The Camden Farmers Market invited me to set up with my art and do watercolor demonstrations. They try to have a different event or presenter every week. I sent an announcement to the paper that I'd be there and if time permitted I'd do mini art lessons. The market sent their own announcement, "Try Your Hand at Painting", saying that everyone at the market would have a chance. Oh boy.
Last Saturday was the day and it was perfect. And went a bit differently than I'd expected. First I finally got to meet a couple who have either gotten their orders from me by mail or picked them up outside my door.They'd seen the announcement and had come to say hello. Then I had a lovely experience with a couple who were wishing I had a print of belted galloways (the 'oreo cookie' cows Aldermere Farm, Rockport Maine, is famous for) in a smaller more oblong format.Their desire inspired me to try a painting in that format right then. They watched me paint it and then bought it.
I was quite busy all along selling prints and notecards while working on this "demonstration" even though I'd only brought a limited display and inventory. After I finished their painting, I worked on another version in a different style. This I just drew with rigger brush in ochre line. Got it pretty well drawn in. A boy (12-13?) from one of the vendors expressed a lot of interest in whether I worked in other media. I found out he is very interested in art, keeps a sketch book, but had never tried watercolor. He came by again to deliver a huge basket of goodies which the market vendors give to the event 'presenters' of the day. (My goodness what they put in there - meats, breads, jams, lots of veggies,). Then it dawned on me that he might have been wondering when the "try your own hand" or "mini lesson" would be. I'd been so caught up in everything that I'd forgotten about the "lesson". I called him back over and we set about doing a quick follow-along painting of belted galloway cows.( I realized later how appropriate the subject was for him - the family business is beef.) A professional illustrator, who was doing a booksigning at the market, came over to see my work and was very impressed with how the boy was painting. I said the boy had never done watercolor before but this was what happens in a follow-along lesson. It was good for the boy, who'd been saying to me that he wasn't doing well with his painting, to get such a spontaneous and genuine reaction from a professional illustrator.
The following is part of my thank you lettercard to the market vendors. Last year when I did a demonstration at the market I'd also had such a nice time and been so floored by their generosity that I felt compelled to draw a special farmers market card. This time I had an even better time, and so, made another lettercard.
For dinner I had several questions about foods I didn't recognize or had had no prior experience with. Fortunately, my landlord, who is also a chef, was working right outside my kitchen window working on the house. I stuck the scallions-young leeks-or green onions out the window at him. Young leeks, and watch for the soil that can collect just where the white turns to green. They look like they've been grown in high mulch to give them a long white section. And what is this bacci ball? Looks like a French? melon. It's like cantaloupe... I opened the packet of hamburger meat, formed a generous patty and sauteed in my cast iron skillet. It was soon cooked to a nice rareness. I put the hamburger aside on my plate to wait for the sliced potatoes and leeks which would cook in the pan where the hamburger had been. Just peek to see if the hamburger is cooked right. Oh that is delicious, there is a bit of sweetness to it and it doesn't need salt... It ended up being my first course while I stood there frying the potatoes and leeks. These too were so good even though they had to be eaten without the hamburger... And a 'bacci ball' melon for dessert.
And so, I have been eating like a king all week... I started the week wanting to write here about my farmers market experience, but ended up writing several versions for various other letters. It has taken me til now to write for here. I am putting aside for now my reactions to Katrina and her aftermath.