Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cookin' Up Art

Cooking and painting are kind of connected. Quality ingredients, imagination and spice (culinary or visual) matter. Onerous and odorous tasks have their place as well.

Most paintings go through an "ugly duckling" stage when shapes are blocked in but nothing is well developed. It's discouraging and you can't believe it will ever look like the intended subject (whose idea was it to paint a dozen garlic heads, anyway?!).

I think of it as the "cutting onions" stage, a painful step in the process of cooking. Painting can be like that. You have a sense of the finished piece but getting through that stage where nothing blends together is no fun. Let's skip cutting onions and get to the part where we savor the stir fry! As Rousseau says, "Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet" The philosopher probably wasn't talking about cooking or painting, but you get the point. Patience, perseverance and the belief that it will eventually come together keep us going.

Ottawa Garlic Braid © 2013 Dorothy Lorenze
This braid of garlic was started nearly a year ago. I blocked in the forms, got distracted (or discouraged?) and set it aside. The canvas sat there in the "cutting onions" stage mocking me for
months. And stinking up the studio! In fact there was such a strong smell that I attributed it to a studio-mate's onion still life, but no, it was my garlic braid screaming for attention!

Modeling the form of one garlic head was complex enough, but then there was another, and another... x12.  Patience! After spending nearly two weeks painting the garlic, I was pleased. But now that I see it finished, I'm just crazy about the shadow. Go figure! I hope you like it. It's 8 x 16" and has a beautiful antique style frame from Custom Frame Solutions.

Here's another connection between cooking and painting: an exhibition of my paintings at Who's Cooking in Croton Falls. Stop by to vote for your favorite of the "Nostalgia Captured in Oil" group. I'd love to know what captures your attention, what is it that appeals to you? Fill out a ballot and stick it in the box. At the end of September, one name will be drawn to receive a set of note cards depicting their chosen painting.

And while you're there pick up something delicious from Who's Cooking! It's a great place to stop for tea and sweets or take home a fabulous home cooked dinner. (No one needs to know that you didn't cut the onions).

Front Street opposite the Croton Falls train station


  1. Hi Dorothy,

    I read your guest post on Art Biz Blog and just loved the story! It is funny how one good deed can lead to another and we have to recognize and capitalize on these opportunities when they happen.

    Best regards,


    1. Thanks so much Laurie! It was such a great opportunity - I really did want to pay it forward!

      And thanks for checking out my blog as well! Happy to have you here.


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