Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer crops

Tom Robbins once wrote in "Another Roadside Attraction" that the Skagit fields grow more than half the world's supply of cabbage seed. A closer figure upwards towards 90% would be a more accurate count in today's market.

Most of my paintings have depicted migrant farm workers picking tulips. I use the tulips in most of these paintings solely to exploit their color. Reality in the fields is much different. This delta soil, with virtually no industry upstream, hosts some of, if not the richest soil in the world. Strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, beets, cucumbers, cabbage, spinach, are just a few crops grown here for not only consumption but, also propagation.

Often, I will study a figure in several paintings before I let it go. This started when I moved here with a 15 year old, Maria, and her father. I painted those two and then later, Maria's husband, for over ten years. These two paintings shows the beginning of that process.

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