Saturday, May 23, 2015

Organic Food, Italian Markets, Gardens and Printing Inspiration

Juggling a new little being in the house has made getting back to the studio slower than I first imagined. Actually just getting out the door can sometimes be tricky. Having said that, I do add on more responsibility to my “to do list” that increases the workload and perhaps marginalizes time in my studio.

It’s baby food making mode here lately. It’s a bit of a paradox finding organic food living in Italy, and you’d clearly expect for every Italian mother to make her own baby food (yeah, 25 years ago). I mean, EXPO is being held this year, and everyone should be conscious of healthy eating habits (that should start at birth) right? Still, there are two main producers of canned baby food and a lot of mothers opt for it. Actually I think it’s probably more of a trend in America making homemade baby food, but I could be wrong.

Another paradox I’ve found is locating organic food here. Yes, we have farmers markets and yes families in rural areas generally have plots dedicated to food for big folk, but living in the north means there are pockets when there are no veggies growing in the garden and all depends on the weather. This year, for instance we have tons of cherries! And like the weather, studio time comes in pockets when I can sit down to sketch or typeset and start to think about what colors to use on the next project. 

Farmer markets don’t necessarily mean certified organic either... We have a lady that travels from the seaside and her stand is set up on Tuesday market day. The grocery stores and herbalist’s shops carry very small quantities and only a small variety of organic products. Otherwise, I’ve found a club that circulates emails to order organic food for near and far, and is picked up on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. It’s been an adventure.

The irony is this, my passion is “slow” printing for the very fact of it’s hands-on and reflective qualities. Now I have to apply it to food too--make time to research, to put the baby in the car and go to market where I get to eye all those bright and perky vegetables or walk around my own father-in-laws garden goodies as they in turn start to slowly flourish. This has pushed my printing a little off schedule, needless to say, but it’s on my terms.  It’s worth it and in the meantime, nature inspires a new meal and a new color combination for my next print the works.