Small Square Radishes, oil on canvas, © 2011 Sukie Curtis
I paint radishes more than I eat them. That's just the way it is!
I can hardly resist buying new bunches of them at the farmers market, even when I have an older bunch at home. But I've learned that they keep an impressively long time in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and can be my painting models and muses many times over, though their greens go limp and eventually rot.
Even then, the life force and the "urge" to live and create new life is so strong in them that in the dark and cold of the refrigerator drawer, old radishes will sprout vigorous new root hairs and even pale, spindly greens. They are built to live and flourish.
And to ravish the eyes: such lovely round, though not perfectly round, shapes! such whimsical, quirky tails! and such colors!
These days radishes come in more than just shades of red, crimson, and pink; there's deep blue-violet, wild magenta, pale pink, and a blush creamy white. And if that's not enough, you can always make up other colors as you paint them! Why not?
Which reminds me: the collage artist and children's book author and illustrator Eric Carle has a new book out, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse. Carle calls it "an homage to the Expressionist painter Franz Marc." Carle was inspired at a young age by Marc's work when a teacher showed him his painting of a blue horse.