Sunday, September 26, 2010
the first time i painted, i was 2. dad was painting the living room wall, and i decided to paint the living room rug. at 5 i was still coloring outside the lines, but i knew that i wanted to be an artist. i colored, sloppily, made mud dishes in the garden, cut out hearts and snowflakes. i tried every art and craft. my poor mother had glitter embedded in the rugs till i moved out.
i'm somehow the artist-child of 2 people who'll probably tell you it skipped a generation. dad's mom crocheted, mom's mom sewed and did needlepoint. i have some of their (many!) pieces--they were good. but my parents didn't take up an artsy hobby. they're skilled though--mom can sew, though she follows patterns. i'd take the scraps and make barbie clothes. dad can rewire a house and install a pool, but i've never seen him doodle, and i can't go to a hardware store without a long imaginative pause at the paint samples.
my parents weren't without art appreciation (and not just the pictures i'd hang on the fridge). dad had a pretty-darn-big comic book collection, and he did read them; and mom would dutifully bake and decorate, with the help of yours truly, Christmas cookies. hmm... illustrations and cookie cutters...
so i asked before what do sunflowers and Superman have in common, and the obvious answer is that they both get energy from the sun. (nerd grin) but the alternate answer is that they both look really cool with an "ink and paint" look. most of cookie decorating is to outline a field of color and fill it in. but if you were drawing a comic book, you'd sketch an outline, paint in color, then add the outlines and shading with ink. on a cookie, you'd use food coloring.
first ('cause i still like coloring outside the lines) i removed little sections of the regular symmetrical flower shape with a leaf fondant cutter, and replaced them with whole leaves. larger leaves and a strip of dough made the stems and it all baked into a wind-swept sunflower shape. after the icing was dry, i painted in lines with thinned brown food coloring and ta-da, once again, a delightful marriage of cookies and comic books results in a masterpiece. (bigger nerd grin) don't worry, the fantastic-character and baked-goods genes will live on--my son's alter ego is Cookie Monster.
and why are sunflowers my favorite? in addition to being huge and bright and cheerful, they take a while to get that way, and are worth the wait. if i could combine all my favorite colors, i'd just call the palette "September."
now onward to fall--there will be tractors, and i predict some over-the-hill cheekiness. stay tuned, super-friends...