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Z for Zucchini – Art in Food Markets

March 26, 2016

 Z for Zucchini – Art in Food Markets

Occasionally I travel with Don to the grocery stores.  He does all of the shopping and cooking.   Shopping  in a store such as the Asian Food Market in Everett Wa. can be a lengthy experience. I’m not really needed on this excursion as he is in a sensory world of his own, rolling the cart slowly through the food aisles, reading labels and preparing meals in his head.  I, on the other hand, stroll different aisles,  looking for patterns that the grocery artisans have created. I am surrounded by unique colors, shapes, patterns and textures.  Row upon row of vegetables and fruits piled high. It’s all here – every possible element of art and design.   If I want to take photos I need to find someone in charge to get permission to do so.  Or I might bring out my little sketchbook and a pencil as I stand in front of the fish counter or a pile of cabbages, quickly and roughly drawing my observations. Yes, people are curious and want to know why I am drawing a lowly vegetable such as this. It doesn’t end there as I always buy a few perfect specimens that I want to photograph or draw with more care at home. The multitude of photographs end up in my alphabetized computer file that starts with A for apple or avocado and runs all the way to Z for zucchini.  I add to this file by photographing Don preparing them. The photos pop up in all sorts of ways in new artwork or in my sketchbooks. I do not have to have an end result in mind to collect images of fruits and vegetables as obsessively as I do. The small sketch, photograph or meal is a reward in itself.    Gail Harker

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Penny Peters permalink
    March 26, 2016 3:08 am

    The most delicious eye candy. Circles, ovals, seeds, stems–all in gorgeous color. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mical Middaugh permalink
    March 26, 2016 8:04 pm


  3. Marti Oppenheimer permalink
    March 27, 2016 12:33 am

    Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary

  4. March 28, 2016 1:35 am

    What a wonderful collection of textures and colors. Always inspiring finding beauty in the ordinary.

  5. March 31, 2016 3:11 am

    I just taught a class at Gail Harker Creative Studies in paper casting. It was grand! Because of the wonderful people this center attracts, their creativity, their generosity of spirit, and their work ethic, I believe everyone should join. Meanwhile, Don made me for dinners, the best marinara sauce with pasta, then chicken parm, then – get this! – rack of lamb! How wonderful is that. Thanks so very much, Gail & Don, for a great 3 days.

  6. March 31, 2016 3:42 am

    It was wonderful to have you teach a class here. The students loved it. Gail

  7. permalink
    April 9, 2016 7:44 pm

    dear gail,

    i read your emails with interest and enjoyment. it would be a difficult task to pick my favorite. one sentence from this post stood out for me. I do not have to have an end result in mind to collect images of fruits and vegetables as obsessively as I do. while it’s only in my head that i’m an “artist,” i now have an understanding of my picture taking. thank you for legitimizing do.


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