Citrus Fiesta (tipota)
this is a silkscreen print i did called “orange peels”
and here is my story:
citrus is not just the sweet/sour juicy pungent fruits we all know. it is a color pallette, a pattern to say the least.
to say the most i’d tell you my childhood impressions of the citrus groves along the sunshine parkway in florida, where my family would drive every year at christmas holiday when i was a child, and we’d stop at the grove stands and buy bags of navel oranges (a rarity up in the north then) and pink grapefruits. this is all along the last leg of the yearly winter trips to miami to visit my greek grandparents. i am proud of my halfgreek heritage – have you ever met any greek who isn’t? because with every daily greek meal, i mean it, lemons are required, a staple item. my relationship with lemons goes back a long way. ok.
so, the thing about the citrus groves in florida is that the scent of oranges along the highway is like a perfume. it is everywhere, the breeze carries it, the clouds rain it, the ground is saturated with it, the most intoxicating scent a child could hope to imagine, so it was like a magic world of oranges, a place where the sun was a giant lemon, a place where the sidewalks are paved with orange rinds, offered along the way on gingham checked tablecloths blowing in the tangerine breeze were baskets of oranges, clementines, limes, orange popsicles, orange juice, orange soda not to mention lemon and lime aid and grapefruit, sugared. lazy lagoons with waters of citrus nectar, tangelo juice let’s say. i walked along the rows of trees amazed at how splendid the ripe oranges were and how plentiful. delighted in being able to reach and pick one and immediately press it to my nose. but that’s just the beginning, because when i peel the orange, the scent becomes bubblescent, it’s alive, it’s jumping, it stings my eyes, it seeps into my fingers, the juice is hard to keep from dripping when i take that first bite of a freshpicked orange, and we are all in the car and the car smells so sweet of citrus it puts me to sleep like dorothy in the poppy fields. and i dont wash my hands and they get sticky with orange sugars and finally someone hands me a napkin but its too late, the orange perfume is sealed into my hands. so i fold them and put my head over them and lean toward the window and when i wake up, we are pulling into grandmother’s driveway. the joys of citrus.
and even that is still the beginning because citrus as design motif and as art has also crossed my path many times. and gabrielle told you the story about my lemon tree. my grandmother often told me about the lemon groves on her home island of Kos. she described these lemons as being three times bigger than the lemons around here and sweet-tasting. it made me think, gabe, after i learned about your lemonade tree, that her childhood memories of sweet lemons may have actually been lemonade tree lemons, or a similar, related lemon tree.
my screen print “orange peels” was one of many citrus-based art things i have done. but it kind of tells the story, the peels left after the orange is eaten, still have the same fresh bright scent. later, they make the compost smell nicer. the day i did this piece, i was sitting after breakfast wondering what i’d do with this silkscreen project i had and looked over across the table and saw the orange peels designing themselves into a cool almost abstract image, so voila’, i did this print. you will notice, that yes, there is the color pink haha in there. i couldnt resist. selma knows what i mean.
and that’s it, over and out.
tipota is a professional artist from Cape Code, Massachusetts, USA, who blogs her very own unique style of poetry, art and original music at spaces between trees.
thanks tipota 🙂