Thursday, June 25, 2015

Strawberry Ice Cream

I've never been an artist who chooses to do paintings based on a series, but I think I might be working on one right now. This is my second strawberry-inspired painting.  If I do a third, I think that makes it a series!

I wrote in my last post, that my strawberry picking adventure brought back so many long forgotten memories. It really did.  I know that I got my love for gardening from my mother; she the main gardener in my family. Being at her side as her little partner, she taught me so much that I never even knew I was learning.

I love the vegetables that I harvest, but my garden now is kind of... cute. My parents' garden was for food production; cute was never part of their plan.
We had long rows of corn, beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables along the side of our house, but in the back, beside the peach trees, we had a strawberry patch.  Every memory that comes to mind involves being bent over, (You do a lot of bending over in a strawberry patch.) I was a little thing, but I knew to put the runners back into the soil bed and out of the path.  I knew not to bother the little yellow and white blooms.  I knew that if I didn't bother the bees, they wouldn't bother me. I knew to gently check under the big three leaf greenery. I knew not to pick the almost red ones yet.  As I got older, I knew to walk slowly down the row with the water hose.  I knew to use a grapefruit spoon to cap the leaves off the top when we were getting them ready to freeze. I also knew how much sugar to pour on them. (But, I have to say that I have tried to un-learn that.)  And, I learned that the best way to eat a strawberry is when it's still warm from the sun... before it's been cooled or cut or washed... I know that horrifies some... a quick blow gets (most of) the dirt off and leaves 100% of the flavor.

I also remember that she often gave me a piece of Juicy Fruit gum to chew whenever we were about to go out and pick.  Yum!! That was always a treat... or... wait... was it a trick to keep me from eating the berries as I picked!

My mama is 89. Last week I sat on the porch with her one afternoon.  She rocked and I peeled peaches for about three hours. She asked me, "What did you learn when you were growing up with me?"  I thought of enough things that it pretty much filled the afternoon with conversation.

Thank you to Reagan Family Farms for bringing back such sweet memories.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 8" Wrapped Canvas

And while you're clicking, check out my niece's blog, Adventures in Our Urban Landscape. She's the next-generation gardener, and I think she's found the balance between food production, beauty, and heritage. 
Imagine how much her kids are learning! 
I wonder if she gives them Juicy Fruit when they help pick... I'll have to ask. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Strawberries in a Bowl

There's nothing quite like a just-picked strawberry still warm from the sun, never been washed, never been in the refrigerator... Mmmmm.....

A few Saturdays ago, we went to a local strawberry farm and had the best time!  First of all, the whole place was simply beautiful and happy, and it brought so so many long-forgotten memories to mind. There were beehives, roosters, chickens, a tractor, a friendly farmer, and rows and rows of ripe strawberries... I loved it!  I know I'll be doing quite a few paintings of strawberries this summer, so I'll share some of the fond strawberry memories that were brought back with next paintings.

I'll start with a funny (actually pitiful) conversation with my city-boy husband as we were driving across town to get there.

HIM: We forgot to bring gloves or wear long sleeves?
ME: Huh?
HIM: I thought we were supposed to wear gloves or long sleeves to pick berries.
ME: What? We're going to pick strawberries.
HIM: Do they not have thorns?
ME: Seriously? Have you never picked strawberries? Ever?
HIM: They don't have thorns?
ME: Noooo.
HIM: Do they grow on trees?
ME: Oooooohhhh... bless your heart... No, dear, they don't have thorns or grow on trees.

So we picked and picked and picked; he was a good strawberry pickin' partner.  We ended up with way more than we needed, but it was just so hard to stop! And, yes, we did indeed stop at the store on the way home for a tub of vanilla ice cream. :)
If you can't go in person, go visit the Reagan Family Farm on Facebook.

I submitted this little painting to The Naked Artists June challenge.  Their words for this month were ethereal, red, waterasymmetrical, and three.   

  • I read that strawberries are 92% water, but let's be honest... It's the other 8% that we love most.
  • When I checked the definition of ethereal, I found the words "too perfect for this world... mmmm... :) If you'd have tasted these... mmmmmm...
  • Well, they are all technically asymmetrical, but I sure did try to choose the ones that were perfectly shaped.
  • At least strawberries are red; I don't have to stretch it for that one.
Original Oil Painting on 5"x 7" Wrapped Canvas