I am part of a little group of friends who have come together over lockdown to gently share our work according to a monthly theme. This month's theme was food. Sounds like a simple, pleasurable experience doesn't it. But for so many, it is a complex issue; food poverty, food excess, dieting, restrictions, obesity, commercialism all lead us to have a complicated relationship with food. My own personal journey has been of living with two loved ones both of whom had eating disorders, thankfully not at the same time. But it is an experience which is terrifying. So how did I go about this theme? I noticed that when the person for whom I was caring was at her worst, she engaged in a lot of food 'porn', endlessly watching food videos, listening to people eating and scouring recipe books. So I thought I would search out the most beautiful, yet un-nourishing foods and present them beautifully. I also wanted to create connections in terms of decay, as if the food had been waiting for a long time to be eaten and/or a reference to clothing or other symbols. I also worked for the first time on copper to add an increased lustre and luxury. The exercise has certainly got me thinking and it has improved my observation skills and my understanding of colour, particularly hue. , The other question that has exercised me has been the balance of detail and blocking. I don't really want to end up with everything a bit smudgy and vague but sometimes this is still happening. I also feel I will work on this over several small pieces rather than try to solve it in one piece. I feel I have created a vibrancy in my work which I can port to other projects. I am early in my journey but have found rewarding and challenging. Certainly not easy-peasy.
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