Compulsive Carrot Disorder

Carrot Painting 2016 002 (2)

When other artists were painting landscapes, portraits and flowers, I was painting vegetables.  Big blowsy bunches of Beetroot and gentle bunches of Carrots with feathery fronds. The buyers at my exhibitions bought paintings of strings of garlic, onions and the like and for my private views I wore silver earrings in the shape of carrots.

Carrot earrings 2016 001 (2)

Or a necklace with enough veg to fill a Sussex trug!

Carrot earrings 2016 008 (3)

Loving the look of vegetables makes growing them a joy. Each single Carrot is a thing of beauty especially when baby sized and grown in a tub to keep for Winter picking

Christmas Carrots 2015 016 (2)

So here I am, on a drizzly day, in my Sunday-best frock with my wellies on, armed with a fork, digging up my Amsterdam Sweetheart and Resistafly Carrots from the Kitchen Garden. It is all mud and mayhem. Every one of these orange roots has to be given an outdoor shower before they can be taken indoors to be prepared for cooking. And yes, I know that the ones you buy in the supermarket are clean and ready to cook. But these little beauties, so fabulously fresh, so colourful and bright, will make flavoursome soups and purees that money just can’t buy.

And as if that was not really quite enough already, each one of them, big or small, really is a work of art.

Amsterdam Sweetheart and re 008 (2)





35 thoughts on “Compulsive Carrot Disorder

  1. Karen, you are an AMAZING artist!!! Of course you would gravitate to themes you love most! Your lovely garden, freshly pulled carrots. Totally appealing and delish! Did you paint the baby carrots in the glass bowl or are they as real as they look? Your gardening in your best Sunday frock is a picture I find so endearing and hilarious! I must share your post! Have a lovely day sweet friend!

    • Thank you so much for sharing my post! The baby carrots are a photo. I have not painted for so many years, but I am thinking about it and tidying my studio today in anticipation of finding my brushes and facing the blank paper! I am thinking of teaching some workshops. Wish you could come. Not that I could teach you much, but we really would have such a lovely time! Have a lovely day too special lady x

  2. I love the trug full of carrots Karen and good to see someone else owns one. There is nothing better than your own veg – simply delicious.

    What a fabulous painting!!

  3. Oh Karen, you are a fantastic artist. That’s really a very nice idea not to paint flowers but vegetables. I did that, too, once. I painted onions and garlic. I really love your painting. It’s very nice and well made. Wonderful that you can harvest carrots in January. They look so delicious. I know these small round ones only from tins with peas and carrots. I’m sure everything you cook will be very tasty.
    Went to the cellar yesterday to make some photos for you which I will send to you in the next days. It was so stormy here that I nearly flew away. Have a nice day together with Josef. Hope he helps you to dig up the carrots. Virtual hugs Mitza

    • Hello dear Mitza, the sun shone today and it did not rain so I have been in the garden and feel so much happier. Being outdoors is so good for us I think. Thank you so much for liking my painting. I feel just as enthusiastic about your jewellery. Some fabulous photos have arrived. Shall I wait for more to come before I decide? I hate to think of you being banished to the cellar! It sounds so cruel. I don’t want to be mean to you, so take your time and only go there when it is not too cold. Love Karen x

      • It has been terribly wet here. it is almost impossible to get on the soil because everything is sodden. I love Tulips and plant bulbs in pots. The soil is so wet in there that I have pour inches of water off the top. But I do not think it is as cold here as with you. X

  4. Hate admitting this to you but I’ve never been the biggest fan of the old carrot, but having now read your post and marvelled at both you artwork and gardening prowess, I have to admit, you could turn me to ” the orange side”! 😅

  5. Very cool painting of your carrots! Did you say you grow them in a tub? Also, we’d like to see more of your other sketches of veggies, herbs, etc,…they’re fun!

    • Thank you so much! That is a real compliment coming from such a naturally gifted artist such as yourself. is so easy to grow carrots in containers, but choose a variety which suits that purpose. If you have a BIG container, like an old water tank, you can grow big carrots.

  6. Wow–you NEED to get back to painting! You have tons of skill and, really, who else is going to give garden veg the respect they deserve? This is a wonderful post–and I love the carrot fabric under the baby carrots–is that a tablecloth??

  7. Very glad to see you’re gravitating towards the paint and brush again Karen. The first piece of art in the blog is beautiful (as are your other photos, of course!) and I’d love something like that for the kitchen or a conservatory. How about combining homegrown veg with freshly cut flowers for future artwork? Could be an interesting mix!

    • Thank you so much for your interest and encouragement. I am going to start building up my tubes of Artists Watercolour paints again and get back in the studio. I gave up painting when I went into business, but now I have left there I am very interested to see what my work will be like now. Painting with watercolour is so exciting…….it is a real challenge to control. I hope you are well and thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.

    • Thank you Lucy. I suppose we never feel that what we do is really very good do we? But that spurs us on to try harder and hopefully that happens over time. I have not painted for some time. fingers crossed that I can still do it 😀

      • You’re doing just great, Karen! Keep at it, and you’ll see the improvements you’re looking forward to. I also think I can always do better, but practice makes perfect 🙂 In the end, we’ll get there! xo

  8. Love your blog. Love your painting of carrots. You should definitely do lots more, and love the carrot earrings especially. So jealous of your being able to harvest in January. I have to be content with the dreaming stage until March here in Indiana. Your comment about organizing your studio made me think I could be organizing my shed, and finding my painting supplies while I wait for winter to end. Thank you.

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