June 14, 2014

The Food Not Eaten

I recently curated an on line exhibition for Etsy called “Cakes and Pies Before Our Eyes,” featuring artist’s paintings of this subject. I am now reading Phyllis Bober’s book on ancient and medieval gastronomy, Art Culture and Cuisine, a highly readable feast of fantastic historical practices surrounding food.

Perhaps I look at these pictures of desserts and read history books about food because I am on a liquid diet after an affront to my precarious digestive system. Interestingly, now that one sense is not stimulated by the visual impact of food I can appreciate it for its form alone. I am no stranger to the art of making pictures of food not eaten. There was a time in England when my stomach gave out for a while and I was obliged to look at food but not partake. The drawing above dates from that time, when I was served a plate of dumplings that I could only look at. I made this drawing in appreciation of the aesthetic form of the dumplings carefully arranged on their oblong serving tray. A second drawing, not pictured, followed of my husband eating the dumplings. By making the drawings I need not enjoy food solely in a vicarious way.

AT the time I made the food drawings the only tool I had on hand was a black ink pen in my purse. In order to make them more appealing as drawings I recently resurfaced them with grey, black and white pastels.

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