Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tomatoes at Their Peak

After setting Diversity of the Tomato up at the school for the BFA show (opening reception, Thursday, September 15th, 5-8pm) I noticed that the piece looked very sparse. I have this annoying ability to make everything exactly the same. So most of the tomatoes are medium or small. Nothing in between and nothing bigger. And every time I would tell myself to make a big one it ended up being a medium guy. I am afraid of making things BIG. But I have been making tomatoes that I will add to the piece and most of them are BIG!

This is what the piece looks like now...not as bad in photo but in person it lacks variety in shape and size...and that is the whole point of the piece!

This guy is 6 inches wide! First I sculpt them with self-hardening clay and after a day of the top drying, I carve out the inside (very fun!). Once they are fully dry I will paint them with white oil paint and linseed oil. Then I will secretly sneak into the gallery and add my tomatoes to the piece...

I added him for a bit more variety in shape, not so much size since he is only 3 inches wide.

5 inches!

5 1/2 inches!

A tiny lady for variety in shape. She is only 2 1/2 inches wide and an inch tall. I am in the process of making at least four more tomatoes with the last bit of clay I have.

And these are not sculptures but real tomatoes from my CSA this week! Very beautiful and a great example of the many colors a tomato can be which is seen in the quilt of Diversity of the Tomato.

One last thing to mention. I was out of clay to sculpt these guys, so I needed to go to Blicks. I would usually take the red line 2 stops to the end then wait 15 minutes for the purple line. And on the way back, waiting for the purple line can be 25 minutes sometimes. So I rode my bike with Jacob instead! 8 miles in all. It felt so wonderful to take myself somewhere instead of waiting for Mama L to bring me there on her own watch. I'm still afraid to ride on my own but I think I will get there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Muddy Boots on the Farm

Yesterday at the farm, we started the day off with harvesting Rainbow Chard. The dark, massive clouds started to roll in. It was gloomy as we finished the rainbow chard and moved on to the summer squash. Once the squash was harvested it was time to pull the radishes from the ground. As we walked towards the radishes we could hear the thunder rolling. The sky was pink and the swallows were circling right above our heads searching for shelter. We had harvested half the radishes we needed when the rain started to drizzle. I was excited because I was never allowed to play in the rain as a child and since then had never spent much time in the rain without an umbrella. It soon started to pour and there was no longer a single thing dry on my body. While searching for some large radishes I almost slipped and fell into the gooey mud. Luckily I brought my brand new sloggers!

I was laughing hysterically at one point because it was so much fun...but soon it got cold. When we finished gathering 170 bunches of radishes we went back to the barn and stayed there. We washed the chard and radishes then we trimmed the stalk and roots from the many onions we pulled from the ground last week. It was a lot of fun listening to stories with some of the most interesting people I have ever met. And Jami said that if I were a bird I would be a finch!

My clothes are still wet and as much as I blame my mom for never letting me play in the mud, I now understand why.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My first art show!

I was part of the intern show at the Packer Schopf Gallery last Friday. It was the first time I saw how people reacted to my work without knowing me. It has motivated me to keep chugging along. I saw that people really did like to look at my work AND learn what it was about! People reacted to my explanations with interest and stories of their own. It was beautiful. I want my work to educate people about food and how it got to our tables. It felt so wonderful to do that Friday. I know that one day I will find the perfect way to make my artwork and my interest in farming come together.

61 Feet Per Square Meter, I hung it from the ceiling and thought it actually looked much better than on the the wall.

Close up of 61 Feet Per Square Meter, and Ezra's Gourd (shape study) in the background.

Manufacturing the Sunflower, it was wonderful to see it hung for the first time!

Close up of Manufacturing the Sunflower with Gourd (color study), and Beet in the background.

Last minute cards for people to grab. My thumb is still numb from cutting 250 of these out!

Arqui, Adrian, and Kristen!

I missed the beautiful moment when Claire and Will first saw each other that night...but they recreated it for the camera.

And last but not least, my greatest piece of all! Randy and Jacob loved it so much. They stood against it all night admiring it's crisp edges and it's ability to hold a ceiling up.

Thanks again to all my friends that came out! This was so important to me and you guys made it great.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Great day on the farm!

I worked on the farm yesterday. Green Earth Institute that is. We started out with harvesting kale. Pulling the big healthy leaves off the plant and wrapping a rubber band around em when we got a good bunch. There were hundreds...more like thousands of mosquitos out and I do not exaggerate when I say that I have about 30 bites just on one arm. I am a scratchy mess and I look like I got the chicken poxs again. But it was worth it.

Next, we went out to the onions and pulled them from the dirt and laid them down on the grown for them to dry out. They smelled so wonderful and it only took a small tug for them to come right out because the soil was moist. The farm has a bunch of tiny toads the size of a silver dollar hopping around. When no one was looking I put my hand to one and he hopped on a few times and hopped off. A few minutes later I saw a big toad! He saw me too and hid in a hole an onion had previously been in but he let me pet his back with two fingers. He was so soft and his skin was very bumpy and loose. I never thought much of toads...but they are really sweet little things.

Then we harvested scallions and patty pan summer squash. The patty pan was hidden among giant green leaves and beautiful yellow flowers. When I would find one I would cut it off with a knife. Their skin is so soft and they are very dense.

Patty Pan image from Skippy's Vegetable Garden with a summer squash bread recipe as well. :0 )

After lunch we hoed the newly planted beet bed. I found out that by hoeing, you break up the surface of the ground killing grown weeds, and ones that were getting ready to show themselves. I will admit...I did not like doing that much.

Then we planted new kohlrabi plants. The tractor had seats for two people to sit on and while the tractor slowly moved down the bed, a part on the tractor created holes every 8 or so inches and the people in the seats threw a kohlrabi plant into the hole. Then we got behind them and packed the dirt around the kohlrabi. This is how they get them evenly in a straight line. I never new. We also planted lettuce this way.

The last thing we did for the day was collect all the onions from earlier that morning. Their skin had dried and the toads were hidden from the sun.

I came home with baby watermelon, cantaloupe (which I can smell right now), peppers, and a wee eggplant. I'm so happy to being volunteering at Green Earth Institute.

Here is a few more images of the cards I created to promote my artwork at the Packer Schopf Gallery on Friday, August 19th, 5-8. I will make about 40 more tonight and tomorrow morning and pass em out one last time. Next, is the BFA show!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Collect em' all!

Jacob and I have been leaving our business cards where ever a restaurant or cafe has space dedicated to them. When we go back to that location 2 weeks later, there is about one to none of Jacob's left and probably every single one of mine left. I am more than aware that my business card is dreadfully boring so I am in the process of designing a new one. But with only a week before the opening of my show at the Packer Schopf Gallery I had to think of something quick. So I made these.

I will spend today making more and dropping them off around Chicago.

Please do stop by the Packer Schopf Gallery on August 19, 5-8pm for the opening reception or August 20, 3-5pm for the closing reception. I will have 5 pieces in the show! And actually if you can't make it to any of those days, I am putting the work up today with Aron so you can stop by all week from 11-5:30 Tuesday-Saturday. I am excited to get a chance to show people my work for the first time!