Paint your veggies and eat them too

This morning I decided to head out to the Somerville Winter Farmers Market to partake in Urban Sketchers Boston, a group that gathers weekly to sketch. I’ve been once before but wanted to get back into it again.

I felt a bit of anxiety as I arrived due to the amount of people that were there, but the sound of live jazz coming from the café helped ease me.

Once in the market’s main area, I walked around to take it all in: fresh vegetables, hanging plants, pastries. My anxiety still lingered, so I went to the market’s second floor to see what else I could get my eyes on.

I eventually found a stand lined with books on sale from the local public library. And there, looking right at me, was a copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (I had been in search of it up to that point, since I want to use a passage for an upcoming blog post).

Astounded, I picked up Fahrenheit and asked the sellers if I could take a picture of the quote I was looking for. But before I began leafing through the pages, it occurred to me to ask how much the book was going for. The price could not have been better: one dollar, along with everything else.

With that in mind, I jumped to see what else they had to offer. I came across Haiku in English edited by Jim Kacian, Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, and D.I.Y.: Design it Yourself (Design Handbooks) edited by Ellen Lupton.

These were only three out of the nine that I bought. The other titles include:

  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • The Rolling Stone Interviews edited by Jann S. Wenner
  • The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve my City, One Block at a Time by David Sloan Wilson

I was in heaven. Each of these books touched topics that have recently had personal significance. I can’t shy away from saying that it felt as though it was meant to be.

Content with my purchase and with my hands full, I went downstairs to finally see what I was going to draw. I landed on a vegetable stand at the very entrance of the farmers market, trying not to be in people’s way.

I started off drawing the stand, but decided to watercolor a watermelon radish at the very end.

The radish was striking. I drew and painted the radish on-site, but later added the text, which was an idea I took from fellow artist Kate.

Artist: @mightydays

I was really impressed with her work. The shadowing within the box and detail of the leaning squash at the top stand out, with the hidden letters adding another layer of interest.

Wanna trade?

A few days ago I received two art pieces in the mail from a college friend I haven’t seen in years. He originally reached out to see if I was selling any of my artwork.

Rather than sending me cash, I proposed a trade: how about we trade something you make (i.e. art, poetry, whatever) for what I make?

It keeps things interesting but also keeps me from monetizing my work. It was an idea I took from an artist my friend Katherine met.

So, although he has never shown his work to anyone, my friend JC agreed to send me two of his pieces (and was okay with me sharing them).

untitled 1
untitled 2

I was amazed. Each piece is well composed, which is something hard to do when you’re pulling together very different elements. His pieces kind of give an air to Feist’s album artwork for The Reminder.