August 3rd is National Watermelon Day and I've chosen a few art works, including one of my own, to mark this unofficial food holiday.
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Giovanna Garzoni was a successful artist of the early 17th century. This is her 'Chinese Porcelain Bowl with Cherries.'
It's almost Halloween and so it's time for the annual "guess how much this pumpkin weighs" contests. You find them all over the country - in stores and farmers' markets and parking lots. Sometimes it's just a large pumpkin sitting in the back of a pickup truck. This one, like so many enormous pumpkins, seems to have almost collapsed under its own weight. I wonder if this is the one that cartoon character Charlie Brown is always waiting for - The Great Pumpkin! Wait a minute! I think that Cinderella didn't make it home on time and the glitzy golden coach was turned back into a splendid and real orange pumpkin. A pumpkin like this one will make many pies and custards and make many people happy.
This painting by Lilly Martin Spencer is in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. It is oil on canvas and is assumed to have been painted around the year 1860. I love the balance of rich colors, the detail of texture given to the surface on which the fruit rests, and the top of the watermelon which appears to have been bitten in enjoyment.
I need to make a correction to my post of February 15th. It's true that Lilly was painting right up until the time of her death, at her easel, but she died in New York City, not in Highland, New York. She is buried next to her husband, Benjamin Rush Spencer, in Highland.
Nearly every day of the year is a national food holiday here in the United States. August 3 is National Watermelon Day. Foods from apples to popcorn to zucchini all have their own commemorative day - sometimes a whole month will be dedicated to a particular food. For some reason that I don't understand, National Watermelon Day is celebrated in August but July is National Watermelon Month.