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Of the Lowly Tomato – Art in the Garden by Guest Blogger Susan Keister

August 8, 2011

Susan Keister is a graduate of the Level 3 Certificate in Art and Design (Gardenias), and is currently studying for her Level 3 Certificate in Experimental Stitch.  Here, she speaks about inspiration in unlikely places.  All art work is © Susan Keister.  Photographs are © Gail Harker.

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Food and cooking are favorite passions of mine.  So when I began to think about my final theme in Art and Design,  Gail wisely steered me down that path.  I chose a tomato not ever imagining that one could glean such a large amount of inspiration from the likes of such a small round red ball of fruit.  What I appreciate most about working on this  project is that, for me, it was the beginning of understanding the process of abstraction.  When you select a very specific item to study, for example a tomato, you have the complete delight of discovering a myriad of elements.  Tomatoes are not only red but yellow, green, orange and even purple.   Their textures are smooth and shiny or plump and juicy.  Where fruit meets stem and then beyond and into the flesh their lines are squiggly or straight or bold or intricate or uniform.  And, of course, the shapes, so organic and sensual and even  their shadows make shapes.  Just the discovery and visual sensations would make one quite happy.  But the real joy and excitement comes, for an artist, as you begin to determine how to translate all this onto paper and/or fabric with paint, stitch, threads, etc.  You can be sure that every time I encounter a tomato, in a salad, on the vine, dried or roasted, I now see them quite differently.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Betty Caskey permalink
    August 9, 2011 2:56 am

    I have always admied Susan’s work. It is so rich with colour & shapes..
    See you all soon

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