Sunday, January 25, 2009

Suffering for art

Candy apple
8 x 10 graphite

I have an idea in my head of something that I want to draw and am working on the process, with some obstacles cropping up.

I want to create a drawing/painting of candy apples. You know, those bright red shelled, cavity producing things of fairs and fall. Its not so much the apple and candy part I want, its just some images of them that I want to capture in the right light so I can use them to draw from.

So I set out to find some. Of course there are none available. Even the ingredients for them seemed difficult to find. I can find the things to create the brittle shell, and the apples, now I need to find sticks to insert into them. And then the time to make them. This will have to be next weekend now, otherwise I won't be around during daylight hours and unable to photograph them and they will have softened or melted by then.

I've never made candy apples before. Caramel apples, yes. They're simple, you just melt caramels and coat. The hard shelled apples are a bit trickier. It involves heat and melting stuff and if you've ever gotten a speck of boiling sugar syrup on your hand you'll know what I mean when I say pain.

Is this what suffering for the sake of art is all about? Frustrated by my inability to get things set up today I created a drawing of a candy apple to satisfy a little bit of my need for instant gratification.


Valerie Jones said...

I love this post, Jeanette! Yes, we suffer for our art. I'm glad you found a way to draw this apple to get the instant gratification you needed!

Anita said...

I used to make toffee apples for my kids every year. Getting the sugar to the right temperature to make them shiny and brittle takes considerable patience. If you don't leave it long enough you get fudge apples! I've seen some wonderful pastels lately of toffee apples. Nice to see them in graphite!
And you are right - boiling sugar burns horribly!

Jo Castillo said...

Hey, Jeanette, good luck on this project. A candy thermometer really helps. Nice drawing here, I like the highlights.

Billie Crain said...

hot sugar is like napalm! don't suffer too much for your art, Jeanette. your drawing is excellent! unless you have a taste for candy apples i'd think twice before attempting them if i were you.

Gayle Mason said...

Love the graphite one Jeanette.
Hope you manage to make somecandy ones.

Robyn said...

Delicious!!! Delicious drawing, that is.

Like Anita, I call them toffee apples. What a lovely object to paint. Good luck making the toffee! And the leftover toffee can be poured into little paper cup cake containers and sprinkle with coconut as an extra treat. You could paint those too ;)

Jeanette said...

Thanks Val. I just had to draw one to satisfy my need :)

Toffee apples! That's the word I was looking for. Even if they're called candy apples this side of the pond. I'll experiment next weekend if the mood to draw this is still there. Just don't know what I'll do with the resulting apples though as I don't want to eat them. I'll have to find some willing child.

Jo, I have a candy thermometer somewhere as I used to make fudge in some dim distant past. Now to just find it...

Billie, I can see this drawing in my head - I need to draw this in colour. But to do that I need a reference to work from, preferably my own. So I think I'll have to bite the bullet and make some. I'm always wary of really hot stuff - and I'm no cook.

Thanks Gayle. Next weekend I'll hopefully have something to work from.

I love drawing shiny things. I think I was a magpie in a previous life. I have the colour red stuck in my head and its still there. I have to do this. I just need to make the darn toffee.

Of course if anyone else was willing to do this and provide some references, there could be a bartering negotiation... :)

Jennifer Rose said...

you drawing looks great :) I've only made candy apples once before and never again :p way too much mess for something that is even too sweet for me to eat all of lol

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Interesting discussion on the terminology. As a Newfoundlander, I grew up using the term "toffee apple" to refer to an apple covered in lovely sticky caramelly stuff that was rather soft to the tooth. By contrast, a "candy apple" is, for me at any rate, an American term, referring to an apple covered in a sweet, hard transparent cherry-red glaze. In other words, candy apples and toffee apples are two different animals, but whichever one you drew, it's a stunning picture!!

Cate in Dundee

Lisa B. said...

I had my first experience with boiling sugar splatter last year canning strawberry jam. Wearing Platex gloves helped immensely!