Arting for 365 Day 166: Beet Again

Day 166 (10/11/12): Beet Again

13 x 23.25″ Beet pigment and ink on paper

I have heard many a folk proclaim that beets taste like dirt. Nonsense, I say. I love the beet – pickled, raw, roasted – doesn’t matter to me, it’s all delicious. So after using the slices of beets in day 163’s project, I decided I’d boil them along with the whole beets we had, to make something delicious. As the water turned a lovely shade of purple, I realized I could use it for another beet project.

Using a turkey baster, I sucked up the juice and squirted it onto a 13 x 23.25″ sheet of paper. Sadly, the results were hardly noticeable. In the pot, the liquid appeared rich in color, but upon squirting I realized it was really watered down and made a pathetic stain that you had to strain your eyes to see. Now though, I was fixated on creating a beet piece and my excitement for eating the veggies disappeared. I grabbed one of the newly cooked beets and began drawing with it on the paper as though it were sidewalk chalk. As I did so, I realized the pigment was pulling out the original squirted on design. I rubbed more of the deep purple vegetable over where I had originally squirted the water, pulling out the underlying lines and shapes that now appeared almost raised (see below).

From here, I grabbed my trusty pens and started drawing. I outlined the shapes and some of the bits of vegetable that had stuck to the paper. I then began incorporating patterns of lines. As I was building the design up, it really looked like human innards. Intestines here, a heart there – but as I continued to add flowing lines, the innards became less apparent (although I still see them) and the flowing paths became stronger.

I am quite fond of the piece. It has depth and movement and I am fascinated with the process of creating in this manner – where one step directs the next.

As a side note, I had few beets left over that I did get to enjoy in a yummy salad.

You can buy this fun piece if you’d like!