We like to feature a different artist on our cover each season, but Celia Wedding had the perfect image for us twice in a row, so we couldn’t pass them up.
“I live up against some green space in the Oakland hills,” says Wedding. “The turkeys march past my window on a regular basis. Once I counted 40 in one pass! I love it most when the hens and chicks come by. Usually it’s a crowd of chicks patrolled by a couple of hens. Don’t get near them! The hens will come after you.”
Wedding’s “Turkey Hen” on the cover is a three-plate etching/aquatint. In this process, she first created a key plate from a drawing and then did a watercolor over a print of that plate. (Note: you can see a black and white print from the key plate on page 40.) Approximations of that color key were created using aquatint on three separate plates. She did the color separation freehand by educated guessing. Each plate was printed in a primary color (blue, yellow, and red). The aquatints were manipulated by pushing and pulling the value of the color (lightness and darkness) and adjusted until the three plates together resembled the key plate and its watercoloring. She says that perhaps an easier way to think of it is to imagine the comic pages in the newspaper. They are printed using three colors only. Overlays of blue and red make purple; yellow and blue make green; red and yellow make orange. The whole of the printed image comes about from only three plates. The difference is that while the color separation for the comics is done with a computer, the separation in “Turkey Hen” was done with the artist’s mind.
A California native living in Piedmont, Wedding received her formal education in painting at UC San Diego and Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts). Printmaking is her medium of choice since it gives her the opportunity to keep drawing, which she says she feels compelled to do: She has attended the same bimonthly life-drawing group for 35 years. Among Celia’s many awards was a first place in Palo Alto’s Pacific Art League’s 2010 West Coast Prints exhibition.
Celia Wedding’s Gluten-Free goat’s milk Pear Cake
Make this cake with any fruits you like: plums, pears, blueberries, nectarines, peaches, berries, grapes, or a combination. If you use apples, blanch the cut slices first. Butter and cow’s milk can be used in this recipe instead of the oil and goat’s milk.
1 ½ to 2 ½ pounds fruit, peeled and sliced as necessary
½ cup rice flour
½ cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2–3 tablespoons rice bran oil or mild olive oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup goat’s milk
For the topping:
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons rice bran oil or mild olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°. Grease an 8-inch spring-form pan or iron skillet.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl. In a small bowl, beat together egg, vanilla, and goat’s milk, then add to the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.
Pour dough into the greased baking pan, then arrange the fruit over top in a circular pattern. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the fruit.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes or until fruit is soft and the top of the cake is slightly browned.
Photo by Randy Wedding