Martha and me


Martha’s Peppermint Fudge (17 x 24 cms ink and watercolour on Hahnemuehle “Burgund” watercolour board 2015)

I used to have a soft spot for Martha Stewart. Her flagship magazine, Living, featured those clean-lined American homes which you don’t see elsewhere, recipes for food you’d actually like to eat, and beautiful photography that made works of art out of the simplest things. Martha even showed us how to cook a Thanksgiving meal for twenty and still have enough time and energy left to fashion place-names out of origami swans.

Then I made the mistake of following her on Facebook. Suddenly I was bombarded with Martha five or six times a day: urged to buy Martha’s Christmas tree decorations, Martha’s baking essentials, Martha’s home office supplies; Martha wanted us to choose which profile picture to use (good grief, Martha, it’s your page, you decide); Martha wanted us to ‘show our laundry room a little love’ (we don’t have one, Martha, could we just be mildly affectionate towards the shed?).

Suddenly it was over. My admiration was suffocated under a deluge of consumerism. I ‘un-liked’ her Facebook page and listened to the silence.

For old times’ sake I still pick up a copy of Living when I’m at an American airport. The photography is still impressive. These triple-chocolate peppermint fudge squares were painted from a photograph in the latest issue: they look almost abstract, or like pieces in some contemplative Zen board game. It’s a homage to an old flame.

27 thoughts on “Martha and me

  1. Lovely illustration Michael. I feel the same way about Martha. I noticed a Martha email for creating Valentine somethings the day after Christmas. I can’t stand it. Enough! I agree the photography in her magazine is spectacular, I’ll give credit to the photographer, stylist and art director for that…Martha can’t possibly be omni present can she?
    Now, please tell me more about Hahnemuehe “Burgurnd” water board…so curious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My library gives me outdated magazines for collage and I read them before I cut them up. Martha’s is one of my favorites for just the reasons you wrote about. And the paper quality is nice too. I like Martha; I will admit it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I almost spit out my coffee while reading this post. Miss Martha is ubiquitous-she practically has her own shelf at the local library-but it sounds as if you are handling the *break-up* well. 😉 I love the watercolour-your images of food are always delicious to the eye-Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your paintings are always so wonderfully delicate..fragile almost..

    I have been feeling similarly about the O (Oprah) magazine lately. Ads, ads and more ads..nothing but ads…with a mild sprinkling of articles… 😦


  5. Ha ha ha! I totally agree with you! I too used to be in love with her. Had the membership to her magazine until… I was fed up. I kept all my magazines though. I just could not throw them out. And funny too how the contents don’t age. I can take a 10 year old copy and feel like it was printed yesterday…

    Liked by 1 person

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