Although I have found ways through our modern food system to incorporate blueberries in my diet year-round, I always anticipate Jersey blueberry season. Even growing up in PA on the border of NJ, it was a much-anticipated part of the summer. Back in 2012, while on our annual family vacation to Cape May, my husband and I discovered a local jewel, Beach Plum Farm. We rented bikes, plopped our then 3.5-year old on the back, and rode out to West Cape May in search of local produce. Not only did we enjoy the ride and the food, but were astounded by the beauty of the farm.
Upon entering, at the time, was a front garden, planted in an English-style, with herbs, flowers, and smaller vegetables. We were welcomed to follow the rustic seashell path to the back of the farm to tour the rest of the crops and stumbled upon ripening blueberry bushes. Amazingly, this was the first time I had ever seen them in person. The shades of blue got me thinking of my palette and which pigments I would use; surely manganese, a little ultramarine, maybe turquoise, definitely some pthalo.
The work above was created upon my return from several photos I took. We've been back to Cape May since, but have had another son in the meantime and haven't had the opportunity to take the bike ride out to the farm. Hopefully we can make it work this August when we take our annual trip, now that the youngest is capable of sitting in a bike seat and the oldest has the endurance to probably bike the distance himself.
In the meantime, I'm offering the above piece at a reduced price in honor of the start of Jersey blueberry season, now through Friday only, along with a summer print sale of my works available on Fine Art America.
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Our local ShopRite is selling flats of Jersey blueberries that I keep hoarding. I used to be able to freeze the extras, but with a family of four, and a 3-year old that could live on them alone, they aren't making it to the freezer. (Great tip: you can pop the blueberries directly in the freezer in the clamshell). Enjoy!
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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