The garden became an extension of my studio when I began working on Early American, a series of still-life photographs mirroring the paintings of early 19th century painter Raphaelle Peale. I used this patch outside of an existing greenhouse on my property in the Hudson Valley. It was important to cultivate older varieties of fruits and vegetables to more exactly replicate those from the early Republic. Here I am examining a variety of watermelon originally grown by the Arikara, a Native American tribe who were adept at farming. It is a beautiful, small, heirloom variety with many seeds. Growing over the fence on the left are morning glories and, from both of these plants, I would make the photograph Melons and Morning Glories in 2008 after R. Peale's painting of the same name from 1813.