Brandi Malarkey, Artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Anxiety and Onions

According to several articles and a book I have consulted about blogging, a person’s first blog post is recommended to encapsulate the philosophy or journey or vision or something profound about the person writing it.

Yeah, no.

After two weeks of staring at a blank page and getting more and more stressed out about committing to something that would inevitably be the wrong thing and sound stupid anyway, I have decided to do what I almost always do and start in the middle and muddle about from there. Those who have been on my email list and (hopefully) will be following along here already know that they are getting a mix of random thoughts, art in various states, misadventures,  and occasional rants. If I say something profound it will probably be by accident.

So instead of twisting myself up into a higher state of anxiety, I am sharing my onion. Again. I have already shared my onion, and it isn’t the best thing I have ever painted, but I love it.

Did you know that according to the National Onion Association that onion consumption has gone up 70% in the last twenty years? (Did you know we had a National Onion Association? I had no idea!) and that 87% of those from the US are yellow varieties? 450 semi-truck loads a DAY. My husband assures me that we do not eat all of those ourselves, despite the fact that it feels like it when we stock up and cut pounds of them all at once and my eyeballs dissolve into tears and mucus and it is a complete miracle that I haven’t cut off any of my own fingers during the process.

Have you ever looked at an onion? I mean, REALLY looked at it? Despite cutting and eating what seems like millions, I hadn’t.

Onions are beautiful, people.

Aside from being a city girl who had NO IDEA that onions could sprout while in one’s kitchen instead of in dirt and KEEP GROWING, which was inordinately fascinating to someone who hadn’t seen it before, they really are beautiful.

With watercolors you work in layers. LOTS of layers. So when you paint it is like slowly falling in love with a new friend. First you notice the overall appearance, and the drama. Then you start to notice more and more details, until you are seeing things you may never have appreciated otherwise.

Details come slowly over time. The curve of a leaf. The wrinkle of skin. The flush of color on a highlight.

Whether the painting turns out well or poorly, whether you like the subject or dislike it, there is always a new appreciation, a connection, for the subject by the time it is finished.

Appreciation and connection. That’s what it is all about, I think.

Of course, as many of my friends will confirm, working with me is sometimes exhausting:

But oh! So worth it! So. Once again. My Yellow Onion.

Allium cepa L.



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