Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Changes to the Zombie Story Illustration

After I sent that original outline of the drawing for the cover of that zombie horror story, the author asked for a few changes. So, today I made them, and this is the new outline:
One thing I find rather hard is drawing imaginary characters without human models to look at. I suppose it would be easier if I drew people from life more often, which I love to do, but it is not easy to find people who will sit there for hours in awkward positions while you are thoroughly enjoying yourself copying them down on paper. One way to get around this is to just take pictures. Sometimes I have Juneau pose for me when I am having trouble getting a character down, which most of the time is fun, funny and entertaining for both of us since it usually involves him trying to be serious while looking tough or arrogant or some way that he just isn't normally. I had him and myself pose for the first outline of this one, but when I worked on it more today he was not around so I was left with only my imagination. I guess it worked alright. Hmm, perhaps it's time to embarrass myself and Juneau and put up the photos we took for the first outline of this illustration... Yes, I think so, hahaha....
 It's so funny! Hahaha, I had him wear tighter clothes so I could see more of how his body looked, but it has the bonus effect of looking really funny!
Why am I embarrassing myself like this? Ah, well, it's funny!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black Prince Tomato Finished

Here is the Black Prince Tomato illustration that I finished today:
I have not too much to say about these tomatoes today, except that I think this might be one of the ones I grow in the garden we are creating for the lady for whom we are cat sitting. Theoretically, I know that every variety of black or purple tomato can taste really different from the next, but I think they are the color of tomatoes I am the most drawn to. I imagine them to be the tastiest. I think it is because I have this memory of the first time I tasted a really, really good tomato. It was at the Dartmouth Organic Farm where there were some Brandywines growing in the green house. I had never had any tomato that I remembered except the kind mass produced for the grocery store that are picked too early and are bred for durability in travel and over time, not for taste. So when tasting this dark-colored, oddly-shaped tomato I was amazed, and now I guess my eyes see dark colored tomatoes and my taste buds tell me, eat those ones!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cupcakes and Compost

I felt like taking a day off from drawing or painting so here's are a couple more pictures on the cake decorating theme... cupcakes:

Gosh, I want one right now! For a long time, my friend Cloud and I had wanted to do a bunch of really fancy cupcakes. So when I was visiting Twin Oaks a little while ago and there was a joint birthday party for a couple of our friends, it was the perfect excuse. And in the end, they looked awesome, but while we were making them and it was taking longer and longer... and longer, we started to wonder why we do the things we do. Sometimes, you just have to make fancy cupcakes whether you are enjoying it or not. It just becomes a sort of compulsion. Is that what art is about?

The other thing I wanted to post about today is our compost. :) I was worried that it wasn't doing what it is supposed to do because it wasn't getting hot. I thought maybe we didn't have enough fresh stuff in there. And I suppose that may still be the case in order for it to really start cooking and kill of weed seeds and bad bacteria, but when I went out there to stir it up, what I saw made me really happy. It was really starting to look like soil! And we had lots of life in there! And worms! We are doing something right! It's funny how starting this garden out for the lady for whom we are cat-sitting is more exciting to me than gardening has been in the past. I mean, it has always been exciting, but I am just getting really happy about the littlest things, like worms. I think that it is because I always felt like I was working in other people's gardens before. I was just kind of taking orders, learning a lot, but doing what they said. And now I get to just do whatever I say :) So, it feels good when things work out.
 it's becoming soil!

 we have worms!!!
So, Juneau and I want to get a bunch of compost made before it is time to transplant things in this table-like raised bed we are building because we need soil and don't want to buy it when we can just make some really great stuff. We found manure, and in that straw and saw dust, and we put in some soil from the yard, but we also need more food scraps than we make ourselves. Where shall we get these? Our local grocery store dumpster. I know lots of people are really uncomfortable with the idea of dumpster diving, but when we, in the US, end up throwing away 50% of the food we grow, I think it is really the best thing anyone can do to not just fix up their soil, but also to eat and help the environment. I even think it is better than growing your own food as it uses no resources and it's cleaning up other peoples' mess. If that food goes into the landfill it will decompose anaerobically and create methane. Methane is 20 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide! That means it's really bad for global warming. If you want to learn more about dumpster diving there is a pretty informative and entertaining documentary called Dive. I watched it on netflix. Here is a link to the website for the film:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Black Prince Tomato Skeleton

I decided to start this painting in the same sort of way I started the mustard paintings although it is not how I would normally start a tomato:
I thought doing it this way would maybe make me faster. It still seems like it might, but we will see when I finish it tomorrow.
The SESE catalog tells me that these tomatoes come from Irkutsk, Siberia. How far and exotic!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Southern Giant Curled Mustard Finished

Here is the finished illustration of Southern Giant Curled Mustard for SESE:
It is perhaps not as exciting to look at as the giant red mustard, but it was still fun to do, trying to work out how to get across all those tight curls in the edges of the leaves.
Hmmm, I have not much to say about mustard greens today. They have their own little page on this website, called "the world's healthiest foods", where they tell me that mustard greens originated in the Himalayan region of India and have been grown and consumed for more than 5,000 years. Well, thank you India for this yummy, healthy food.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Southern Giant Curly Mustard Beginning

Today I started this illustration of Southern Giant Curly Mustard:
At first I thought it would be overwhelming and confusing to do this one, with all the tiny curls at the edges of the leaves, but as I delved into it I didn't worry about getting the curves exactly as I saw them. Instead, I studied the leaves as a whole for a while and then put down the outlines of what these curly leaves could look like. A couple years ago I would not have trusted myself to do this. I would have put down every tiny curve just as I saw it. But since SESE asked me to work a bit faster i loosened up and it's benefited both of us.
If you'd like to read up on the health benefits of mustard greens there is a very thorough amount of info on this website I just came across:;postID=8037101621572400336

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Giant Mustard

Here is what I finished today, the Red Giant Mustard illustration:
I love it when I can do all the detailed wrinkles of leaves.
I was looking for some fun mustard green facts online and found that mustard greens are good for phytoremediation. This is what wikipedia tells me about it:
This plant is used in phytoremediation to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the soil in hazardous waste sites because it has a higher tolerance for these substances and stores the heavy metals in its cells. The plant is then harvested and disposed of properly. This method is easier and less expensive than traditional methods for the removal of heavy metals. It also prevents erosion of soil from these sites preventing further contamination.
 Wow, healthy for us and healthy for the earth. That's a good veggie.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red Giant Mustard Outline

Here is the beginning of an illustration for SESE of Red Giant Mustard:
I really like this point in the drawing. Probably because I just really like lines. The way you can make something look almost shaded by varying the line width is neat. And I really like red leafy greens. Red Giant Mustard is particularly beautiful. I might have to get some seeds for the garden we are making for the kitty owner. She wants lots of things to make big beautiful healthy salads with and this fits the bill.
Today we planted out some seeds in flats that we had recently germinated and found them little niches in the house in the windows. It's exciting of course and I am wondering how we will have room for everything we want to grow. It is tricky with sixteen cats to find places in windows that they can't get to. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Today we dropped my good friend off in Nashville and I miss her tons. It is really hard to travel around as we have been and leave good friends and family behind wherever you go. So, I made a friend that can come with us everywhere...
In the middle is what he looks like. Up top is what he looks like when he is really happy. And at the bottom is what he looks like when he is shy, but it is also what he looks like when he is being mischeivous. So sometimes it is really hard to tell which one he is being. He doesn't have a name yet, except Friend, which may be his name. He is wondering if there is anyone who has suggestions for a name for him. And as you can see, my friend has a kitty. He needed a friend too after all.
This little guy has been in my head for a while. Although I didn't know he had a pet until today, but I knew I would put him on paper at some point. I guess I just needed the catalyst. I think part of the catalyst was recently watching the movie about Beatrix Potter, "Miss Potter". I have no idea how accurate the story is to her life, but I loved it and the way that it portrayed her creating friends on paper in the form of little rabbits, ducks, and hedgehogs. And I used to love those books when I was little. So, between that and missing my friend, he came about. I think other creative people understand missing good, creative friends. When I am not around silly, creative people for too long I start to shrivel up a little bit and then when I see them again it's like I am a plant getting watered and I prop back up... I need to find the Clarksville creatives. As for now, I have Juneau, sixteen cats, and my new Friend... I guess it is seventeen cats.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Native Son CD Cover

Here is an illustration I did a few years ago for the CD cover of a band called Native Son:
I never did get to hear their music. I suppose they had some hint of some Native American music in there. For the cover I just did a stylized version of what the band member told me he wanted. It was really fun to get out of my usual realistic way.
I wanted to put this up today not just because it is neat and different, but also because today, one of my best friends is coming to visit! Hooray! She lives in Italy and I haven't seen her in three or four years because it is just so far away. I can't believe it's been so long. When we were little we used to spend hours painting, drawing, and doing lots of random, silly, creative things together. She actually has a blog too that she posts on sometimes. It is often about gluten-free food, raw food, gardening, or her art. You can see it here:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

And now for something completely different

I started working on an illustration for the cover of a short story about a zombie hunter today...

I do view it with a sense of humor although maybe I am not supposed to. It is fun to do something totally other than what I would normally do, although so far they kind of look like the doodles of a thirteen year old boy. I imagine the end product will look better when I go into it with paint and vary the weight of the line. Apparently the author has had his series involving the man and his wolf in the illustration published for years in an underground horror magazine and now he is going to self publish it on Kindle.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pennsylvania Butter Flavored Popcorn Finished

Here is the end of that popcorn illustration. It didn't take much more work, but hopefully you can see a little difference:
Here is a little bit of interesting popcorn history from wikipedia:
Popcorn was first discovered thousands of years ago by Native Americans in North America. It is one of the oldest forms of corn: evidence of popcorn from 3600 B.C. was found in New Mexico and even earlier evidence dating to perhaps as early as 4700 BC was found in Peru.
During the Great Depression, popcorn was comparatively cheap at 5–10 cents a bag and became popular. Thus, while other businesses failed, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers. During World War II, sugar rations diminished candy production, causing Americans to eat three times more popcorn than they had before
And here is the nice little compost pile we have started for the cat/house owner:
The plastic cover will stop the nitrogen from leaking out while the pallet sides will allow aeration. We got the idea from an extremely informative and energetic gardener from the local farmer's co-op. It was great to meet someone here who is a geek for organic gardening.

Friday, February 17, 2012

More on Pennsylvania Butter Flavored Popcorn

It was a busy day again, but I spent my last energy reserves on this popcorn illustration, which is not yet finished, but won't take too much longer:
Another thing that the kettle corn people from the Indiana festival told me about popcorn is that a large percentage of the corn grown in the state is popcorn. I can't remember the percent, but I went online to see what I could find. What I did find on eHow was that Indiana is the second largest state in production of popcorn. Combined with Nebraska, the number one producer, the two states grow 55% of the US's commercial production, (25% Nebraska, 20% Indiana). So, when you are running through those corn mazes in the fall, (or walking I guess since running is technically normally not allowed), I wouldn't recommend trying to nibble on any of the ears of corn. They're not going to be the sweet corn you're used to however tempting they may look.
I also wanted to write a bit on here about the other busy-ness in my life right now. We recently decided to make a garden for the lady we are house/cat-sitting for. This is really exciting to me. She has rheumatoid arthritis which makes it hard for her to bend down and work on the ground in the garden, but she has wanted a garden for a long time. So we are going to build her a really tall raised bed with old pallets and some plastic sheeting. That way it will be more like working at a table and she can stand up comfortably. You can see where she got the idea from here:
So far it has just been a lot of running around collecting supplies. We are also working on getting her compost going and have found a place where we can get all the horse manure we want for free! Hooray! Tomorrow I am going to start some seedlings, and of course finish this corn illustration.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Half done Pennsylvania Butter Flavored Popcorn

Today, in the midst of many other things, I worked on this painting of Pennsylvania Butter Flavored Popcorn:
 It still has quite a ways to go since each kernel gets its own detail, but it's getting there. I'm not sure yet if it was the right decision to make the bowl bright red. I thought that it would brighten up the picture, which it does. I just don't want it to dominate. We will see how things balance out when I get more darks on the ears of corn.
So, fun popcorn facts... I was at a fair doing sketched portraits in Indiana one day and I happened to be placed next to the kettle corn people who were very friendly and told me all about their popcorn. At the time I didn't know much about it at all. They told me that popcorn pops because it has water inside and when you heat up that water it expands to the point where the kernel can't hold it anymore and it pops. Those kernels at the end that don't pop didn't have sufficient water inside to create enough pressure when heated to pop the kernel.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

River Cake

Today I am taking it easy to recover from working way too much over the last couple days at edible arrangements. So, here is a cake I decorated for a person named River on his 25 anniversary in the Twin Oaks/Acorn community:
The people dancing in the flowers on the cake are pretty much exactly what he is like. The cake was a hit at the party with jokes about it being a wedding cake to symbolize his marriage to community.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wedding Cakes Forever

Here is a slew of wedding cakes that Cloud and I decorated one day for our friends Summer and Purl:
One thing about Twin Oaks is that there are many different types of people there who all seem to have different diets, and when cooking, baking, or cake-decorating for the community it is nice to try to accommodate them all. So, for Summer and Purl's wedding, Jess baked a couple different flavors of cake made with wheat and dairy, a couple flavors of vegan cake, a gluten free cake, and, I think, a vegan-gluten-free cake. It's hard to remember. That all meant a lot of cakes to decorate! Luckily, Hildegarde, the landscaper and herb gardener was generous with her flowers and edible greens with which to decorate and the garden crew had picked a bunch of strawberries and raspberries to go along with them. Many hours later, I don't remember how many hours, we finished and there was a really nice ceremony and party to follow.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Treasure Chest Cake

Here is another cake from the past, the treasure chest cake:
This was for a young girl at Twin Oaks. I can't remember how old she was going to be, but I think it was eight. Her dad came up to me one day and asked me to talk to Gwen about the cake she wanted because she was too shy to ask. It was so cute. I asked her what she wanted and she said a treasure chest with gold coming out of it in between two trees with fall leaves. So, this is what came out.
And now for the cake story I always tell: When I was eleven years old, I secretly did my first professional cake decorating. My mom was doing a wedding cake for some people who were getting married the next day. After she finished it, she put it in a room in the basement with the door closed so that our cats wouldn't destroy it. Then she had to go out for the night. I don't remember why or where, but I do clearly remember walking into the basement later in the evening to peak at the finished cake and seeing the door open. When I walked in I saw that the cats had licked the icing off about a fifth to a quarter of the cake on one side! I was so worried that this would really screw things up for my mom that I decided to fix it. I got her icing recipe out of the cupboard, made some fresh stuff and re-iced the cake where the icing was missing. It didn't even cross my mind that it was bad to sell anyone a cake that had been licked by cats!!! I didn't say a word to my mom about it and the next day the people came to pick up the cake. My mom brought it to them and noticed that it looked a bit off on one side. It was summer and our house didn't have air conditioning, so naturally, she thought the icing had melted a little bit and this is what she told the people who were happy to just put the less attractive side in the back so no one would notice. In the end, they were very happy with their cake, and in my mind, I saved the day. If they only knew.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


For the next couple days I will be cutting fruit and dipping it in chocolate for hours and hours and hours at Edible Arrangements for Valentines Day. So, there will not be much time for art other than that. Therefore, starting today I am going to post some cakes I decorated previously. To me it's just like painting with icing. Here's the first cake I decorated with my friend, Cloud, at Twin Oaks:
The under the sea theme was Cloud's idea. I love the way it turned out. What was really nice about doing cakes at Twin Oaks was that there was always someone around to bake the cake for you, normally our friend Jess, (also named Jessica Marie as so many of us are). I love to bake too, but am just not as good at it as some others and when you are going to spend tons of time decorating a cake it can just be nice to have the other part done for you.
I learned to decorate cakes from my mom when I was little. She had a cake decorating business on the side and let her little chickens, (her three daughters), play around with decorating too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Finished Florence Fennel

Today I finished the illustration of Florence Fennel and started another for SESE, (but you don't get to see that one yet since it's just a very light sketch). here is the fennel:
I happen to be reading a really inspiring book called The Moneyless Man, by Mark Boyle. It's a true story about this man named Mark, (the author and narrator), who lives for a year without money at all. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in living on less, foraging wild food, using less fossil fuels, or just anyone who wants to live outside of our capitalist, consumerist culture. I bring this book up because there is a paragraph in which he mentions his unique use of fennel, although it is not Florence fennel; it is wild fennel. I'm sure either one would work for this use. He uses it in/as his toothpaste. Here is what he says:
"I use a mixture of ground wild fennel seeds and cuttlefish bones (which wash up on British shores from time to time). Cuttlefish bones provide the abrasive needed to clean and get rid of plaque, while fennel seeds both leave your breath smelling incredibly fresh and kill bacteria and everything else which can lead to bad teeth or gums. Fennel is an ingredient in even the most conventional of toothpastes."
I never would have thought of using cuttlefish bones as a toothpaste!
And just in case anyone actually keeps up with my posts, I decided not to illustrate that children's book. I probably would have done it even without an advance, but after reading the manuscript I just wasn't really interested. Perhaps one day there will be another book. As for now, I just have more time to do whatever I find the inspiration to do.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Today as I was researching illustrator's rights online I came across a woman's site that had pictures of her sketches of animals at the zoo and it inspired me to do some simple sketches of my own of the little creatures around me. Here they are:
This is Cleo, the oldest cat of the house. She is seventeen and looks like an old lady, very angular. Hopefully I will get a more complete drawing of her in the future.

 This is Diva and Suki cuddling in a bed in the cat room as they often do. So cute!
This is the biggest cat in the house, Juneau! He looks a little funny here, but not every picture can be perfect. 

And this is Theo. The cat that looks the most like a fox. He loves to be held and is pretty considerate of the people and kitties around him, never too pushy about being pet and always waiting to eat after the other kitties have eaten.
I have been really enjoying drawing with sharpies. :) 
On another note, it is strange to me to be figuring out a contract for illustrating. The business side of the art world is sort of a confusing and uncomfortable place for me. I am sure other artists understand. I am glad that illustrators put up info on their sites and blogs so that others don't get taken advantage of. And I wish that I didn't have to think about money ever. I wish I just had enough to live off of and then could do art for anyone who wanted, whatever they want, for free. Maybe one day. I just have to practice living without money first I guess.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More on the Namibia Tree

For some reason last night Juneau and I decided to have coffee kind of late and then of course stayed up playing games and being silly and eventually painting and drawing. So, by the time I was painting on this tree it really could be seen as either today or yesterday. Whenever it was, here is the next installment of the Namibia tree painting:
To answer Liz's question from yesterday's post, on whether or not they number the dunes in this desert, the answer is no. The dune that this tree is near is called Dune 45 because it is at the 45th kilometer of the road that connects the Sesriem gate, (the main access point to the Namib-Naukluft National Park) and Sossusvlei, (a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the park).
Painting on this last night felt really good. It reminded me of when I was in high school and would stay up all night painting in my room. I wasn't doing it because I had to, or because someone else wanted it, or because I made this goal to paint or draw every day. I was doing it just because I was into it and time disappeared. That is why I love to draw and paint and I am glad I got back to that for a night.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Namibia Desert Tree - Unfinished

I started a painting today of a tree that I saw seven and a half years ago:
This painting's got a ways to go, but having the basic colors down is a good beginning.
I saw this tree while on a Foreign Study Program that traveled around Southern Africa. This was in the desert near Dune 45 in Namibia. This is the one dune in the area that people are aloud to walk up so as not to disturb the rest of the fragile ecosystem, and although when you are out there you would think it would feel like you were in the middle of nowhere with very few people in sight, this is where anyone who wants to walk these dunes goes. This means at sunrise there are plenty of people with cameras. Still, it is beautiful. When I see pictures of where we were they seem more like dreamscapes than actual places.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Random Illustration

Today, a friend from a gallery in Indiana asked if I was interested in getting in contact with a friend of hers that is a publisher looking for illustrators, and of course, yes, I was. So, they wanted me to do a couple sketches, I suppose to see if I would work for what they are looking for. I had not much to go on except that they wanted the drawing of the boy to be portrait like and to concentrate on the eyes, (which I do anyway), and they wanted the woman with cat at her feet to wear a wide brimmed hat. So, here they are:
I darkened up the cat lady because it was pretty hard to see the sketch as it was.
I think it's kind of a funny coincidence that I was asked to draw a cat lady while I am cat sitting for 16 cats :)
Let's hope they like the sketches.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gold Sebright Rooster

Today I got to that chicken painting, well, rooster painting. Here is the (maybe finished) Gold Sebright rooster that lived on Catalpa farm in Columbia City, IN:

His admirer off to the side there is a Delaware chicken. This proud little guy was one of the littlest guys on the farm there, but he knew he was the most attractive rooster around. He kept coming close to the camera and stopping as if he knew why I was there and wanted to pose.
The Sebright is a Bantam breed, meaning it is a miniature bird with no corresponding large fowl to which it is related, and this breed is really just kept because they are pretty and have good temperaments.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Florence Fennel Unfinished

Today I began this illustration of Florence Fennel:
What I actually had planned to do and wanted to do today was work on another chicken painting. But I am doing these in oil, and I think I would like to do some in acrylic. Sadly, I went to paint and the colors I needed were dried out and unusable. This was particularly upsetting because I was trying to wait until I really wanted to paint a chicken before starting in on another one. Often, I get ideas for paintings and am really excited about them, but then don't get to them right away and they become less exciting and I think the paintings suffer for it. I find that it is best to just get right to it when you get an idea before it gets stale. Alas, sometimes it is not possible. So, I printed out a coupon for the local art store and will have to get some hopefully inexpensive paint tomorrow for the chickens.
Something I have recently realized is that it is better for me to not stock up on lots of paint to use at much later dates because paints just don't last a long time. They change. They dry out. The oil separates. The caps get stuck on them. It just makes more sense to buy a little bit at a time and use it up before it becomes unusable. A good lesson for me.
As for the fennel, I never knew what fennel was until working at the Dartmouth Organic Farm. It is a very unique looking vegetable that I know lots of people love, and that I love to look at. I can't say it is my favorite veggie to eat with its licorice-y flavor, but its pretty good on the grill if I am going to be eating it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

German Johnson Finished

Here's what I just finished, the German Johnson Tomato:
Ok, I can't think of anything to say about these tomatoes today so here are some bad tomato jokes I found on the internet :)

How do you fix a broken tomato?
Tomato paste!

Why Did The Tomato Blush?
Because he saw the salad dressing

and I really just can't even make myself put the ones about the tomato who needs to ketchup on here... We've all heard them too many times.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Validation Day Cards

Today Juneau and I spent all day working on these, (and a couple more that are not finished yet):

It was really hard to get the certified invention paper, but Juneau built this time machine with a DeLorian DMC-12 and we went into the future and bought some with vegetable seeds because there is no more money in the future.
One of my favorite Twin Oaks holidays is coming up and although I cannot be there for it, it is great to be able to take part by making a few cards for some wonderful people, (and a dog). Instead of Valentine's Day, the tradition at Twin Oaks is Validation Day. Before the day arrives a list of members is put up and everyone who wants to participate signs up to make cards for one (or more) person. Once you are finished making your card(s) you put it in a public box where, over the next couple weeks, there is time for the community to sign it with nice comments about the person it is for. Then, on the day of Validation Day at dinner, comments from the cards are read out loud until the diners can guess who it is for. So much fun! And of course afterwards is a party.
It is really nice to get these cards, but my favorite part is making the cards and then thinking of nice, and sometimes silly, things to write to people in them. It just puts me in a really good mood to focus on all the good things about everyone around me. And every year I would start signing cards thinking I would only sign a few of those who are close to me, but then I would get on a role and want to keep going and going and eventually sign all 100 or so cards. This cannot be done this year, but as I said, I am still happy to just make a few cards.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Next Steps on the German Johnson

Here is the next installment of progress on the German Johnson Tomato from today:
Tomorrow I will need to add some darks to give it depth and some details with colored pencil to make it pop.
The SESE catalog tells me that the German Johnson tomato is one of the four parent lines of the Mortgage Lifter Tomato. If you haven't read the mortgage lifter story from the catalog you can find it on the November 15, 2011 post, or of course in the SESE catalog. :) It's a good story.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

German Johnson Beginning

Today I started an illustration of German Johnson Tomato:
These are apparently good for canning, hence the jar.
Tonight is one of those dark and stormy nights and thinking of tomatoes and rain together reminds me of working on the farm at Dartmouth. We grew sungolds to sell to the cafeterias, at a little farm stand, and to the CSA, and we wanted to get the most of the yummiest tomatoes we could. That meant letting them stay on the vine until they were perfectly ripe. But then sometimes it would rain the night before we were going to harvest them and this would make the juiciest tomatoes swell and crack open, which meant they wouldn't last as long and that people would not think they were as pretty for purchasing. So, we would rush out before the rain and get all the ripe ones we could before they soaked up too much water. It made it kind of exciting. Although, harvesting tomatoes at any time is pretty exciting no matter what the weather! :)