Tomato Deluge

Tomatoes are the new zucchini! One neighbor dropped off a dozen; another went away and left a garden full, ripe for picking. That leaves me eating and painting and looking up new recipes.

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I did the first sketch in my Stillman & Birn journal with Zeta paper, which is a smooth, heavyweight 270 gsm paper. The recipe page is in a homemade journal with Fabriano soft press watercolor paper, which is a dream to work on. I wrote the main text in watercolor using a dip pen with a drawing nib. If you want to try it, simply load the nib using a watercolor brush. You’ll have to reload frequently, but that will give you a chance to alter the color and get varied tones in the letters.

Home Grown

It’s very satisfying to grow your own tomatoes. Not just cherry or grape tomatoes, which are fine, but full-sized Brandywines or beefsteaks. While other gardeners have been harvesting their tomatoes for a few weeks, my late-maturing heirlooms are just beginning to ripen. And I suppose that’s good. The slow yield has given me one or two to eat and more on the vine to paint.
Tomatoes

This page is a bit of an experiment. I recently bought a new fountain pen—a Lamy Safari—and I tested it with a deep blue-gray waterproof ink from De Atramentis called Fog Gray. The extra-fine pen nib is still much, much thicker than my go-to Micron 02 pen. Although I loved the smooth line, I’m not quite used to the bolder stroke. I found it hard to get much subtlety, especially when shading, which I tend to add in ink before beginning the watercolor. I look forward to more testing!

Tomatoes!

TomatoesFarmers markets are an extravagant display of color and form at this time of year– the sheer abundance of summer’s harvest is astonishing! I went last weekend in search of both culinary and artistic treasures, and found a wealth of choices. Though tempted by the deep red-purple of beets and onions, I set those aside knowing that they would keep until winter. Instead, I selected some of August’s finest– ripe tomatoes, succulent apricots, and several varieties of the year’s first apples.

Fortunately, my family is well trained– they know not to delve in until the painting is done. But with this page complete, we can begin to enjoy one of the season’s simple pleasures.
(Watercolor and ink, Stillman & Birn- Beta journal)