Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ode to a Lemon

Today I decided to do a series on the Lemon, I thought I'd call it "Ode to a Lemon". Odd, but I guess I didn't know what the word ode really meant? says an ODE is: A lyric poem of some length, usually of a serious or meditative nature and having an elevated style and formal stanzaic structure. Then I googled "Ode to a Lemon" and up pops entry after entry on a poem by Pablo Neruda titled "Ode to the Lemon".... I'll share a small part of that poem at the end of this blog entry, if you care to read it.

#1 Pencil in Sketchbook

I decided today that I'd do a study with my one lone lemon. The first photo is done in pencil

#2 Dip pen and Noodles Ink on Card stock.

I have long admired those of you who do pen and ink and all that wonderful cross hatching. I'm not patient enough. Or, to be more accurate, I wasn't patient enough today. I may give it another try some time.

#3 Watercolor on Stonehinge Print Paper.

I had some left over 5" x 7" pieces from some lino print projects and thought I'd try it. Turned out I was satisfied with the way it handled the water. It was a good experiment.

#4 Pastel on Mi-Teintes Pastel paper.

I don't think I'll ever get use to having my fingers all dry and chalky. I clean my fingers constantly because I can't help but use my fingers to blend.

#5 Is Charcoal on brown craft paper.

I wasn't happy with this either... How do you get a bright lemon to look that way with charcoal? I couldn't get it to look the way I wanted.

#6 is Oil on some Canvas paper

Or anyway I'm assuming it's canvas paper..... I seem to accumulate single papers, a sheet at a time. I should have written what it was on the back so I'd know. Another lesson learned.
Odd, I just noticed that the two mediums that I enjoyed working with the most, the watercolor and the oil, both had more detail or depth to the paintings. I must have felt more comfortable working with them.

Ode to the Lemon
by Pablo Neruda

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight,
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!


  1. OH, Nancy! I LOVE LEMONS and your 'ode' in words and various media are fabulous!!!! I think my fav is the watercolor -- I suppose I"m partial to that medium ... the lemons look scrumptious!!! I can just SMELL them!!! Grand job!

  2. These are wonderful Nancy, and such a delight to see! My favorite (surprisingly) is the chalk on brown paper.

  3. Great post! I love your watercolor and oil, althoug they are all nice. You are very talented. The pastel is great too, and I agree,I don't like the touch of pastels either.
    Great to see all the mediums on your one subject.

  4. My favorites are the pen and ink, water color and oil versions. You are the master of painting for sure, but I love the immediacy of the pen and ink.

  5. What a wonderful exercise of different mediums.

    I like the watercolor but then that is one of my favorite mediums.
    They are all wonderful.

  6. Nancy this is wonderful! I love the way all of them turned out. I did something similar on a much lesser scale as I love lemons (though my lemon tree isn't doing too well at the moment) and my company is called Floating Lemons :)

    PS: My "lemons" are at

  7. Thank you all ... Lin, Jana Ronell,Toni,Cynthia and Mariana. This was the first time I've done an experiment with so many mediums. Usually I only do watercolor, maybe I'm growing, finally, as an artist. But, I think I was just in a creative frame of mind ... yet still not wanting to face the larger watercolor I started some time ago.

    I'm off now to see Mariana's lemons.

  8. I really enjoyed your post and looking at all the different ways to depict a lemon. You did a grand job. I found painting a lemon to be extremely challenging and I didn't like it.

  9. Excellent post. The watercolour is my favourite. Great job.

  10. Wow! You got a lot out of that lemon. Very good work. I loved to see all the different versions.

  11. You have certainly explored the possibilities very well. Good job on these. I won't say what my favorite is because I feel that it sets up a judgment among works presented. Let me say I like them all, each for different reasons.

  12. Wow, these are spectacular!!!! I love seeing such a large series!