We are getting seriously into summer now, gardens will soon be awash in tomatoes, sweet corn, and zucchini. And many parks and preserves are also entering their season of abundance of seeds and nuts. So how about an art project in which you and your favorite children build a portrait of Veggiman, using fruits and vegetables, flowers and leaves? For your guide, reference this painting of Vertumnus made in 1590-91:
Or maybe create a Viking warrior with a horned helmet and a chainmail vest.
Or perhaps an earth goddess decked out in a green leafy-shingled dress, pendant earrings, and floral necklace.
Or instead of having a preconceived destination for your design, build a little collection of “body parts” and then see what human likeness you can create from them. Cook a spaghetti squash and unravel it for wavy hair or beard.
And you, of course, are not limited to creating a human likeness from the abundance. If a lot of flower petals are available, whether garden roses or prairie coneflowers, overlap them in patterns that make butterfly wings or fish scales or bird feathers or snake scales. Or lacking flowers, take apart the trifoliate leaves of lawn clover or red clover. Many other leaves have a pointy tip, which could become the teeth of a shark or a T. Rex or your favorite dragon. Nature builds animals from plants; you can also.
And there is always the possibility of making landscape designs from garden and park vegetation – blue and white flower petals for sky and clouds, yellow for sun, green leaves for trees and bushes, brown seed pods for rocks and soil, etc.
Like the colored “sand paintings” of Tibetan monks, your vegetable art is ephemeral. But if you come up with a good one, capture it electronically and share it with us.
Enjoy your summer!