Asparagus Spears by Claudia Van Nes
(an acrylic 8x10 which will appear in the Winter Show)
Asparagus is a challenge for me in art and gardening where my pursuit of bringing it to any kind of glory is way too time-consuming to probably justify my effort. The asparagus patch in my garden, heaped with compost each year and weeded regularly of the raspberry vines that sneak in from its close neighbor in the vegetable garden yields spears as skinny as pencils and fat as small tree trunks. Further, there are barely enough on any day for the two of us; no chance of enough for others and besides, they’re too ridiculous-looking for company.
The final irony is I have to buy asparagus in order to have enough uniform-looking spears to paint. In this 8x10 painting, the spears were purchased in Florida where I was last winter for a few weeks. The original painting had several of them intertwined on – I think – an orange plate.
In the cold light of Connecticut, it was a bad painting. I bought more asparagus; added them to the painting, eliminated the plate, changed the background – painted and re-painted. If you scraped the paint away in layers from this piece, it would be a good long time before you got to the canvas board.
They look kind of aggressive to me – almost like they’re ready for battle. But, I may be taking this a little too personally.