Like so rare I cry tears of joy when I can sleep in past 7 am now. Quick and easy is my middle name.

Anytime I can get at least three food groups on a plate in under 10 minutes, I consider it a major victory!

This Blueberry Spinach Salad is just that – you throw all the salad ingredients into a bowl and toss and all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into the blender and done. Easy as pie.


For the Salad
  • 10-12 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/2 c. strawberries, quartered
  • 1/2 c. blueberries
  • 1/4 c. toasted pecans
  • 1/3 c. goat cheese, crumbled
For the Blueberry Vinaigrette
For the Salad:

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve with Blueberry Vinaigrette.

For the Blueberry Vinaigrette:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree till nice and smooth. Shake well before serving. Will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

If you have any doubts regarding the recipe, you can contact us here.

This entry was posted in Recipes.


You know what makes Mondays better? Holidays.

Since every Monday can’t be a holiday, thank God for macaroni and cheese!

See? Doesn’t this look like it would make Monday better?

This is a great mac’n cheese for someone who has never made homemade before because there’s no béchamel sauce – you simply whisk the wet ingredients together and pour them over the top of the cooked noodles, sprinkle it with the bread crumb topping and pop it in the oven, Easy peasy.

And the best part is that is tastes like heaven! Creamy, cheesy heaven. You can thank me later!

Mascarpone Macaroni and Cheese
Yields: 4 servings

  • 8 oz. elbow noodles, cooked al dente according to package directions
  • 4 oz. Mascarpone cheese
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • ¾ c. half and half cream
  • ¼ grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper

    Bread Crumb Topping:
  • 1 c. fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs. butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together Mascarpone cheese, sour cream, half and half, Parmesan cheese, sage, salt and pepper till nice and smooth. Add prepared noodles and toss gently to coat. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, sage, garlic, butter, and a pinch of salt and toss until the bread crumbs are evenly coated with the melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the noodle and cheese mixture.

Bake 15-20 minutes until it’s heated through and the bread crumb mixture is a light, golden brown and crispy.

This entry was posted in Recipes.


I’ve really missed blogging.

I’ve missed having a place to whine and reflect. I’ve missed the creative outlet. I’ve missed playing around with my camera and trying to master taking photographs of ice cream before it melts.

Most of all I have missed my fellow bloggers. I am truly amazed and humbled by how kind and supportive so many of you have been through this crazy upheaval in my life. Humbled and incredibly grateful!

So thank you, for your emails, your tweets, your messages on Facebook, your comments, and for being here with me as I grow a little, fail a little, and learn loads along the way.

And speaking of learning experiences, have you ever tried to photograph a bowl of soup? Seriously, how hard can it be? It’s not like it moves or anything.

I took 193 pictures of this bowl of soup. I kid you not.

It’s a darn good thing that it’s really good soup because I was seriously considering hurling the bowl off my balcony…

What did I learn?

First of all, set up your shot, bowl and all and then ladle the soup into the bowl. Otherwise when you carry it, it will leave unsightly little rings around your bowl. SO NOT COOL!

Second, wait for it to cool down before trying to photograph it. The steamy lens look is also not cool


  • 2 lbs. good and flavorful tomatoes, cut into chunks and seeded
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place heirloom tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Toss to coat. Bake in preheated oven 35-45 minutes until nice and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, saute onion and red pepper flakes in remaining 2 tbs. olive oil. When soft and translucent, add garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Add San Marzano tomatoes, juice and all to the sauteed onion and garlic. Add chicken stock, basil, thyme, and oregano. Top off with the roasted tomatoes, including the juices that dripped from the pan.
  5. Simmer over low heat 30-35 minutes to allow the flavors to really blend well together. Either pass the soup through a food mill or use an immersion blender to achieve the desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


This entry was posted in Recipes.


Judging by my fair skin and blue eyes, you can probably see I’m not even remotely Italian. I’m Swedish with a little stiff-ass Brit thrown in for good measure – which, between you and me, explains a few things…

I don’t remember ever eating Parmesan cheese growing up that didn’t come from a green can, and I hated didn’t really like it. It was weird and, like the whipped cream at Starbucks that won’t melt, highly unnatural.

That being said, I have always loved Fettuccini Alfredo.

Shortly after I got married, I decided that my ability to bake anything that involved sugar, butter, chocolate, and/or copious amounts of cream was not enough to sustain me through my adult life. I wanted to learn to “cook.” You know, stuff that didn’t have chocolate in it…Crazy, I know!

Alfredo was one of the first recipes I attempted. Let’s just say it was um…gross. That’s the word I’m looking for. Like I said, that stuff from the green can doesn’t melt. Like at all… I had this bowl of pasta floating in cream with little flakes of white stuff that looked like dandruff floating in it. Ugh.

Needless to say, we went out to dinner that night!

Years later, once I had developed an appreciation for REAL Parmesan cheese, that does in fact melt, I decided to try it again.

I still love Alfredo, but it fills me with this insane guilt every time I eat it. I’m seriously convinced that my butt actually grows while eating it. Then I start weighing how many stomach crunches and miles of bike riding I’d need to do to work it off, decide it’s not worth it, and eat something else entirely. (Usually ending with chocolate – not sure how I manage to logic that one out!)

By now I was on a mission to find an Alfredo that tasted like Alfredo without that dense heaviness. Somehow throwing in some spring vegetables eases some of the guilt as well. My husband calls it girl math – the veggies cancel out the fat from the cream. Whatever. It totally works for me.

Be warned, when finished it will appear thin, still very much like cream, and not AT ALL like that crapola that comes out of a jar. (Not being a snob, because I do admit to eating that on occasion when I’m lazy.) TRUST ME. Pour it over your pasta and taste it! It has all of the flavor, without that heaviness. And you can always sprinkle a little more Parmesan over the top if you’re feeling wild like that…

Light Spring Vegetable Fettuccini Alfredo
Serves: 4

  • 8 oz. fettuccini, cooked al dente
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 6 tbs. butter
  • ½ c. grated parmesan (NOT FROM A GREEN CAN)
  • 8 oz. assorted steamed spring vegetables

Prepare pasta al dente according to package directions, and steam vegetables.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan or sauté pan, bring half and half and butter to a simmer over medium-low heat. Make sure you don’t boil it.

Drain pasta and vegetables and place in a large bowl. Add parmesan to cream mixture and stir. Pour Alfredo sauce over pasta and vegetables and toss gently to coat.

This entry was posted in Recipes.