I made some rather heady, rash choices in the green grocer’s the other day because instead of concentrating, I was contemplating my next painting as I shopped. I am now facing the awkward consequences of buying fresh produce based purely on shape or colour, rather than my need of them for the week’s menu.
So now my fridge is stocked full of radishes, pumpkin, mushrooms and mandarins that I never planned on buying.
Given that this art experiment of mine involves painting life’s more ordinary objects, I opted to paint the pumpkin. Despite their surprising versatility as an off-beat ornament, durable Nerf gun target and occasional doorstop, pumpkins remain for me, a particularly ordinary member of the veggie family.
This is in large part due to another rash decision I made long ago, when I was planning my wedding as an enthusiastic but oh-so naive 22-year-old. Rather than go with the tried and tested method of decorating with flowers, I erred on the side of desperate originality and decorated with vegetables instead.
The end result was that the early weeks of married life were overshadowed by a pressing need to deal with our edible wedding ornaments. I was an inexperienced cook with what seemed like a truck load’s worth of mismatched vegetables to get through. (History, it seems, does repeat itself.)
It wasn’t long before stir-fry became as exciting as the discovery of a rates bill in the letter box.
The last veggies to be dealt with – those sultans of long shelf-life – were the pumpkins.
As I hacked away at their insanely dense flesh, I rued my choice not to decorate the church with pre-packaged microwave meals for two. Or bars of chocolate. Anything other than pumpkin. I also regretted not asking someone to buy us a decent chef’s knife as a wedding gift.
Such memories may well be why I’ve turned out the following painting this week:
If only I’d learned from my excesses… I now find myself searching for a recipe that mixes an entire bunch of radishes, with a sizeable pumpkin and a small handful of mushrooms… with possibly some mandarins thrown in for good measure.
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