Saturday, January 17, 2015

Foodies who Love to Paint, and Artists who Paint what they Eat

We all love to eat. Food is the essence of family get-togethers and camaraderie. Dining is our point of caring, celebrating, and nourishing those we love. There is an intimacy in eating together and biting into succulent morsels of exquisitely prepared food in the warmth of family and friends.

Food is also survival. It is life. Food is pleasure. It’s not only pleasing to the palate, but to the eye. Good cooks and chefs are as creative as any artist. Their finished products look like works of art and taste even better!

I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Artists from past to present have recognized the richness of color and the distinction of form that food presents. Photographers and advertisers have been aware of its beauty for a long, long time. Artists are again turning to the variety and fun that food can provide. In recent years, there has been a revival of sorts in the painting of everything scrumptious.

Today many artists are using their culinary skills in designing and presenting food as art. Their tantalizing compositions literally look “good enough to eat.” 

If you want to know what’s trending in the world, check out Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. In all likelihood, food is playing a major part. Recipes are being tried and shared as never before. People are concerned about nutrition, gluten, lactose, fats, and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).

Our food sources are not only at risk, but more people have allergies and food sensitivities than ever before. I’m lactose intolerant and, in addition, was forced to restrict myself to gluten free products. People in general are focused on eating healthier foods.

Even that staple golden honey is at risk. In a Monsanto AD recently, the discussion centered on endangered honey bees. Without honey bees, some of our most nutritious fruits, vegetables and nuts would not be pollinated. 

Farmers rely heavily on honey bees in order to grow a crop. When the Biblical heroes talked about wanting a land “of milk and honey,” they knew how important these creatures were to the production of good things to eat. Even here in Florida, 80% of the orange groves are pollinated by honey bees. Without them there would be no oranges and no honey!

Beginning artists often focus on food in learning about color and form. Still life works with fruit is popular in practicing shape, shadow, and light. This is a wonderful way to experiment and branch off into cubism and abstraction. Pick up a brush and try it! The results may be delicious.