Italian Street Painting Marin Pop Up Gallery, June 28-29, 2014

This year we were invited to participate in the Italian Street Painting Marin's Pop-Up Gallery - a gathering of twenty invited artists who came together to do street paintings around the theme of "California in the 1940's". For our image we decided to create a painting to celebrate the tens of thousands of "Victory Gardens" that were planted by Californians to help in the war effort. While researching the subject, we found an interesting historical essay about San Francisco's Victory Gardens, written by one of the primary organizers, John Brucato.

We began our image with a World War II propaganda poster encouraging people to plant victory gardens. The image shows a family (a man and his wife and daughter) happily rolling a wheelbarrow full of "soil" over the hill with their tools. The image was bright and cheery, but cartoonish. And if one was trying to promote a victory garden, why not celebrate a cornucopia of vegetables rather than a wheelbarrow of BS?

Happy family lugging soil amendments for their Victory Garden

We decided to use photographs for our own propaganda poster. The image stars our brother-in-law as the farmer and some friends as the rest of the laughing happy family of gardeners.

Cheryl paints Rick's head
Rick Smith, our famous Dairy Farmer brother-in-law, stood in for us as "the gardener"

Wheelbarrow full of veggies
Our cornucopia of vegetables: Pumpkins, Eggplant, Carrots, Onions, and Squash (yum!) and beets (yuck!)

Saturday morning progress
In San Francisco tens of thousands of Victory Gardens were planted. We added the Golden Gate Bridge to the background to celebrate the local effort.

Victoria's face in progress
The smiling happy gardening mom.

Midday Saturday progress
Midday Saturday. Sunset gardening in the Marin headlands.

Marlon paints a pumpkin
Marlon Yanes and his niece came along on Saturday and helped us with a pumpkin. For the rest of the weekend, everyone that came along said, "wow, look at that pumpkin!"

Sunday morning progress
Sunday Morning. Rakes! hoes! Overalls!

Sunday midday progress
And just look at the garden grow! Sunflowers! And grass!

Posing for the official photograph (not finished)
Adding in detail in the background.

Wayne paints pumpkin leaves
And then came the cabbages. We flipped a coin over who got to do the cabbages. Wayne lost.

Lily, sunflowers and the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, before they tilted it up into place. Lily the gardener seems oddly OK with that.

Closeup of Rick
Rick the gardener. Fresh vegetables for dinner!

Victoria close up
Victoria the Victory Gardener.

Lily close up
Laughing happy gardener. I wonder if she knows that there will be beets for dinner.

Closeup of the pumpkin and cabbages
Purple cabbages and Marlon's pumpkin

Finished from the top right
The top view, showing the fully distorted image.

Finished with Cheryl and Wayne
The completed Marin County Victory Garden painting.

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