Summer Salads: Food Paintings with Constance Schrall @ BLO

Food Paintings: Summer Salads

Two wonderful weeks lay behind us – our time as guests in Constance Schrall‘s painter studio at BLO Ateliers in Berlin Lichtenberg during her vacation. What a unique occasion to explore the connections between the look of foods and the texture of paintings!

On my first visit, I had marveled at our host’s most beautiful encaustic art work and dived deep into colors and materials, and for the first shooting, I packed some foods in a big bag that resembled them (the food, not the bag…). Shining lemons with a well-structured skin and a beautifully squeezed inside, lavish heads of lettuce in light and dark green, casual fruits of pale vintage pink color, vegetables with little damages that look as beautiful as a painting of rough texture…

So I was prepared, and I’m a fearless cook anyway who never hesitates to spontaneously combine any ingredients that I come across, am I not ;-). But I made a new experience: surrounded by all that art and art equipment, it did not feel like „here we go“ in the first place. I had to search a way through, quite shy in the beginning (although Constance had told me that I can feel totally free to play with her pictures) and still full of respect in the end. I don’t think I reached a point of contentment already – I had quite some struggle with either far too much and then too few light, not to mention art itself as a totally new subject. But I really loved the process – adding a touch of food’s beauty to art and getting into a flow, howsoever naive the first results might be. And that’s for sure: no food has been physically wasted (don’t play with food, right) and no painting has been damaged in the process.

This is the first out of three posts about my first attempts on my own, and I look forward already to continue the journey together in the future. Here are some insights into Constance’s art work with and without food as well as some further impressions captured by Arne and me at the BLO area. Thanks so much to Constance, her atelier colleague (and my namesake) Claudia, and to Lockkunst e.V./BLO Ateliers administration for heaving us as guests! Follow the links above if you like to find out more about Constances wonderful art work and about the most beautiful and inspiring place.

Take a look at the surroundings,….

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…the art,…

Click on gallery

… and a touch of food.

Click on gallery

Here are my recipes

Food Paintings: Summer Salads

Atelier food is mainly raw food – most probably, artists don’t want their canvases to smell of roasted and boiled flavors. It had been 35 °C almost each day anyway, and even if it hadn’t – there was no space left for a pan and a pot in my big bags full of equipment of any kind. So this is all about salads – and as I chose only ingredients that matched the paintings, it’s a bit like „color by numbers“ ;-).

Lettuce with heavy sour cream, gooseberries and pine nuts

For two servings, clean the leaves of half a small lettuce and cut or wrench into bite-size pieces. Clean two handsful of gooseberries and cut into halves. Cut a small shallot into tiny pieces. Roast some pine nuts in a dry pan (which I didn’t – see above).

Mix 3 tbsp. of heavy sour cream with 1 tbsp. of lemon juice, a bit of lemon zest and the shallots. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut several leaves of fresh tarragon into small pieces, add to the dressing and mix well. Mix all ingredients and add the pine nuts on top. It’s quite refreshing – bon apétit!

Food Paintings: Summer Salads

Food Paintings: Summer Salads

Curled lettuce with avocado, watermelon and goat’s milk cheese

For two servings, clean the leaves of half a small curled lettuce and cut or wrench into bite-size pieces. Cut a quarter of a small watermelon into bite-size triangles. With fork, cut half a small goat’s milk cheese loosely into not too small pieces. Cut half an avocado (peeled) into bite-size pieces.

For the dressing, mix avocado oil, raspberry vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients, decorate with the cheese and sprinkle with some wild Provence flowers (or any other dried flower mixture that you have at hand – or take lavender only, that’s most distinguished). You can also put the avocado, watermelon, and cheese chunks on small skewers and serve as appetizers on a leave of salad.

Food Paintings: Summer Salads

Food Paintings: Summer Salads

melon-avocado-salad-1

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16 thoughts on “Summer Salads: Food Paintings with Constance Schrall @ BLO

  1. Wow, you seem to have had a very intense and inspiring time at the atelier! And while I’m marvelling at the pictures I copy your dressing ideas for my upcoming salads. But I will refrain from using watermelon in them. Tried last week and was not delighted… ;-)

  2. Wow, the art and the food fits together perfectly! I’m a little bit jealous about this beautiful and obviously creative place you are able to work at. That must be very inspiring. The combination of the salad is one of my favourites, nothing tastes so good in summer like a Kopfsalat, the “soft” leafs are incomparable. And with a sour cream dressing a delicious pleasure :)

  3. Amazing, astounding and a little bit bewildering pics from my point of view. Never thought about combining my main passion cooking/eating with one of my other passions, crafting, drawing and painting (the latter in a very amateurish way and only intended for my own eyes). Now I have to thought about – especially because my artist’s colours are made of natural materials like petals and leaves.
    But no. You are the professional photographer, not me. Better for me to stay at my “cobbler’s last”. Better for me to enjoy your wonderful pics. :-)
    By the way I confess I’m not a lettuce’s best friend ;-)

  4. I’m just a tad bit jealous. Your studio experiance sounds and looks fun! I like your arthardware foodart pics (the ones without the paintings) best. its a bit like organic industrial chic ;-)

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  7. You really are a fearless cook, Claudia! I love these salads, especially the addition of gooseberries! The painting and food concept is so interesting too. And what can I say about your pictures? They are amazing, as always! :)

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