My decade long fascination with painting desserts has heightened my craving for more. Fortunately, there are still many sweets to try to feed my artistic appetite. Now my dessert repertoire is expanding from individual desserts and bakery displays to vending machines.
Using a wet-on-wet technique, I paint in oil directly from the subject or a photograph, applying the oil paint to the canvas like icing on a cake. The oil medium allows me to capture the luscious, tempting nature of desserts, with their enticing textures, shapes, and colors that seduce me with promises of mouth-watering rewards.
Often the subjects elicit childhood memories, when life was uncomplicated. They evoke a time in my life when an Oreo Cookie, Dunkin’ Donut, or candy bar was the center of my universe.
My serial images of cakes and Oreo Cookies portray nostalgic moments of transitory pleasures. The Oreo Cookie is a subject I return to year after year. My daughters, neighborhood kids, and now my friends’ grandkids, take part in the process by coming to my Oreo Cookie parties and annual Oreo Cookie Contest during my Open Studio.
The kids (and adults!) enthusiastically bite the cookies and joyfully play with them. They pull the halves apart to lick the icing, dunk them, stack them, and try to eat a whole Oreo in one bite, just leaving the crumbs. Often while I am lighting the entire table of half-eaten cookies, I see exciting images take shape amidst dramatic shadows, and realize I am looking at the next work in the series. I name the painting after the person who bites the original Oreo since it is their “portrait”, albeit an untraditional one.
A few years ago, I started working on a series of small Oreo Cookie pencil drawings to represent the whimsical nature and unlimited possibilities of this particular icon. These images opened the door to making original limited edition art prints of Oreos, the first being Oreo Mandala. Then I was inspired to paint dessert ingredients by an entire carton of double yolk eggs that randomly made its way into my kitchen, which led to a series of egg paintings and another print.
I believe that on some level all people are attracted to things they are not supposed to have. I am no exception. My particular challenge is to paint the subject matter on one hand, while not devouring these “forbidden fruits” with the other. It is particularly ironic that I’m obsessed with painting delectable desserts with my history of diabetes while I was pregnant, a father who was a dentist, and a recent change I made in my diet by going gluten-free. Thus the name of this body of work, “Great Temptations”, appropriately reflects the tension, conflict and even longing that I feel while painting irresistible desserts.
April 1, 2017
Selected Group Exhibitions
2017 RiverArts Open Studio, Ardsley, NY
2016 Super Fresh Food Art Gallery, Permanent Installation, Healsberg, CA
2015 Cavalier Galleries, “American Realism: Past to Present”, New York, NY
2015 Cavalier Galleries, Summer Group Show in Greenwich, CT; Nantucket, MA; and New York City, NY
2015 Silvermine Arts Center, “65th Annual Art of the Northeast Juried Exhibition”, New Canaan, CT
2015 The Katonah Museum, “Line Describing a Cone: Tri-State Juried Exhibition”, Katonah, NY
2014 Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Arts, Juried Exhibition, “Viewpoints 2014”, Newark, NJ
2014 Warms Springs Gallery, “Painter’s Table”, Charlottesville, VA
2013 Picassowhat, Opening Group Exhibition, Rockland, ME
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2017 Michael Good Gallery, “You CAN Have Your Cake and Eat it Too”, Rockport, ME, June 12 – August 1, 2017
2006 Wiregrass Museum of Art, “Great Temptations”, Dothan, Alabama
2003 Jerald Melberg Gallery, “Just Desserts”, Charlotte, NC
2002 O.K. Harris Works of Art, “September Revisited”, New York, NY
2001 O.K. Harris Works of Art, Serial Images of Desserts, New York, NY
2014 A.I. Friedman Artist of the Month
2014 Success Is Sweet For Desserts-Only Painter, Rivertown Enterprise, Page 8
2014 Just Desserts, Scarsdale Inquirer, Page 11
2012 Expiration Date & Other Stories
2007 I WANT Candy: Sweet Stuff in American Art, video, and catalog
2007 Sweet Success, Westchester Times Tribune, Page 6
1984-2002 Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY – Worked with the Board of Trustees and Director on the Program Committee and Audience Development Committee