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November 2010

Final Autumn Image: Pomegranate

Pomegranate Ever since I ate my first pomegranate as a child, I have loved them. I loved them so much then that when I picked blackberries in the summer, I'd take the biggest one I could find and pluck each black lobe off the berry one-by-one, pretending that the berry was a pomegranate. Now, one of the things I appreciate about them is that they are true autumn fruits. One cannot buy a pomegranate in March, at least not in grocery stores around here. Yes, they have become very popular because of their health-giving attributes, but that hasn't made them available all year 'round except in juice form.

Over the years I have incorporated varied images of pomegranates into artworks - everything from hand-carved eraser stamps to textile stencils. For this final Autumn Image entry honoring the pomegranate I selected a page from my travel journal from my October, 2007 trip to China. As our bus traveled the roadways of central China, I was quick to notice that it was pomegranate season there, too. Vendors sat by the road with their small tables of fruit stacked in orderly pyramids. When we reached Kowloon City, I struck out for a fruit stand to buy one of the paler-hued Chinese pomegranates. I missed the deep red of the western fruits, but the colors of the Chinese one were pleasing to paint.

Autumn Image #6: Edgefield McMenamins

McMensketch Edgefield, a former poor farm and nursing home, has been in business for 20 active years as a hotel. The gardens seen in the foreground provide vegetables and herbs for the restaurant. Trees and shrubs with changing leaves puncuate the beautiful grounds. We were there during the time of the grape crush for this year's wines.

Persimmon leaf Early on Monday morning I headed up a pastoral path behind our comfortable and interesting lodging: Edgefield McMenamins in Troutdale, Oregon. I selected a spot to stand and sketch the appealing landscape laid out below. A Douglas squirrel was nibbling in the shrub next to me, and birds flitted in and out. Raindrops began to fall; note the unintentional dappled texture on the small sketchbook page. Walking back to the hotel from my lofty point, I heard tree frogs (couldn't see them), and passed a tree loaded with orange persimmons. Half of its leathery leaves were on the ground. Here is one of them. Edgefield operates at capacity during the summer months, but Autumn is a quiet, reflective time to visit.

Autumn Image #2: Flora of Woodstock, Vermont

To take an autumn trip to Vermont is an all-American must for many of us. To see the spectrum of color on the hillsides, to wind around the country roads, to stop at an apple stand by the Grandma Moses-perfect cannot forget the pleasures of a visit. When I went to Vermont with a friend a few years ago, taking my sketchbook was imperative. Here is a group of sketches I did on one page, after taking a walk around Woodstock, my home for a week.

Woodstock flora

A Month of Thanksgiving

Indian Corn small I've always loved the spring, but in recent years I've grown increasingly fond of the autumn. It helps to have Seattle flooded with sunshine this week, so that the unique and subtle colors of the season are illuminated; this, as most people know, is not the norm up here in the northwest corner.

In honor of the unique beauty of autumn, throughout November I will be posting a series of images I have created during this season. Here you see an ear of Indian corn I drew and painted in 2009 for a card to send to friends and family members. The details: line work was done with a 000 Rapidograph tech pen over the original pencil drawing. The color was done as a separate layer on Arches hot press watercolor paper. They were each scanned, then blended into one image in PhotoShop.