Thanks to my friends Bruce, Martha and Rick over at Gifts at 136, I was invited back as their guest pumpkin artist for this years annual Pumpkin Festival in Damariscotta, Maine. Last year was so much fun I couldn't resist, but unlike using roughly 100 pumpkins to create a lobster, this year I wanted to keep it simple so I opted for a festival supplied, locally farmed and conveniently placed specimen.
Once I arrived, a day before the big weekend, I laid eyes on my subject and knew my idea was going to be perfect, delicious, scrumptious, mmm. I dropped my box full of tools and paint, grabbed my wife's favorite kitchen knife and got busy slicing and dicing the 185.5 pound beast. After about an hour of cutting, looking, cutting more, pondering, answering questions about what it was ("Is it a hamburger?"), selfie-ing, looking from a far, slicing up close and finally saying, "Yup, that's good!" I coated a thick layer of white paint on the sculpted giant.
Allowing time to dry I grabbed lunch at King Eiders around the corner, great meal and cozy atmosphere, as all the locals know. When I got back to my piece there was a HUGE crowd and all these TV cameras around my pumpkin, ok, just kidding, it was just a curious young couple and their tiny baby. I quickly got busy, the white paint had dried perfectly and my belly as full as the brush was paint. I started with the bottom, and worked my way towards the top where most of the carving took place. I had eaten many of my subject matter before and had a page full of examples to capture the essence of the idea.
I wanted the piece to feel like it was real, not a pumpkin but something else. After a few hours of paint and some added lettuce from my friends at Gifts at 136, my contribution to this year's festival was complete, a Maine Lobster Roll!