Sorting Cukes- New Painting

Every Saturday since January, I’ve been volunteering at the newly formed Virgin Island Farmers Cooperative.

It’s a stellar combination: sustainably grown local produce, appreciative customers, banter among the crew, and a day outside. Oh, and inspiring subjects for photos and paintings.

sortingcukesblog” Sorting Cukes ” 6X8 oil on panel

St Croix was long known as the breadbasket of the Caribbean. After years of a downturn in recognizing the importance of locally grown food ( 90% of our food is shipped in- old and nutritionally deficient by the time it arrives here ), the VIFC is revitalizing food production as a vital and greatly appreciated necessity to the residents of St. Croix.

Lettuce, mustard greens, peppers, cucumbers, local fruits, real eggs with orange yolks, free range chickens, goat, lamb, pork, all hormone free.

It’s one of my favorite days of the week, tiring, hot, fun, and a refrigerator stocked with real food.

Taste being one of our senses, smell is definitely another. It’s humid, hot, things get moldy and mildewed faster than you can launder or bleach them.

So I laughed when I saw this sign for a new ” fragrance ” shop that opened here-


( Thanks Ted, for the photo )

I have personally forsaken Chanel No. 5, and Angel, my two previously favorite perfumes for the only fragrances that have any useful purpose here:




and the new fave,


Some days, turp smells great by comparison.

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23 Responses to “Sorting Cukes- New Painting”

  1. wrjones Says:

    Very nice painting, Bonnie. You make great use of your models but have them stand in the hot humid outdoors until they get moldy?

    Say, if you would dab a bit of that Lysol on your neck, can I have the next dance?

  2. severnyproductions Says:

    Its similar to the art from the impressionist movement. My favourite style

  3. Carol King Says:

    Hey Bonnie,
    Another lovely painting of life on St. Croix. I love the way you can always capture the light and movement of your subjects.

    It’s always a treat when you have a new painting to show off.

  4. Marian Fortunati Says:

    Hi Bonnie!!
    I am so amazed that you can pack so much lovely information on a small format. As usual, you’re an inspiration…
    I love how the brushstrokes and the various colorful greys blend into one another and harmonize.

    And another fun photo… Life is good when the veggies and the paint is fresh… no??

  5. Kelly Says:

    Knowing the people inside your paintings gives me a unique perspective on how well you capture their essence and the time we spend together at the market every Saturday! I am your biggest fan my love!

    I hope you will invite all of your blog readers to come down to St. Croix this fall to be a part of the Coop’s barn raising weekend when we will erect a 3,600 sq. ft. market with community volunteers in two days! Think Amish in The Caribbean. What could be more fun?

  6. Donald Diddams Says:

    Once again you’ve captured the familiar gesture of this fellow bent over his tub of cukes. I love the splashes of bright colors, both in the shadows and sunlight, that come together to give form and expression.

    As for “Scent Croix”, you forgot to mention the ubiquitous Essence of Fabuloso!

  7. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Bill- the next dance involves sweeping huge piles of sand, leaves, dog hairs and undefined detritus out of the house. You still in?

    Severny- thanks for dropping by. I love NY.

    Carollaaaa- I went for some more color on this one and liked the way it worked out. When you get here, I’ll be counting on you to add some more photo references to my dwindling stack.

    Marian- always appreciate your comments. Those neutrals are tricky aren’t they? Frank does a great job with them.
    You live in the land of fresh food. So you can imagine how great this is for us.

    Kelly- it’s all because of you…………

    Don- are you sure you’re not a painter? You really show how closely related painting and photography are by the way you view art.

    I did leave out Fabuloso. And Clorox. Which is used here like bubble bath. It’s horrible.

  8. Noel Luria Says:

    Ironic that the newly found fragrences are repulsive in nature, not attractive.

  9. Dori Dewberry Says:

    Wonderful work on may levels. love the lost edges and paint texture. Great subject.
    It is easy to take for granted the fresh vegetables and fruit that I have at hand here in California. Sounds like a great effort and fresh food to show for it. Thanks for sharing this story.

  10. Nancy Moskovitz Says:

    6 x 8??? I never would have guess. So glad someone mentioned it and made me pay attention. Amazing. As you would say, I’m viridian with envy.

  11. Nava Says:

    Another great painting – you manage to make them so fresh and full of life. You do manage to find wonderful models. I echo Nancy’s viridian-ness.

    Scent-Croix, that’s quite clever!

  12. razzbuffnik Says:

    I love how you portray the light. This one is just about perfect.

    I remember reading in one of your posts, or perhaps it was a comment, that your paintings are quite small. Do you ever do large ones?

  13. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Hi Dori- welcome to this place. Fresh food should be more common than it is. We really appreciate it.

    Nancy- this is one of the smallest I’ve ever done and I’m surprised myself that it stayed pretty loose.

    Nava- hi- welcome back. The rest of their motto was ” we put the scent in scent-shoo-us. Spelled just that way….

    Razz- wow! a just about perfect from you makes me beam high voltage. Thank you.
    This is the smallest one I’ve done.
    Most average 10X12, or 11X14.
    I’ve done 18X24 but find the mid size are more readily finished and in turn, purchased. People here have run out of wall space……..

  14. Paz Says:

    LOL! No more Chanel, huh? 😉

    Love your painting.


  15. Joanne Says:

    Isn’t it interesting how many of us are so drawn to paintings which show the everyday types of activities? I can identify with the outdoor market experience, and can see little Hutterite women and men sorting through their produce to find just the right one for me. That experience draws me right into your painting. I really enjoy how you have captured the sense of light on the man. His shirt is just beautiful – white without being white! Quite scent-u-al. (Okay – I apologize, but I HAD to get it in somehow!) You are not only a gifted artist, you quite the writer, Bonnie. I always enjoy visiting your blog. It makes my day a lot brighter. Thanks!

  16. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Thanks Paz- oh and I forgot to add Clorox!

    Joanne- thanks as always for seeing the scope of what’s behind the work.
    You’re so right about getting white without being white.
    There’s an expression here on St.Croix that says ” who feels it knows it.”
    Says a lot, I think.
    I always appreciate your stopping by.

  17. w1kkp Says:

    My mother used to wear Chanel #5 not that this has anything to do with sorting cucumbers. The problem, if I recall, was not mold, but a bit too much of Chanel #5 can clog arteries in the opposite side of the castle. Anyhoo, how do you manage to paint such focus and meaning into sorting cukes? It appears as if this man has nothing else on his mind except picking out the best.

  18. wrjones Says:

    I may have to sit this one out – bad knee don’t you know?

  19. Jala Pfaff Says:

    This painting smells absolutely fabulous!

  20. Eldon Says:

    Bonnie, you crack me up. But this year with all the moisture even my normally dry basement, (where I paint) is musty and stincky. Here here! Break out the odor killer.
    Love your work. I never tire of looking at your brush work and the depiction of your subject matter. Thanks for sharin!!

  21. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Eldon- thank you for your three in a row comments. They mean a great deal to me.
    As did your email regarding mediums.
    I really appreciate the input.

  22. Dale Says:

    How are you my sis Dale, missed you today

  23. Dale Says:

    Love the painting. Who is it Haaaaaaaa!

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