• Jan Heaton Studio

the market | preview

Then: I was standing next to my Mom at the age of ten, carving well-spaced rows with a hoe in the thawing Michigan spring soil, aided only by our hands and a spool of string for line. Eventually we’d scatter the seeds and watch with impatience, daily as the sprouts emerged, and grew into intricate patterns.

Now: The past year, I‘ve been painting a series based on my weekly excursions to the farmers markets in Austin – initially recording my impressions in watercolor on small 4 x 4” heavy 300# cotton paper. While at the markets, I often look for the vegetables that we grew as children, yet also seek out the mysterious and almost magical varieties of watermelon radishes, maroon carrots, fennel, oyster mushrooms, and golden beets, that were not familiar to our family garden – ever mindful of the seeds, the patterns, and the process that bring these edible treasures eventually to our table.

The first paintings were small (4 x 4″) but were used as studies for the larger paintings (some 40 x 60”) that followed. Many of the paintings are abstract but are influenced by the form, color and patterns I observed and studied. A market bag’s contents would be sliced, cut, chopped, diced, and sketched before the painting began. My objective is to capture not only what I observe, but to isolate, simplify and abstract the subject matter and record the essence of a fruit or vegetable with minimal marks. My intention is not to impose a specific message to the observer: I hope my paintings allow the observer to see a familiar object in a new way.

To view the full painting or a slideshow, please click on a thumbnail from the gallery above.