“I Close My Eyes And The World Becomes Flat (I’m Just Thankful I’m Not Blind)” and “One to Thirty Days,” two recent paintings by Veronica Fernandez (plus a bonus recipe!)

Posted by on Apr 20, 2020 in Exhibitions, Images, VCS Students | No Comments

Veronica Fernandez, “I Close My Eyes and The World Becomes Flat (I’m Just Thankful I’m Not Blind),” oil on canvas (click to enlarge)

Fourth-year Fine Arts major Veronica Fernandez submitted two recent paintings to us for the blog, along with a bonus recipe. Here’s her description of the works:


“I Close My Eyes And The World Becomes Flat (I’m Just Thankful I’m Not Blind)”,
“One to Thirty Days”

These works are oil paint on canvas; I was interested in using the physicality of paint to reconstruct an atmosphere that discusses relationships between people and their environments. I explore the factors around us that compel us to disconnect from reality, and drive us to immerse ourselves in alternative indefinite spaces. I am grateful that I was able to clean out my garage and work from it during this time, especially considering the fact that my paintings range from 7 feet tall to 12 feet wide. I am currently working on a triptych and spend my days painting and baking a lot of cookies and saltenas (bolivian empanadas!). My cookies keep coming out like scones, but I have a lot of time to practice which is nice! I managed not to screw up the saltenas though, and they came out really good, so I’ll attach the recipe I found!


Veronica Fernandez, “One to Thirty Days,” oil on canvas (click to enlarge)


And here’s the recipe:

Bolivian Salteñas
Author Charbel Barker

For The Filling
1 pound ground beef 95% lean meat (or 2 chicken breasts)
1 Packet of unflavored gelatin
4 cups beef broth
3/4 stick butter
2 tablespoons turmeric or Achiote – ground or in paste form – you can find this in the Hispanic aisle at most grocery stores –
1 onion finely chopped
3 Large potatoes Diced
1 cup peas
1/2 cup parsley finely chopped
1/2 cup granulated white Sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
**Optional – 3 Hard Boiled Eggs Olives, Raisins

For the Dough
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Stick of Butter melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of boiling hot water
1-2 teaspoons of yellow food coloring.


For the Filling
Cook the diced potatoes in boiling water until cooked, but still firm.
Melt the Butter together with the Achiote or ground turmeric until well combined and incorporated.
Add the Onions and the Diced Potatoes and Season everything with the Cumin, Salt, Pepper, and Oregano.
Add the Peas and the chopped Parsley and mix well.
Add the Sugar and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
Add the already cooked and seasoned ground beef and stir well.
Add the Beef Broth and Bring to a boil.
Add the packet of unflavored gelatin, stir well, and remove from heat.
Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (overnight is best, but not necessary).

For the Dough
Combine the Flour, Sugar, and Salt together in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the yellow food coloring (this is to get the traditional color of the Salteña, which is actually obtained by adding a natural colorant that is only found in Bolivia).
Add the Eggs Mixture to the Flour Mixture and mix until well combined.
Add the hot (almost boiling) water to the mix and knead until a large, yellowish ball of dough is formed (it should not be too sticky, so add more flour if necessary).
Let sit for about 10-20 minutes and then separate into smaller, more workable pieces.
Roll out each piece on a flour surface and cut into large circles (about 6 inches in diameter and about 1/8 of an inch thick)

How to Make the Salteñas
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees
After you have rolled out a piece of dough to the indicated size, add a slice of hard boiled egg to the middle (an olive and raisins if desired) and about 1/4 cup of the filling (more if you are not adding the other filling ingredients).
Wet the edges of the dough, and fold over the top, pinching the edges together.
In order to ensure that the Salteñas do not open during the cooking process, pinch and twist the edges to form a “braided look.” (This was the hardest part for me, so they don’t look perfect, but just do it enough so that you create a strong seal).
You can also beat an egg and brush the Salteñas with it right before baking to get a shinier look.
Place on an aluminum foil lined baking pan, right side up, and bake for 15 minutes or until browned.


Visual & Critical Studies