Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Watercolor: Carrot

Here’s my carrot watercolor. I used both watercolor and gouache.

Carrots are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana, and a “yehi ratzon” is said on the carrots:
“Yehi ratzon milfanecha she-yikara roa gezar dinneinu, v’yikaru lfaneacha zakiyoteinu”
“May it be God’s will that the evil decrees against us be torn up and our
good merits be read out before You”.
The play on words here is the Hebrew word ‘gezer’, which sounds like gezairah, the Hebrew word for “decree.”

The same “yehi ratzon” will show up again for squash, as the Hebrew for squash is kra, which sounds a bit like the Hebrew for “tear up.”

I discovered that some display carrots in slices to resemble coins, as we hope for prosperity in the new year. You can read more about the history of these food symbols from the Rebbetzin’s Husband.

A traditional dish made with carrots that one might eat on Rosh Hashana is tzimmes. Some recipes (I haven’t tried these, no endorsements here):

I prefer mine plain (naturally sweet!) and raw. The tsimmes salad sounds best to me, though it seems a stretch to call that recipe ‘tsimmes’.

Finally, a request to all pomegranate lovers: if you find a link to a pomegranate photo that you like, please leave the link in a comment. I’m going to have to work from photos in order to paint a pomegranate.

Robin says

I never knew carrots (other than tsimmes which my family always skipped) were traditional for the holiday.

The painting is beautiful - curving the stem around so that the leaves are in the picture was a great trick.

Ilana-Davita says

Very pretty. I like the way you've managed to include the frilly green bit in spite of the lenghth.
While I'm here, here is a link for a pomegranate:
Can't say it is the best I have ever seen though but it is nicer with green around than just on its own. Will look for more. I discovered in the process that there is a pomegranate-flavored 7up.

Leora says

Robin, glad you liked it. The stems were a good challenge.

Ilana-Davita, thanks for the pomegranate pic. I like that one, because I can see the tree and the leaves.

Carletta says

You have talent!!
I didn't know you painted. I've been missing something and must spend a little time here looking around.


Une bien jolie représentation

Lori says

What a lovely painting! Your carrot artwork is telling me to go to my fridge and get one to eat. I love them as snacks.

I just did a quick search and came across this wonderful pomegranate photo.

Here's another.

Michelle says

Like this one too..some of your work reminds me of my mother's paintings...

phyllis says

that is truly lovely. leora, you are so talented!!!!

melissa qubti says

what an artist you are!!!!! lovely !

mother in israel says

Love it! My mother always insisted on cutting carrots like coins for RH. I have a photo of a squashed pomegranate on my blog. I'll look for the link.

mother in israel says

Batya says

Do you want some pomogrants (rimonim) growing on a tree?

Juggling Frogs says


I think you could put together a short book (maybe publish through of all the simanim to give as hostess gifts for R"H.

It could be very short, say 32 pages, like a children's book, but not (exclusively) for kids. Each page with its painting, the bracha, and your commentary, or a custom.

I bet it would sell well.

Leora says

Batya, I think I'm going to use the first one, the one from Wikipedia, that shows a large pomegranate on a tree with leaves in the background.

Thanks so much for all the pomegranate photos! I just like looking at them. Lori, yours were great as stand alone photos. And Mother in Israel, the juice was wonderful in yours.

Leora says

Juggling Frogs, looks like I will have to investigate Meanwhile, I'm enjoying an excuse to do a watercolor every few days.

Next year, I'll get Rosh Hashana cards and maybe a simanim book up in August... this year, I'm just happy to have blog readers.

2sweetnsaxy says

The painting and the photograph below are just great! I wish I could paint. Nice work! :-)

Paz says

Very nice! I like your photos below, too.


sheva says

i love your watercolors . I agree with juggling frogs i wish you would put something together of your watercolors.


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