Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miracle Babies

#245 - Draw Something
"October"

I have pickleworm, a.k.a. Diaphama nitidalis Cramer. Now, don't panic, it isn't contagious (at least not by Cyberspace contact) but it prevents me from growing certain cucurbits; cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and the like.

When I first moved to this island in 1991 I attempted to grow a kitchen garden, and one of my favorite vegetables was a variety of winter squash the locals commonly but erroneously call "pumpkin." This plant was terrific - place it on fallow land and it choked out invasive weeds. It grew and grew and grew, and produced lots of fruit that was not only tasty, but a really good subject for still life renderings. Then, when I reached the point of readiness to paint my produce, pickleworm arrived!

Pickleworm is a nondescript grey moth which lays its eggs on a blossom. The hatchling caterpillars eat out the center of the flower, preventing the formation of fruit. Last year I planted some squash seed, and though I had scores of blossoms, the squash never formed. Then a miracle occurred. I say it's because I got sloppy. I stopped weeding the perimeters, and false staghorn fern and other viney unwanteds swallowed up a portion of the garden margin. My squash vines were able to hide a few of their blossoms under cover of the weeds. Fruit actually formed and thrived, and I was able to harvest three lovely "pumpkins." I don't know what was more rewarding, the soups and casseroles I made for consumption, or the photo I captured to turn into this drawing.

Lesson learned? Sloth isn't always a bad thing. If I hadn't let a few weeds into my garden, I would not have these lovely squash. Now I am looking for a similar reason to find saving grace in a lapse of housekeeping -- say, laundry piles, or dirty dishes? I know, Penicillin has already been discovered, but maybe there is something else out there for me to find. One can always hope!
***

17 comments:

Ann said...

I love this drawing and I think you did a wonderful job using colored pencil for this. So good to see you blogging again - I always enjoyed your art and writing so much :-)

bettyfromtexas said...

HOW BEAUTIFUL!!

Vicki Holdwick said...

Christie,

This drawing is really nice. I came here from your post at everydaymatters expecting to see something amateurish, but am pleased to find a beautiful drawing.

Don't be so hard on yourself,

xoxo

Shirley said...

Beautiful drawing - the colors are so soft and yet you achieved great volume in your pumpkins.

Sasa said...

Haha, love your 'pumpkins'!

Krista Meister said...

Very lovely, subtly colored drawing. I just discovered blue pumpkins this year. Beautiful!

Alex said...

Beautiful and delicious looking pumpkins! Your skills with colored pencils are on the top. So much so that I just want to grab the pumpkins and cook them ^^

Possum Patty said...

Awesome job with the colored pencils! Love the story!

Marina Montanaro said...

They are truly beautiful. Sometimes we have to stop being unhappy with our work and just post it -what you did!
And thank you for the lesson on "sloth" ;D.
Love and chocolate, Mus Marina
http://www.suficartoons.com/

Sketch Gurl said...

I love your sketch. Nice shading.

lyn said...

great blog! Continued success!

kazumiwannabe said...

That's beautiful! Love the style, and the colors. Great story too, very interesting! You've got some fantastic drawings on this blog!

Anonymous said...

Christie, Love your drawings and all the delightful stories that go with them. You are a charmer!
Joan Gillman Smith
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joangillmansmith/

Melissa S. said...

Beautiful! Those pencils still work!

Ramona Davidson said...

Lovely drawing of your "pumpkins" and lovely story. I say you got your money's worth from the seeds, photo, and color pencils. Love to see more.

raena said...

I love this image! It is so well done, just beautiful!

Art is for the Making said...

Wonderful.