Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Tomato Salad 10" x 8"
Diane got me thinking about the seasonality of produce, and well, what's summer without tomatoes? I got really excited about painting them - even fixed tomato salad for dinner last night. I am wondering why I am obsessively painting food. Maybe that's where my focus has been for the last few years. Maybe I have developed an appreciation of it's beauty over that time. Maybe I like to cook because I think food is beautiful - poetic. If you read enough cooking magazines, cookbooks, and food writing it is hard not to become entranced. Some people call it "food porn". (That could be a whole new avenue for the paintings...)
Whatever the reason, it does allow you some control over your pallete. Are you interested in red?...Paint a tomato. Green?...an apple. I think too that the colors of produce are bold and pure. There's nothing quite like the orange of an orange. If you want to really indulge in saturated colors, paint fresh produce.
I tried to be a little more conscious in my handling of the oil paints with this piece - strictly work fat over lean. I'm sure that before I was haphazardly slopping the stuff on the canvas. I think I got a different product this time. But I'm not so sure it was purely the method that produced a fresh style as much as the process of approaching a painting differently. Focusing on how I was laying the paint on gave my consciousness a little nudge, put it in a different relationship with the painting, and gave me a new result.
I feel compelled to include my recipe for tomato salad as well. Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings as this is an approximation of what I did last night. Improvise too - try basil instead of sage, or add cucumbers to the mix.
6 Roma tomatoes, large dice
1/4 red onion, paper thin sliced (half or quarter moon-shapes)
1/4 pound Feta, large dice
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
2-3 fl oz. olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. Fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 fresh sage leaves, chiffonade
Combined ingredients and let marinate for at least one hour.