Horn of Plenty
The only symbol of Thanksgiving that’s ever mattered to me is the cornucopia, that classic horn of plenty overflowing with fruits of the harvest. As an artistic child I couldn’t wait for the holiday to come ’round because then I’d have a reason to draw one. After all, none of the other art projects associated with the day held any interest for me. The traced-hand-turned-turkey? Bleh; it always seemed like the peacock’s uninteresting earth tone-obsessed cousin. Pilgrims? Their buckles and starched collars did nothing to gussy up their drab wardrobes; boring! (Their Native American counterparts might’ve been more appealing but somehow they were never offered as an option when the construction paper was passed out.) No, the cornucopia was my favorite. In my overscaled drawings I’d pay special attention to the horn’s details, spending much time depicting its tightly woven surface, and making sure to end it in a coiled spiral like that of a nautilus’ shell. That finished, I would direct my efforts toward depicting the farmers market of produce spilling forth from its wide opening. Peaches out of season; strawberries months away? I didn’t care; if they looked good next to a pumpkin or a gourd they were in. Without fail my teachers lavishly praised my efforts, posting them prominently in places of honor — away from the brown-and-orange hand turkeys and Mr. and Mrs. McBuckles of my ham-handed classmates. Ah, memories.
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As the photo shows, I’ve moved on from crayons and construction paper … My 2013 cornucopia’s horn is cobbled together using a rusted muffler pipe and an old funnel, both scrounged from the yards of junk collectors. And instead of actual produce, it’s brimming with an eclectic crop of succulents, art pieces and Japanese ceramic non-edibles from my own collections. A true Rancho Reubidoux cornucopia, it’s also a tribute to you, fine readers, because without you this blog ceases to exist. I hope that you all have much to be grateful for this season. I know I do!