"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Friday, 18 January 2008

Leaf of the Day: Baby Red Romaine..unfinished

The weather here has returned to cold and rainy. Temperatures have slipped from 80F to 60 F. It's miserable. I didn't even go out today. So Leaf of the Day was gathered from the plastic bag of salad that has been languishing in the fridge since Saturday. It was also late in the afternoon. This was a mistake.

Here's why..
1 Wilt.. It was difficult to decide how to draw this pretty little red leaf as they are very curvy and curl in on themselves so I just laid it down as you see. However within five minutes this already sad leaf started to flop so its outline and its contours changed very quickly.
2 Light.. It was light when I started but got dark within an hour so all the shadows changed

In the end I abandoned it...there are lessons to be learnt about planning, timing, lighting and the condition of your model!

The "Romaine" in its name refers to "Roman" and it was mentioned in the fascinating Elizabethan book "The Gardeners Labyrinth" compiled by Thomas Hill 1563.. It was the first gardening book to be published in England. I particularly like his appeal for "soft and gentle" weeding. There is a short article with illustrations from Glasgow University here and some very interesting facts about Salad Greens in this excellent article from Colonial Williamsburg's history site here which also cites Hill's referal to "Romane" lettuce.
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Baby Red Romaine

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