I’ve always thought that painting and cooking have a lot in common. Haven’t you noticed that most painters are great cooks? Because I love to cook, I’ve been giving this idea some thought over the past couple of weeks.
Ingredients in the kitchen are like colors on the painter’s palette. Cooks combine ingredients to please the sense of smell, taste and sight, with an eye toward balance, harmony and composition of the meal. Do you remember the phrase “we eat with our eyes”? For the cook, everything must be edible, except for the framing (plates, place settings, etc). As in painting, the framing and presentation can be very important in the enjoyment of a meal.
Painters play to the sense of sight with color, balance and composition. Just like cooks, some painters restrict themselves to a limited palette of materials, whether for health or aesthetic reasons. On a painter’s palette nothing is edible to the stomach, but on the other hand can be enjoyed by the eye over and over again. In fact it sometimes takes months and years to truly digest the significance and beauty of a painting.
Both painters and cooks use the terms luscious, intense, lively, fresh, juicy and colorful. Both are artists, interpreting and sharing with others the beauty of nature.
PS The “colors” in the palette above are clockwise from the bottom: fermented black beans, mozzarella balls, lemon zest, yellow peppers, carrots, red peppers, beets, parsley and blueberries. Olive oil is in the square bowl.