From kitchen art

Kitchen tools: a quick cure for blank canvas panic

Sushi RoostersSushi Cutter Roosters

If you have run through your check list of artwork starters and blank canvas has induced inspiration-free panic, try looking at your kitchen tools for new beginning.


Full disclosure #1: I am a watercolorist who always travels with paints and paper. Even before the coffee, I am the early-rising house guest who will rifle through my host’s kitchen drawer for inspiration. I always find it.


Full disclosure #2: I know that there are purists who decry tracing as any sort of art activity, but in my constant search for interesting shapes and patterns, I will take my inspiration where I find it.
Tomato Forks
Tomato Forks
Potato Masher #4
Potato Masher 4 print is available at ETSY.


Blank canvas panic


Kitchen tools come in wonderful shapes and all sorts of sizes. Use them to get past your blank canvas panic.

I made the first potato masher painting at my sister Elaine’s house, and I now have a world-class collection  which has inspired four Potato Masher paintings. Part of the engrossing challenge of these shapes is working out the connections between each ring and link, a theme that connects them to all of the nanoscapes’ rings and links, which are hanging at FrameWorks Gallery in Saint Paul, MN until September 3, 2011.

Great Shapes Are Everywhere



50th Birthday Cake Servers FInd a print at ETSY
50th Birthday Cake Servers Find a print at ETSY.


Forest of Fondue Forks
Forest of Fondue Forks

The Sushi Roosters, which are very very tiny, were tricky to trace and to paint. They make me smile.

 The cake servers were part of my 50th birthday celebration, and the Fondue Fork Forest forks belong to my cousin Theda. The Tomato Fork is my own.

While I make no claim to dictionary uniqueness — someone else must do this, too — I suspect that there are not many painters of Fondue Fork Forests, Tomato Forks, and Sterling Silver Cake Servers. 

If kitchen tools don’t inspire you, find a friend with a woodshop or wander around a hardware store.     

Potato Mashers
Potato Masher #1

31 Ears of corn: nanoscapes celebrate July

31 Ears of Corn


31 Ears of Corn for July  When I painted 31 pumpkins for October 2010, I didn’t plan to keep up painting and posting an image-a-day for a year on Facebook, but here I am in July with 31 ears of corn painted on a piece of 22×33″ Arches 140# paper.

Like all corn lovers, I haunt farmers’ markets, looking for local sweet corn. Everyone knows that the best corn is the freshest corn and the fewest number of minutes between picking and cooking makes the best corn. Sadly, during this first week of July in Minnesota, the only corn to be found is from elsewhere. It will be here soon.

A 10-month review: pumpkins (October), leaves (November), Hanukah candles and snowflakes (December), lost left-handed gloves (January), missing socks (February), basketballs (March), raindrops (April), LLLamas (May), the whimsical creatures known as small friends (June), and corn (July). 

Find corn images on cool products at