Sunday, 24 February 2013

Kitchen Art: Recipes

Choosing art for the home is one of my favourite things to do. Yes, it can be very challenging to find pieces that speak to you and that will also look great in a room. BUT, if you don’t set a deadline for yourself, that is, if you wait for the art to come to you, it can be really fun, exciting and rewarding. Who knows what you may come across in your travels! Art can be anything: a unique old plate hung on the wall, a child’s drawing, or a framed postcard from a favourite holiday. Once you start thinking outside the box, those bare walls don’t seem so scary anymore!
For kitchen artwork, I tend towards the simple and the whimsical. Who needs large daunting abstract paintings in a kitchen? Not me. In a dinning room? Definitely. But a kitchen? Nope! I find that in a kitchen, there’s already so much going on. Everything from appliances to funky toasters to fruit bowls serve as visual interest pieces. For that reason, I like to keep art clean and simple. Recipes, wall plates, drawings– these are my favourite kitchen art pieces.
If you wander over to etsy and look up Eva Juliet  (search the evajuliet shop on etsy) you’ll find the type of art prints that I speak of. I really enjoy her whimsical recipes prints; her style is folky yet simple and clean. Maybe I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Here are a few examples:

Simple, pretty pieces, perfect for kitchen spaces that are bursting with functionality and usefulness, but lacking in personal style and interest. Her prints (unframed) sell for around $30 USD, making them a great way to add some flair without spending too much. However, it is also possible that you could use these prints simply as a guide. Let them inspire you to create something of your own…

Wouldn’t it be a great interest piece if you framed one of your grandmother’s or mother’s old recipes cards? (They always had such impeccable handwriting!). Think a simple frame with an oversized matte and the recipe card right in the centre. Or, what if you had your children draw a picture of one vegetable in particular? You could ask them to take a single piece of paper and draw only carrots or only egg plants and see how those focused pieces turn out. Children have a natural way of abstracting forms (such as a vegetable) that’s very artistic, beautiful and thought provoking. Frame a few of those pieces; A Study of a Carrot;  Study of an Egg Plant No. 1, and voila! Instant art!

BUT- if you don’t have any children, AND you are a die hard DIYer, then you will just have to do the print yourself.
I was so in love with Eva Juliet’s recipe print (Potage aux Carottes) that I decided to do a similar one for myself. Ugh, I know, I know: what could be lower than copying someone else’s art? Well, lots of things, actually. But still, I don’t like to make art that is simply a copy. Art is all about imagination and creativity! In this instance, however, I was not interested in art, I wanted something that  I couldn’t afford, so I made it myself. There. — I justified it.
Let’s move on, shall we? I asked Chris to find a traditional recipe that he loves. He came back with a simple french recipe: Poulet en Cocoette Bonne Femme. It was a perfect recipe to ‘draw’, what with it’s rolly-polly french title and minimal ingredients. I wrote out the recipe in my best ‘whimsy’ hand writing, stuck to the blue and black colour scheme and choose which ingredients to illustrate. (I felt the chicken, thyme and salt and pepper would turn out pretty well). Here is the result:

I put the drawing in this white frame I had kicking around and simply laid it on top of the white matte, since it was too large for the matte window. Easy kitchen art! 


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