The onion – allium cepa – is a plant of the lily family. It has an edible bulb with a strong, sharp smell and taste. The dictionary says so!
Onions range in color from white to red. The American variety is said to be the most pungent.
All onins are cousins of the Easter lily. Who would make that association?
So valued have onions been through the centuries, that the ancient Egyptians used them in taking oaths, as we might use a copy of the Bible. One hand was held in the air, while the other held an onion. Now that’s a terrific visual, don’t you think?
This botanical marvel is strikingly represented at Amapola in a work by oil painter Vera Russell.
With a finished size of 12″ x 12″ in a black wood frame, these bulbs pack a punch far greater than their size. The painting portrays a pair of onions – Vidalia? Yellow? that virtually emanate pungency.
Their skins are translucent and papery, just ready to flake off. Their solid, round bodies nestle into the dusky blue tablecloth. Their solidity validates the Egyptian devotion to their wonderfulness.
The “Garden Guide” (1930) declares, “Onions are indispensable.” One of the most famous of quotes about onions comes from Will Rogers:
“An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.”
For the onion lover among you, this painting surely should be. Come, take a whiff!
To read more about onions, check out the National Onion Association.
Amapola Gallery’s oil painting of The Onion was done by Vera Russell. She says:
Art has always been my voice. “Hey, did you notice?… ordinary things that catch a special moment and record it for all time…the high light on an apple, the vigil for an ailing pope, a landscape or skyscape that draws your attention or takes your breath away.”
Amapola Gallery is home to 40 member artists including Vera Russell.
After a lifetime batting words around like shuttlecocks in an endless game of badminton, it is a pleasure to use them to promote Old Town and my fellow artists at Amapola Gallery. –Kristin Parrott, carver, painter and acorn stuffer