Sunday, September 26, 2010

Watermelon Painting on the Easel

Today's Quote:
Use wisely what you have been given and you will be given more.  MATTHEW 25:29

detail of Watermelon Work-in-Progress • oil on 10x10 inch cradled wood panel
palette knife painting
copyright Vernita Bridges Hoyt 2010
ART. My current work on the easel is a painting of watermelon slices. Last summer I sliced a watermelon and put three slices on a plate for eating. The colorful melons looked like a picture waiting to be painted. Not wanting to paint in my kitchen, I captured several images on my digital camera. However, the watermelon looked so good my mouth was watering for a bite. That is why you will see a chunk gone out of the third slice. The image above is an enlarged crop out of the painting so you can see enlarged detail. This painting will be finished in a day or two. Some of the wet paint needs to dry a bit before I make mud of it. I am loving these bright colors.

LIFE. I have never tasted watermelon so good as that grown in the sandy lands around the small Texas town known as Grapeland. When I was a kid there were lots of independent farmers in the community. My dad grew peanuts, corn, peas and watermelons for market. My brothers and I would sneak out to the watermelon patch, find a ripe one, pick it up and drop it on the ground until it would burst open. Then as watermelon juice ran out on the sand beneath, we would scoop into the meat of the melons with our hands and taste that sweet juicy fruit. Mmmmm ... good! Dad's crop of melons for shipping out to the market would be missing those we ate in the field and the ones Mom claimed for the family. Years after I left home, Dad retired from the farming aspect of life in the country, so there went the watermelon crop.

One farmer in the Grapeland community, Mr. Wade Pennington and his family, continued to grow watermelons and ship them to other parts of the nation. The Pennington watermelons have become a well-respected national product, and the grandchildren still sell watermelons locally at a roadside stand in downtown Grapeland. That is where I get my juicy, sweet, vine ripened watermelons today. Watermelons will be available in Grapeland on June 1, 2011.

Mr. Wade passed on to Glory last March, but his watermelon legacy lives on. Last week Mr. Wade Pennington was posthumously inducted into the Heritage Hall of Honor at the Texas State Fair. The award was accepted by his son Troy representing Mrs. Pennington and the family.

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