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

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Leaf of the Day: Dragon Fruit and William Joyce

Oh, the joys of Asian supermarkets!
It's Saturday and that usually means a day off for me, away from the trials and tribulations of battling with plants and paints. I was talking to Susan, who is one of the gardeners at Leu, yesterday about about various edibles and said I had been looking for the wonderful dragon fruit. She said. "Go to the Asian supermarkets down on Colonial, and while you are there be sure to try the tamarinds." so, still feeling uninspired after yesterday we cycled down there this morning.
If you are feeling a bit jaded as an artist I can recommend a trip to the Asian supermarkets for an olfactory and visual boost. They are crammed with strange and wonderful foodstuffs, fruit and vegetables I cannot identify, (there seemed to be huge bamboo spikes) packets of bits and pieces of dried vegetables, all kinds of pretty sweetmeats and cakes, and the smell of the place is quite indefinable. There are pretty gaudy nicknaks and some great packaging, all enough to lift the creative spirit out of the deepest slough of despond. I have come back with... joy of all joys.. 2 stunning magenta and lime green dragonfruit and a box of tamarinds. It doesn't take must to make this girl happy!

On the way back we stopped at the art main Orlando Art Gallery which was holding an exhibition of the illustrator William Joyce who I had never come across before. The work is very well known to Americans, perhaps not so much to the UK market. He was the co-creator of the film Robots and has many books and TV series here in the USA. It was fun and the sheer quality of the artwork was stunning, the earlier paintings done in oil on paper!! (I was wondering how he managed to meet tight deadlines). His work has a decidedly retro feel owing quite a lot to Lawson Wood I thought in its design and colour. It is always so good to see illustrators original works, well any original works really, they always have a presence that you can never get from the printed page or the computer screen.
A couple of images from the Harper Collins website here,the dragon from Bently and the Egg, and The Leaf Men, which I think is going to be made into an animated film





We finished off the Asian theme to the day by finding a very good Indian Restaurant.. the sag alloo was to die for .. but then spinach is such an interesting plant, isn't it? Catherine de Medici and Popeye thought so too, all that for another post.

2 comments:

I likE plants! said...

Ahhhhh, so where's the drawings/paintings of the dragon fruit?

sharp green pencil said...

Eric! good things come to those who wait :)....