Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
Dust if you must, but the world's out there
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
This photo of sushi represents one of those odd occurances in life when you run into something for the first time and then continue to see it everywhere. If you've seen this blog before, you know I love to draw food, so this photo really grabbed my attention. I had recently heard of something called "The 100 mile diet", an interesting concept about eating only food that was grown within one hundred miles of your residence. When I went to the library this weekend, the book of the same name was on the display table. As I drew the sushi, it occurred to me that nearly all of the food stuffs represented in this sushi had come from far beyond my local area. We have no rice fields, no soy fields, no crab grounds, no sea coast for seaweed, no vinegar maufacuring for the rice flavoring, no avocado fields. The only thing that could be locally found is the cucumber. The authors of the 100 mile diet say that our food travels an average of 1,500 miles "from farm to fork". My local TV stations are currently advertising "fresh" fruit and vegetables from Chile - the tag line is "Because it's summer in Chile". Nice sentiment, but doesn't that also mean that the fruit is coming from another hemisphere? There's 10 countries between Chile and Canada. That tomato had seen more countries than I had. But despite it's wordly experiences, those tomatos were pale and insipid. Beside them in the store, were plump, vibrant, fragrant cherry tomatos from Shirley's Geenhouse in Airdrie, about 20 miles away from my house. And they cost twice as much as the ones from Chile. It's a mixed up world, isn't it?
"100 mile diet: a year of local eating" by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon
Different Strokes for Different Folks for the other sushi paintings
Watercolor and Pigma pen in Moleskine watercolor journal 5x7
Another architectural type drawing. I knew this one would be difficult - trying to differentiate a blue and white windmill against a blue and white sky. But I liked the photo for the strong shadow shapes, and the colors.
This is an actual windmill that was used to grind up to 150 pounds of flour a day. The owner, a farmer near Bruderheim, made it entirely of wood and lubricated the moving parts with paraffin wax.
I had trouble with the values of blues - I think this is the difference between a novice painter and a truly accomplished one. It takes practice to see more than 3 or 4 values, and even more practice to reproduce them on paper. Once I added the original sky color, the windmill faded out. I used felt pens to deepen the sky which increased the contrast but did not go on smoothly. The sky now looks blotchy. But as a learning experience, it was quite valuable. And isn't that really what life is all about?
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
---Alan and Marie Bergman