Regarding an Avocado

April 15th, 2014

web avocadoToday I painted my breakfast before I ate it. I’ve been on a morning avocado-on-toast kick for awhile now. Not only is it delicious and nutritious, but it’s also a feast for my eyes. I love the moment of slicing the avocado in half, separating it and marveling at the color, texture and symmetry, at one half hollowed out and the other cradling the smooth brown seed. It seems so easy in theory — elliptical shape, gold, yellow and black/green colors. But it’s maddeningly hard to capture on paper if you’re just an unschooled amateur artist like I am. After I lay down my watercolors on paper and mix as best I can, I add lemon juice and olive oil to the actual flesh and spread it on wheat toast.  But how do I translate that creaminess and citrus bite to paper? I can never get the color  or shape quite right, but I’m drawn over and over to the contemplation of it. I can’t stop trying to convey it. It’s a visual form of meditation to get lost in its simplicity of form, to come up with a different interpretation each time.  It makes me think of other ordinary objects that form a litany of silent praise to my daily life:  crumpled tubes of oil paints (alizarin red, pthalo blue, van dyke brown);  wooden chopsticks; smooth porcelain door knobs; bright blue coils of a water hose; an oversized faux tortoise comb; the shapely shoulders of a pink rose wine bottle. All these homely objects that make a home, all the small things my eyes need to bless.

2 Responses to “Regarding an Avocado”

  1. Tigerlily says:

    How does one paint a taste by looking at the paint colors? Sounds like you are over thinking it. You are letting your brain tell you what color is needed. Don’t use the colors you see in the advocado, use the colors that remind you of how it tastes. What color makes you think of the advocado’s lemon and olive oil flavoring. How about the color for the soft richness of the bread. Let me know when when you have mastered your avocado painting.

  2. nikki says:

    Oh I doubt I will ever master it…that would take all the fun out of it.

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