DAISY CRADDOCK HARVESTS SUMMER PRODUCE AT ITS PEAK by Carol Strickland Archibald MacLeish’s lyrical poem, “Ars Poetica,” begins: A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit. Daisy Craddock’s diptychs of “Summer Produce,” like poetry, vividly communicate through images. Her faithful likenesses of unique specimens of apples, oranges, or cucumbers seem almost palpable— true in color and texture to the appearance of the skin and flesh of each fruit or vegetable. And while her images are literally mute, metaphorically they shout an idyllic message of summer, freeze-framed at its height: fresh, ripe, succulent, and luscious. Craddock, a native of Tennessee who is known in New York for her abstracted paintings of landscapes, takes an original slant on a traditional subject. She attacks nature studies through her own meticulous approach to surface, form, and materials. Using oil pastel and oil stick, she exploits the power of color and touch, reducing observed reality to its most essential quality of textured surface. Juxtaposing on the left of a diptych the exterior and on the right the interior of a fruit achieves a tense poise between description and abstraction. At first glance, you’re sure these are