Daily Archives: March 17, 2010

The California That Could Have Been

textile art orange on turquoise

California That Could Have Been, 12 x 12, Fabric $75.00

The colors stayed with me for a month, and now mid-March the oranges have landed on my fabric.  The transparency still escapes me, but the colors are vibrant, the shapes are satisfying.  As I sew I marvel that anyone could have ever justified paving over an orange grove… the paradise that could have been southern California is a nightmare of streets named after trees long vanished, of fertile soil suffocated by asphalt.  At least there are a few “bubbles” of sanity surviving, like the Claremont Colleges grounds, where glowing oranges throw themselves with abandon at the feet of students… who flipflop along the fragrant walkways, heads crooked over their cell phones, by all indicators blind to the possibilities and unaware of their blessings.  Ah, youth

Scripps Library Courtyard – Forbidden Fruit

Orange Sketch 1 5" x5" NFS

This scent of a freshly-picked orange is so foreign to me, an Oregonian.  I know grocery store oranges.  I know sassy apples; I know soft, yielding pears; I know coy wild strawberries teased out of the tangle of grasses, but this… so tempting, so voluptuous.  Maybe the fact that eating a fresh orange would result in a painful outbreak of blisters on my lips heightens the desire.

I sketched this orange in my journal, having forgotten my sketchbook… The writing on the other side of the page showed through when I scanned the sketch, a nice bit of pentimento…I tried again to capture the bursting scent the next morning, same orange, different paper.  I wanted to repeat the translucent quality of the shadow reflecting back onto the skin, highlight the tiny navel, but not sure it worked as well the first sketch.