Still life with parsley, green glass bottle, and beaded flowers. Watercolor, approx 6" x 6". April 3, 2016.
J. and I have often joked that I should have carried some parsley in my wedding bouquet, it's that ubiquitous and important in our family cooking. We are never without a large bunch or two in our fridge, waiting to be turned into taboulleh or added to rice pilaf, meat dishes, fish, a soup or stew, or just eaten sprig by sprig. Mint and parsley are the essential herbs for Middle Eastern cuisine. So I wasn't surprised when, visiting our niece last weekend, we saw a bouquet of parsley as part of the still life arrangement on her dining room table. During the weekend, parsley made its way into a tray of kibbeh, and kibbeh-yogurt soup the next night, as well as being an essential ingredient in our niece's recently-invented house pesto, which doesn't use either garlic or basil, but instead, freshly-chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, and pine nuts, seasoned with olive oil and sweet lemon: it was a fabulous hors-d'oeuvre served with goat cheese and French bread.
The painting/drawing, however, was not only a chance to suggest the frilly leaves of parsley, but to explore green in its various shades and textures. I've drawn that glass bottle and the beaded flowers before, but this one was more successful. The washes of color went onto the page first, and then the lines, which I tried to keep as economical as possible. I'd like to try it again as a pure watercolor, but unfortunately we're back in Montreal, having left snowy New England behind. It's still cold here, but the light says "spring," and pretty soon there will be a pot of parsley growing on our terrace, ready to be snipped for supper.