Tag Archives: Food

Produce Portraits

Small, quick, graphic studies in oil.

I don’t think the carrots fit in at all.

We are moving to the farm at the beginning of the summer and am very much looking forward to more of these, done right on the spot.

There is something so different about working from photos or memories vs. from life. None of these are from life but the treatment, bold strokes with lots of paint, cries out for still life set ups with fresh props.

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Savoy Cabbage

I started this a few days ago. Today, with the second pass, I wonder what’s happening. Good? Bad? What am I trying to say? Is this the sign? Part of the sign? Is it about color…I love purple and green together.

And after working today, I’m no more sure of myself. But see some parts I like…

Black Forest

I’ve painted “Black Forest” Kabocha Winter Squash before. (Click the “Squash” in the “Most Viewed Tags” to see older work in oil.) These are gouache on illustration board.

I’m considering having cards made of some of my vegetables. Anyone interested in cards?

Quick still-lives

A month ago I challenged myself by painting the same subject 6 times, each taking 10 minutes. They were on this board but only two were even close to interesting… so I painted over everything but the two pumpkins on the right side of this board.

I painted the mango etc. in two ways, simultaneously. More like 50 minutes each. Capturing the right color and value quickly is hard for me to do. I need more practice.

To make this a more interesting cohesive painting I would make something much bigger or smaller. Everything’s too much the same.

Food Safety?

Can the public be assured that everything they eat is safe? How can farmers deliver their products to market without getting sued? How many restrictions can be managed without putting the farmer out of business? Who is responsible for the rules, regulations and checking to make sure those rules are followed? Is there an impact on the nutritional quality of the food when cleanliness becomes so important? And what is the long-term effect on the environment? These are some of the questions that pop up when faced with what is a growing concern for those that farm.

The farmer spent a few days in Monterey at the Annual Eco-Farm Conference last week. Food Safety was one of the workshops he attended. This is a subject that looms large on the horizon of farms, large and small. For a time, “hedgerows” were a big topic. Farms were encouraged to plant flowering natives to attract wildlife, pollinators and birds. Now some wholesalers are asking farms to keep all wildlife out of the fields through wide set-backs of cleared land and fencing, sometimes with plastic all the way to the ground, keeping out even frogs. Let’s hope that kind of drastic measure will not become a requirement for all of us.

Growing your own food and shopping at your local farmers market are two ways to keep fears of contaminated food at bay. Personally, I do not trust packaged salad mix. They are all mechanically harvested from laser-leveled fields. I want someone to touch it, to see it before it gets washed and packed. The packages themselves are special plastic that helps with shelf-life, so no telling when it was picked. It can last a month in their special bubble!

We have been selling a lot at our local farmers’ market this month, probably our best January ever. Thanks to good planning in the fall, we have lots to sell now. But I have been warned, that due to our rather wet conditions (we’ve had around 10” of rain in the past 2 weeks), that we will not have lettuce next week. It’s just not growing. I’d say it’s time for a coleslaw! And it’s been too cold and wet to plant anything. Next month will be slim.

Obviously we live in a special place, one where we have year-round farmers markets. In the US there are many places that don’t begin their growing seasons for months. I wonder what you do, living in New Hampshire or Pennsylvania? I am so lucky to live here.