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,….
… and a touch of food.
Here are my recipes
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!
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.