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Own a copy of Gary Olsen's The Neighborhood. It comes with a DVD containing over 2 hours of episodes from his series, "Gary Olsen's Studio."

Episode 7: Pearl (The Farmer's Market Triptych)

InitCapIwas scouting Dubuque's historic Farmers' Market at Iowa and 13th Streets for an idea I had for some drawings and possibly some paintings for a gallery show I was preparing for back in 1983. I was working on a theme of Dubuque people and scenes when I came upon Pearl Ott. Pearl was a long-time fixture on the corner of Iowa and 13th where her family had a farm stand since the beginning of the 20th Century. I couldn't resist the opportunity, and I photographed her as she was holding flowers. I ended up doing a drawing and pastel of her and they sold immediately at my gallery opening some months later. I even made the drawing into a program cover. I have it framed on the wall of my studio.


Now that I'm full on painting in oils, a creative process that I have grown to love, I thought I would resurrect some of my early work for this new gallery showing as a tribute to those early subjects. I learned how to draw with charcoal and pastels from the late Iowa artist, Frank Licciardi, and pastels and watercolors dominated my early work. I did some oil paintings, and they were well received, but I never had the confidence in my oils that I have now..

textThis is painting #2 of a triptych (3 panels) that celebrate Farmers' Market. The first painting was The Onion Seller, based on another drawing from my 1983 portfolio. The third painting I'm working on is a contemporary subject. I've got someone in mind but I haven't approached the subject yet. More on this later.

Pearl really turned out well, and I especially like the tulips she's holding. I'm not exactly known for my florals, but I was inspired and I feel they really turned out well, especially the way the colors contrast with the dark blue knitted coat that Pearl is wearing.

The Farmers' Market Triptych.: The Onion Seller, Pearl and Tom and the Kohlrabis. Click to see enlargement.
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