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A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou... yes, those are nice, but some fried chicken, watermelon and lemonade certainly couldn't hurt. Not to mention cheese and crackers, salami, grapes, some fresh berries, maybe even some deviled eggs. Now that's a picnic.
Created this art with my daughter as my inspiration. She just turned six and she loves gong to picnics. Whenever we go, she would usually bring her toys like stuffed animals, dolls, ball, and bubbles. I also love sunflowers and how lovely they bloom in summer so I wanted to incorporate an illustration of those into this piece.
Buddy Bear is a very special rescue dog who led a rich and varied life before joining our family. For example, I knew that he had once been a gardener the first time he helped me with transplanting. I dug a hole in the back yard, went to the front yard to retrieve a plant, and when I returned to the back yard, I found him sitting in the hole, holding up the sides so they wouldn't collapse. In our free time, he and I compose text for what I hope will be a forthcoming book titled "Buddy Bear's Career Guide For The Undecided".
Meanwhile, his Grammy reminded me about Buddy Bear's picnic in her house, which is illustrated here and which has become a much-loved part of his guide to outdoor life. But, geez, I thought Grammies were supposed to forgive AND forget!
Our out-of-state aunt and her five grandchildren visited Dad's farm one summer. As a day trip, the whole troupe came to our fair city. My sister lived in a subdivision with a private beach, so a delightful picnic was had on her beach. We ate a disproportionate variety of yellow foods and sat at a round table, hence the inspiration for this panel. The actual picnic was in the afternoon so that Dad could get back to the farm to put his animals to bed at a decent hour. I'm just pretending that we stayed through sunset. You're never too old for make-believe!
I decided to illustrate the traditional style of picnic in Kazakhstan where I am from originally. Kazakh national food reflects the traditional nomadic lifestyle, so having food outdoors was a normality during summer time. Kazakhs traditionally eat at a low table called a Dastarkhān.
The following food were illustrated:
Beshbarmak - the most traditional dish consists of boiled horse meat or mutton with boiled large noodles or pasta sheets and onions.
Kumys - a dairy product made from mare’s milk fermented in big skin bags and traditionally served in wide wooden bowls decorated with silver or in painted cups.
Kurt - a traditional snack made from dried cheese and whey rolled into balls. Traditionally, kurt was useful for long treks on horseback across the steppe.
Baursak - a Kazakh national dish made from spherical or triangular pieces of dough and fried in oil. Sometimes it is described as a type of Asian doughnuts.
Shelpek - a flat cake or flatbread made in the same way as baursaks. The main ingredients of shelpek are flour, milk, sugar, butter, sour cream such as Kaymak, baking soda, salt and vegetable oil.
Shashlyk - a Central Asian dish of skewered and grilled cubes of meat, similar to or synonymous with shish kebab.