As we near the end of the Kansas City tour this week, I figured it would be good to stop at The City Market in the River Market district. It has a rich history dating back to 1857 when the City Market Square began as a site for market commerce, horse trading, political rallies, revivals, medicine shows and circuses. Today it’s a thriving farmer’s market with shops and restaurants.

This was a fast and loose sketch again that I sort of attacked with various colors. I didn’t limit the palette on this one but just grabbed for lots of different “fruit colors” and made a quick wash. Outside of the clearly marked Pineapples, and the noticeably banana shaped fruit, the orbs were kind of fair game for whatever fruit felt like appearing (including a rogue eggplant).

Since I actually grew up in the suburbs of Kansas CIty, the River Market was also the first place I lived that was officially in the city. I had a loft there while I was working for a company that made promotional postcards for real estate agents (which was as thrilling as it sounds).

I was so excited to live in the city and to find a reasonably-priced place that it never occurred to me that being single and alone would also make things a bit lonely. Not long after, I befriended the guy across the hall and since I would never remember to lock my door, he would often burst through it like Kramer from Seinfeld to visit. Something like this would horrify me now, but back then it was so comforting to know I wasn’t completely alone all the time.

It was equally ironic that I lived next to a Farmer’s market and yet didn’t know how to cook. I would end up eating prepared foods or whatever horrible cheap thing I could find on the run. Years later, I still can’t cook, but living with someone who can has at least given me an appreciation for whole foods.

Taking Philippe to the market, he was impressed by how cheaply we could get our food, but the crowds made the prospect of going on a regular basis less attractive. So I decided to draw the market like I wish it was. Imagining a woman walking alone through a lovely and quiet place. One where you could stroll unencumbered, among the various fruit colored objects until you find the perfect ones to take home. So somebody who loves you can do whatever it is one does with them.

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40 thoughts on “The City Market

  1. OMG!! This one is FABULOUS! This had to take quite a bit of time. So much detail. Love love love it! Looking on my iPhone now but can’t wait to look on my computer screen and enjoy even more! Bravo! Going I miss touring Kansas! What’s up for October???

  2. Charlie, this is amazing! Your loose sketch certainly has lots of details! 😊 I love to cook and we do often go to our local farmer’s market. We watched Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution a few years ago and try our best not to eat foods with lots of preservatives and additives.

  3. Great drawing and great story. Oh for the uncrowded market! I like the notion of drawing things as we wish them to be. Why not? I really like the deep tones you’ve capturered, and, of course, the shadow. Nice work!

  4. Hi Charlie, We had a farmers market near us in NY for years and years. But it was just easier to go to the grocery store around the corner. Plus, I didn’t cook that much either. So what would i do with all the produce? Now in Asheville, I live close to some farmers markets and I’m going to try to buy and cook stuff from them.

    Great sketch. I love the orbs and the eggplant. Did you put the wash of color in first and then define the orbs and bananas? Or vice versa? Love the windows too, especially the one where you can see the outside.

  5. I just discovered a local Farmer’s market in my neighborhood last week! I was so happy to have fresh veggies and fruit that I kind of went crazy! I figured if I couldn’t carry anymore produce, it was time to leave! LOL! Enjoyed your story and all the details in your “quick” sketch, Charlie! Glad to hear that Philippe cooks healthy for you. 😊

  6. Another fabulous painting, Charlie – ha, my eyes went straight for that rascal aubergine! I wouldn’t know what to do with half of this stuff, but nevertheless it’s nice to go to places like this and appreciate the colours! 😉

  7. I enjoy the crowds in our local fresh produce markets. There are two reasonably near where I live and both are quite different. I tend to have lunch at both, whenever I visit. One place supplies me with my flower photo ops, which you’ve seen on my blog (ornamental kale is a recent one), and the other has deliciously healthy food, my fave there is Vietnamese Chicken Salad…yum! I’m surprised that Philippe isn’t trying to teach you to cook…all it takes is a simple dish, and you’re away and becoming skilled before you know it!
    This drawing draws me in…very nice, Charlie!

  8. Wow, this is so beautiful!!! I enjoy your KC tour so much for when I lived in Kansas I was there only once with school and didn´t really see something of the city. I get to know the city just now years later through your pictures. Seems like I missed something…

  9. You paint as beautifully with your words as you do with your pens and brushes! Love these types of farmers markets and I too share the daydream of being able to walk through without the fear of being pushed into a crate of watercress or something prickly like pineapple lol. Beware the rogue eggplant!…..(I am going to be giggling about that for the rest of the day ;D ) Thank you for this smile.

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