Princess Torte

First, I’ll tell you about the Torte: This Oh-so-feminine confection is made of “layers of Scandinavian sponge cake, filled with the finest raspberry jam and gourmet pastry creme.” Then it is “wrapped with real almond marzipan and garnished with a marzipan rose.” It is absolutely gorgeous. I may have to paint it again.

I found it on a trip to northern Minnesota last weekend with my friend, Andrea. We were taking an unintentional detour, a typical mishap when I’m driving. In the midst of Starbuck’s withdrawal, we ran across the Taste of Scandinavia Bakery, chock full of the most glorious desserts. What a find! I so wish that it wasn’t five hours away! (For those within range, we found it on Hwy 96 between 35E and 35 W north of the Twin Cities.)

On a more meditative subject, I’ve been enjoying Patricia Hampl’s memoir on perception, art and life as conveyed in European paintings of the Odalisque (harem woman) in her little book, Blue Arabesque. She describes so well the feeling about time we have as innocents ,and how we inevitably take a stunned look backward at how overscheduling has changed and narrowed our faculties:

“But just when did time, that diaphanous material, fray into rush? The way I imagined it, woolly minutes had once streamed across an eternity of spun-silk nanoseconds, piling up into hours that wove themselves into the voluminous yard goods of days that, in turn, got stitched into weeks and months. Wasn’t that how it once was — the heavily embroidered yesteryears folded away in the scented armoires of the seasons and consigned to the vast linen closet of the ages where the first tensile thread of our story on the planet emerged from the bobbin of history? But just when in all this warping and woofing — or maybe how — did time cease to be a treasure and turn, instead, into the fret of the drive time commute?
…Anyway, gone: the long looking of slow days, the world ordered inwardly by seeing, the act of unbroken private attention that was an expression of integrity, clasping imagination, making sense, making “vision.” What happened to this heritage of perception? When did our autobahn existence subvert the inner rhythm beating along the pulse and risk the loss of sensation? When did we forfeit leisure? Even our food is fast.”

So true.

Princess Torte, oil on canvas, 5×7, $110.00 USD

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