September 8, 2008

"Radishes" - What's the madder?

Oil on museum quality, archival ampersand gessobord™ panel - 6” x 6”

What's the Madder?  I am talking about rose madder lake, a very expensive, crimson-like pigment, which I have in my paint box but never seem to have had an opportunity to put on my palette (until now).  I was at the market on Saturday and these radishes called out to me.  "Paint me, paint me!" they shouted.  Radishes don't always agree with me, nor I them, but this time they were making sense.  Wegman's has an automatic misting device in their produce department, and, as if on queue, the spray nozzles came to life and applied a dazzling sheen to these guys that intensified their color and sealed the deal.  If I needed another reason, other than the classic, Christmasy goodness of the color scheme, the tips of this vegetable, just before going white, are a distinctive rose madder hue.  I  had to have them, if only to pull out that dusty tube and give it a little squeeze. Why did I buy the pigment in the first place?  I had heard of its beauty and during a half-off sale at my local art emporium, dropped a tube in my basket.  This place marks their prices in code - pigment such and such is "Code A", another "Code B" and so on. When I got to the counter, I found out what "Code E" was.  Even half off, the small tube of pigment was $35.00. What the hell, I bought it anyway, and there it has sat until now.  I could have faked it with alizarin crimson, but why?

From Horse Feathers:

Student: Oh, Professor, you're full of whimsy. 

Professor Wagstaff: Can you notice it from there? I'm always that way after I eat radishes.


Diane said...

like you, radishes have never been a culinary favorite, however these do look very enticing.. you put that expensive red paint to good use.

Mark Adams said...

Diane, I'm sure you carve a beautiful radish rose.

PAT MEYER -- said...

You know you are a great painter when you take some veggies and make such a master piece. Another great one for you.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks for the great compliment Pat. Having a birthday 4 days after Christmas has made me partial to Red and Green.