Saturday, April 14, 2012

At the Market: Spring has Sprung!

It was a gorgeous sunny morning at Gossett's Farmer's Market today. I got there a few hours later than I would have liked to (I was out late last regrets!) so my favorite vendors were sold out of some items. But there were still plenty of delicious veggies to choose from.

My first stop is always at Madura Farms - they have greenhouses where they grow fresh veggies all year round (I love being able to get summer squash in early spring-time).

Gadzukes Zucchini
They also specialize in growing beautiful exotic mushrooms - I haven't tried too many varieties, but I definitely plan on giving them all shot in the coming months (both cooking and drawing them).

Yellow Oyster Mushrooms
I love the visual excitement of the market - the various shapes and colors and textures (and smells)! It's wonderful how a quick trip to the local farmer's market can leave me feeling artistically inspired.
Rainbow Chard
One of my favorite things to get at the market is fresh herbs...they make such a difference in my cooking! Today I picked out something new, hyssop, which tastes like black licorice and has beautiful green and purple leaves (which I'll be drawing in a future piece).
Rosemary, Sage, Cilantro and Thyme
Gaia's Breath Farm was my next stop for cheese and eggs.  They sell an assortment of amazing cheeses, including cumin infused varieties, and my favorite "Painted Goat" feta.
Assorted Raw-Milk Cheeses
I love their gorgeous, multi-colored eggs...the flavor is amazing, and the yolks are a brilliant goldenrod color. Plus, I like knowing I'm eating eggs from chickens that are treated well!
Organic Free-Range Eggs
I made a quick stop at Migliorelli Farm to grab some scallions and some gorgeous little radishes. Migliorelli also carries a wide variety of cold-storage apples throughout the winter...a total lifesaver when I'm craving fresh local fruit in the middle of January!
My last stop was at Bee Guy Apiaries for a big jar of local honey. Now that my son Dylan is over a year old, I plan on using honey as a sweetener in more of my cooking. 
Local Honey
It was a great morning at the market...I managed to get most of our groceries for the week including lots of green veggies (I see stir fries in my future!) I also came home with quite a few ideas for my next drawing.

Today's Harvest:
Broccoli - Madura Farms
Gadzukes Zucchini - Madura Farms
Beefsteak Tomatoes - Madura Farms
Sweet Potatoes - Madura Farms
Snow Peas - Madura Farms
Green Beans - Madura Farms
Baby Spinach - Madura Farms
Hyssop - Madura Farms
Free-Range Organic Eggs - Gaia's Breath Farm
Painted Goat Feta - Gaia's Breath Farm
Scallions - Migliorelli Farm
Radishes - Migliorelli Farm
Local Honey - Bee Guy Apiaries

Friday, April 13, 2012

Artwork in Progress: "On the Vine" Part 3

I made a lot of progress on this piece this week (and actually finished it...wahoo)!

Here's where I started out on Monday morning, with some orange tomatoes, some ghostly looking vines, and a super black background. Looking at the drawing in this stage is a bit weird...all the colors are so off!

I added some more red to the tomatoes and built up the vines with various greens and purples. I'm really digging the way the vines turned out. I wanted them to be as much of a focal point in this piece as the tomatoes, and I think they really stand out.

Added some more red to the tomatoes, used some olive green to define the shadows (complimentary colors are amazing things) and enhanced the highlights.

The black background was way too flat and intense so I added a slight blueish gradient...

I finished drawing yesterday morning. Whenever I'm done with a piece it feels like that moment in class when you're taking a test and you've run out of time and the teacher says "pencils down!" I could keep on working on this drawing for weeks, making super subtle changes that no one else would notice (or care about) except me. It's time to move on though...

Time for one of my least favorite parts of being an artist...signing my work. I always feel like the signature detracts from the finished piece (even if it's super small and well-planned out). Plus there's the issue of me never being able to sign my name in a straight line.

My husband Ed thinks that my slightly crooked signatures are a great way to make a personal statement and prevent forgeries...he's such an amazing glass-half-full, silver-lining, make lemonade kind of guy.

I'm done drawing and my piece is signed...time to photograph it (which is a whole complicated process in itself.) I should have prints of this drawing available for sale super soon!

I'm heading to Gossett's Farmers Market tomorrow morning to get some inspiration for my next piece (and maybe I'll see some of you there). Hope y'all have a great weekend full of sunshine, farm-fresh food and lots of joy!

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