Edible Still Life Subject

It was a treat to create this local food inspired art for Salt & Soil Marketplace in Juneau, Alaska. A friend texted me the call for an artist and after a few scribbled sketches I worked up a full scale pencil sketch of this image and submitted it. I’m thrilled they chose me as their poster artist for 2019. This is the first time I’ve had posters made of my work and it was great fun to see it around Juneau. Their call for 2020 art is up on their website with all the details of what they are looking for. Also, the 2019 poster is available through them. http://saltsoilmarketplace.com

Original work created for Salt & Soil Marketplace in Juneau, Alaska. watercolor

When designing the composition, I initially strove to include different categories of foods (both harvested and grown in Southeast Alaska) and create a pleasing flow that could translate to watercolor and allow mellow space for a logo. I decided to focus on produce (although they do offer soaps and other products) and set the scene to Southeast Alaska on a sunny day with simple leading ridgelines and a troller fishing salmon in the background. *Special thanks to my brother for letting me use his boat as a model. After getting the job, I reworked the original sketch further considering both texture and color. I also consulted with the marketplace folks to ensure that all items are at some point available through their venue. They gave me the idea of the garlic scapes which formed the perfect leading lines to create texture in the greens and focus the eyes on the logo.

I’m typically inspired by real life moments and supplement my ideas and memories of objects with photos. I’m typically too slow to sketch and finish painting from a still life.

Hanging Basket: Lupine (not edible!), nasturtium, and red cabbage.

My garden and the wild edibles around us often inspire me to take photos. The gorgeous color of this red cabbage gave this mostly green hanging basket some needed depth. On a cabin trip, I was captivated by the crab apples, harvested more seed, and they are now on my composition list for future paintings, along with more thimble berries, and salmon berries.

Mostly overripe crabapples on a sunny beach.

Often I paint small groups of similar subjects. Recently, I focused on sketching tangles of nasturtiums and understanding their structure. The way they intertwine reminds me of celtic knots and I included some subtle knotting in some of the compositions. I also chose to experiment with backgrounds in colors other than blue. The tendency of nasturtium vines to include both green and red proved tricky and deserves to be part of another series of studies. The final painting has a bit more green. I enjoyed pushing the depth on these vines and this close up shows the layering and choices.

close-up of (in-progress) Nasturtium Tangle with Patterned Bowl, watercolor (SOLD)
(Before final details) Nasturtium Tangle, watercolor

Our berry varieties provide opportunities to record the structure of edible flowers, fruit, and foliage, depending on the season. I will sometimes sketch or photograph to record structures. This simple painting of cloudberries was inspired by the sketch I did on top of Spaulding Meadows to record their structure.

(Before final details) Cloudberry Study, watercolor (SOLD)

I often include windows with mountain backgrounds in my still life paintings. This winter the conifers are reminding me to create a variety of treetops in my ridgelines, and include both hemlock and spruce the mix.

Find more of my images on Instagram: @schrameklisa or #lesahandmade

Cloudscape: Auke Bay, watercolor (SOLD)

Published by leschramek

Teacher. Maker. Living the life Alaskan with my husband and son.

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