Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Global Adventure of the Palate

In a follow up to my Drawing blog, I left out a very important statement made by a fellow artist at Fine Art America named Janie (I don’t have her last name). Janie said, “Whenever you paint or draw, be sure to check the negative space. Don't concentrate on the positive until the proportions are correct.” This is a vital element, especially for portraits. 

Serena Shines -- pastel drawing

After my last blog, I took a couple days off to visit friends in Orlando. We had a great time “catching up.” The next day we went to Epcot Center at Disney. I’m sharing a few photos with you.

When we arrived, we took a Ferry over to the Moroccon pavilion. My friend is Lebanese, and she was hungry for Middle Eastern food. We ate lentils, pilaf, tabbouleh, and pita bread with vegetables and meat. She said it reminded her of her childhood. In the mini-museum, we saw a statue of a man dressed in typical apparel. She remarked that he reminded her of her father; a handsome man with a kind heart who owned and managed a restaurant.

Afterward, we went into the courtyard and watched a belly dancer perform as the musicians played. The music was lively and seductive. My friend, a former belly dancer in her younger days, couldn’t keep still. She started to bounce and gyrate causing one of the hostesses to join in. Soon they were dancing and laughing in time with the instruments.

As we toured the other International exhibits, I couldn’t help noticing that everywhere we went the violin played a large part in the music played. The orchestra/band instruments were essentially the same, but the sounds coming out of them were distinct and unique to each country.

Japanese Pavillion

Many foods were also basically the same, but their spicing and preparation were unique. For example, the crepe is made of flour in European countries, and is used as a desert or as a wrap for meat and vegetables. In middle eastern countries, the flour is more coarse, but it is still used in much the same way. The pita is heavier and is formed into a pocket, but is essentially made out of flour.

Italian Pavilion

In Spanish or Hispanic speaking cultures, the crepe is made out of corn meal, and called a tortilla; also used to wrap meat and vegetables. In Norway, the crepe (or pancake) is called "Lefse" and made from a potatoe flour, in Italy the pizza serves the same purpose. The sauces and spices used in each country make all the difference. The human “link” is ironic in the way that each country prepares food using the ingredients they have on hand.

Norwegian Pavillion

I’ve noticed that a recent trend in art is the representation of foods from specific areas. Focusing on the color and types of foods that are unique to a culture or people gives art a new twist on still life and conceptual paintings. The redness of a lobster against blue water or china; a checkered or flowered cloth that ties the various foods together; the lip-smacking red of strawberries and the blue of blueberries against white china; a cupcake decorated to the hilt in swirling curls of colorful frosting and candy.

Our daily bread and table connects us across the globe as the family of God. Bon appetite׳!