I painted this from some sketches I had done at an early morning market I once visited in Chicago. Yep, that’s right, a farmer’s market in Chicago. I had heard some restaurant owners talking about an early morning place they all went to get their fresh produce for the day. So I got up very early, for an art student, and set off to find this place.
Picture this with me…lots of the restaurant owners and all the produce sellers converged on this couple of block indoor/outdoor area for a few early morning hours at least a couple of times a week to exchange cold cash for raw produce so that they could feed the city, or at least those who eat in the local restaurants. It was a glorious madhouse. People running about shouting out orders for so much of this and so much of that. I sketched and sketched as fast as I could for about three hours until I had hand cramps. And then I went back to my studio to begin to turn it into paintings.
Over the years I’ve gone back to those sketchbooks over and over again. This particular piece came from those original drawings, but many years later. It’s really interesting how, when I look at drawings in a sketchbook like this, I can still hear the shouting, smell the produce and feel the bone-chilling early morning air.
The passage I wrote on this painting is from Genesis 27, and is an ancient Hebrew prayer for blessing, for a full richness of life, “May God give you the dew of heaven, and the richness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine.”
If you’re interested in a print of this painting, well it’s available and waiting to get rescued from my closet.