Salad Bar Tango

by cindy



It’s been a long time comin’.

There are reasons for the delay—valid ones, really. Other than sloth even, though sloth was a good part of it.

I had initially considered working my way from the early days and early works toward the more recent. I found that to be a lot of work. Progress was immediately hampered by the fact that images of almost every piece of art before, oh, six or seven years ago maybe, were on slides. Yep. Slides. As in, slide projector slides.

I realize I just lost my younger readers. Google it.

Anyway, over the last months I made concerted efforts to scan my slides on my super-duper scanner. Unfortunately, many most of the slides have ever-so-slightly curled over the years and the scanned images are rather fuzzy around the edges. So, I began to shoot digital images of as many pieces that I could locate. And there my efforts stalled.

On our very recent visit to Son Number One and family in Chicago, Dear Dave captured this shot of the Peanut and her Daddy looking at a painting. Son Number One and his lovely wife, Chicago-Daughter-in-Law, have a long, beautifully lit hallway on which they display pieces of art from many friends and family members. The painting the Peanut is reaching towards in this photo is one of her favorites, I am told. And it is one of my paintings. What can I say? The kid has good taste.

Photo by David Owens

Of course, her reaction to the bright colors and swirling lines just made my day. And I realized that perhaps this is the piece I should begin with. The painting, Salad Bar Tango, in its own way marks a departure for me. First, it was one of my earlier serious attempts at watercolor. I was still immersed in painting in a rather representational style and, though I had not crossed over to the abstract, I was beginning to fracture my images more and more.

Part of my “fracturing” was because I found that by tucking colors in here and there, the contrast with surrounding colors gave an additional “pop” to the work. I also began fracturing for a practical reason. Watercolor painting can be  challenging for me because I find it to be the least forgiving medium. I often found that I liked most of a watercolor work but would be troubled by a certain small area. Eventually I began using opaque watercolor (gouache) to help correct troubling areas and of course, balanced the work by pulling in the gouache into other areas.

Salad Bar Tango was one in which I deliberately used the two different water mediums regardless of any need for “correction”. It marks for me the very beginning of working exclusively in mixed media. In this painting, it’s a mixture of different water mediums. Later, I began to include, well, stick around. I’ll do my best to post more work more often and more regularly. By the way, I still on occasion pull out my watercolors. For the most part, my work now is in oil with mixed media. More on that will come. Eventually.

Salad Bar Tango was completed in 2000 and exhibited in two juried exhibitions. It is framed under glass, 20×22″.

On a side note, the Peanut knows this work by its other title: Tornado Carrots. Though I didn’t choose it, I do like the name. It’s not the first of my work to have two names. She might want to know someday, however, that the carrots were actually parsnips. I changed the color. I do like to have fun when I’m a’workin’.