Creative Challenges and Avocados

"Squirrel Snack"
17 x 20 Pastel on Paper
Click here to view details
2014 Entry
Although the show ended last month, I thought I would share a few of my Art of the Avocado entries over the last few years.

Each year, I try to do something a little different for the Art of the Avocado contest that coincides with the Avocado Festival in Fallbrook, California.  This year, I submitted two entries: the painting featured above, and an acrylic piece on canvas that I framed under glass.  You can see both pieces (along with my photobombing cat) in the photo below:

The painting on the right is called "Yin-Yang Yum," and features the way avocados usually look at our house: scraped clean and eaten!

The inspiration for "Squirrel Snack" came from a photo I took of a freshly snatched avocado, which appeared to have become the victim of hungry ground squirrels.  Anyone who has an avocado grove probably recognizes this view of an avocado!

I always find it challenging to paint anything with avocados, mostly because they're  Their surroundings are usually green too, and they tend to look pretty stylized no matter what you do with them.  One way to make avocados more interesting in a painting is to focus on people, animals, or scenery that accompany the avocado.  For the most part, I like to find new ways to show the avocados in different settings-- being from Fallbrook, I see them often enough, so I know there are plenty of ways to view an avocado!

"Avocado Lights"
Acrylic on Canvas
2013 Entry
Original Sold
Click here to see it on a throw pillow!
For "Avocado Lights," I had taken some nice photos of the trees in my sister's grove, so I thought I would try to capture that peaceful sense of afternoon light she gets in the grove during the spring season.

The Art of the Avocado contest has grown over the last few years.  Next year will be the 10th anniversary, so there should be even more entries!  

"Avocado on the Side"
12 x 18 Pastel on Paper
email if interested in purchasing

I did participate in 2012, but can't seem to find a photo of that entry-- my morning sickness was in full swing that year, so I barely completed the picture and dragged myself down to drop it off. Having that deadline got me back into a painting routine, though, so I'm glad I was still able to participate that year.

My first year participating was in 2011.  Not knowing what to expect, I packed my framed pastel into the car, strapped my little daughter into her car seat, and headed for the local chamber of commerce building.  That year began the tradition of bringing my daughter along with me to have her picture taken with me and my entry.  Now I have to schedule my delivery time to include my daughter-- I know better than to show up without her!

To read more about my artistic adventures, visit my website and check out my blog!


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