As always, visitors to the Grandview Hop this summer are able to enjoy plenty of live music as they wander up and down Grandview Avenue.

Thanks to Columbus artist AJ Heckman, they can also experience some live painting.

During the Hop -- held the last Saturday of each month through September -- Heckman sets up an easel and spontaneously paints.

"It's really improvisational painting," he said. "I'm never quite sure what I'm going to end up painting. I tend to be inspired by the setting, the people I meet and what's happening around me."

As a musician, "creating spur of the moment appeals to me," Heckman said. "When you're in a studio working on a painting, you tend to think about it too much."

Heckman said he wants his live painting performance to be both an aesthetic and educational experience for visitors to the Hop.

"I think it's giving them a peek behind the artistic process," he said. "People see a finished painting and might not realize what an artist goes through to create a painting."

His paintings are surrealistic.

"I like working in surrealism because it involves trying to capture the mood of a subject, not just a simple depiction of something," Heckman said. "When I'm working on a live painting, I can be inspired by just about anything. I'll often see the design or color of someone's clothing and incorporate that into the painting."

Culture also was on display during the July 28 version of the Hop at the booth operated by husband and wife Jeff Newman and Sanu Maiya Budhathoki.

Through their business, Sanu's Nepali Bazaar, the Columbus couple resell goods they purchase on visits to Budhathoki's homeland of Nepal.

The items include decorative masks, wooden figurines and "singing bowls."

"We love going to the markets and small shops in Kathmandu," Newman said. "It's always like a treasure hunt. There are hundreds of little shops to pop into and you never know what exquisite pieces you're going to find. They're really works of art."

The singing bowls are bells that produce a singing sound when a wooden or plastic mallet is rubbed against their side or rim.

"It's such a peaceful, healing sound. Singing bowls are often used in meditation or prayer" in Buddhist practice, Budhathoki said.

"The bowls are probably our most popular item, and they're the ones I like best," Newman said. "It's so relaxing to hear them ring."

Newman said he fell in love with Nepal when he took trekking hikes to the base camp of Mount Everest.

"I was entranced by the beauty of the Himalayas," he said, "and I found the people of Nepal to be so friendly and sincere."

Sanu's Nepali Bazaar is a way to bring the culture of Nepal to central Ohio, Newman said.

"I think people are intrigued by the items we're selling," he said. "It's not what you can usually find around here."

At their booth, Circleville resident Carmen Richardson and her daughters, Elizabeth Beckley and Jackie Richardson, were selling a homemade product that goes against the grain.

Their Omega Buns are made with organic ingredients and does not contain grain or sugar.

Necessity was the mother of invention for Carmen Richardson.

"Our family decided we wanted to improve our health by eating healthier, and that meant eliminating bread from our diet," she said.

"Well, I love bread, and I was really missing it. I thought, there must be a way to create a healthier alternative to bread.

"It took a lot of trial and error before I came up with the perfect recipe," Richardson said. "I started sharing it with my family and friends, and Elizabeth, especially, started encouraging me saying, 'These buns are so good, you should start selling them.' "

Earlier this year, mother and daughters established Omega Bun as a business. They participate in a number of local events and markets, including the Pearl Alley Market, Grove City Farmers Market and Bexley Farmers Market.

"We're offering bread for people who can't eat bread anymore," Richardson said. "I've had people come up to me with tears in their eyes -- like me, they've missed having bread as part of their meals."

Omega Buns are a flaxseed-based bun, with 8 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber, Beckley said.

"They fit in with a ketogenic (low-carb) diet, which is getting to be so popular these days," she said.

Richardson said she takes an Omega Bun with her to fast-food restaurants.

"I can take the beef patty and place it on an Omega Bun, and I get to enjoy my burger the way it's meant to be: in a bun," she said.

The Grandview Hop will continue Aug. 25 and Sept. 29. The event takes place between 5 and 9 p.m. on Grandview Avenue between First and Fifth avenues.

Each Hop features pop-up vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, live music and special sales and events at businesses along Grandview Avenue.

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