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Art and Watermellon

I grew my first ever watermelon! The hardest part was trying to figure out when it was ripe. An array of remarkably unhelpful youtube videos shows numerous methods for determining ripeness, from thumping to counting to spinning a piece of straw on top. My favorite video: the one in which the guy confidently says all you have to do is check that the tendril nearest the melon is withered; shows that it is, indeed, fully withered; then cuts open his very obviously under-ripe melon. So, I waited and worried and worried and waited, til my fear that it might be over-ripe outweighed my fear that it might be under-ripe. Voila, the perfect method! The same week that I heard the lovely crack of that melon (yes, it was sweet!), I also completed a new print in my series of faux pulp novel covers. It’s the first print in this series in almost two years. My book intervened, but I realize, in retrospect, that working on this print required actively grieving the profound changes transforming the city of San Francisco. Earlier prints were witty, with perhaps a little bite to the wit; this one moves in the direction of caustic. I was resisting that. But after thumping on my sketch of “Fog City” for several months, I decided it was ripe. And completing it is, in its own way, bitter and sweet.

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