Saturday, September 22, 2012
Brookyn Sketchbook on LISTS
My theme for this year's Brooklyn Sketchbook is LISTS.
Last September , we saw an exhibit at the Morgan Library in NYC on Lists.
It turned out to be much better than we imagined.
From the weekly shopping list to the Ten Commandments, our lives are full of lists—some dashed off quickly, others beautifully illustrated, all providing insight into the personalities and habits of their makers:
Adolf Konrad, packing list, December 16, 1963. Adolf Ferdinand Konrad papers, 1962–2002. Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution.
SO I picked up a huge stack of books waiting for me at the library. Waiting so patiently that the stack grew! One of the books is Nigel Slater's TENDER : A Cook and his vegetable patch.
Nigel is a cook who writes.
Tender is the story of my vegetable patch, how it came to be and what I grow in it. The book is published in two volumes, vegetables and fruit. Twelve hundred pages in length and taking five years to write, Tender is a memoir, a study of fifty of our favourite vegetables, fruits and nuts and a collection of over five hundred recipes.
He begins the book with these words which I will copy into my Sketchbook:
I keep lists. Some copied into notebooks in neat italic script in blue-black ink, others scribbled almost illegibly in soft pencil on the back of an old envelope. Most remain in my head. There is the usual inventory of things I need to do, of course, but also less urgent lists, those of books to read or read again, music to find, plants to secure for the garden, and letters to be written (few of which will ever see the light of day). One list that has remained in my head is that of favourite scents, the catalogue of smells I find particularly evocative or uplifting. Snow (yes, I believe it has a smell), dim sum, old books, cardamom, beeswax, moss, warm flapjacks, a freshly snapped runner bean, a roasting chicken, a fleeting whiff of white narcissi on a freezing winter's day.