By Cassia Leidigh
As a general rule an artist paints what he or she enjoys looking at. For me the main thing I enjoy seeing is people. However, I have a firm belief in enjoying and drawing attention to the many other things around us that we do not normally take notice of. One of these objects is the food we eat. We may enjoy our food while we are eating a meal, but do we take the time to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the whole forms before they are prepared? Where have these forms come from? Did they grow far off on a small farm in South America? Did they come from an expansive field in Minnesota? Did a worker gather the forms with their hands from the fields, or did a machine harvest them in great quantity? All these factors come together on your kitchen counter where the colorful, flavorful, fragrant objects set.
I enjoy painting vegetables and fruit not only because I enjoy eating them, but especially because of their vibrant colors and rounded organic shapes. Sometimes I like to think of the artworks in a more abstract way, looking at the negative shapes and appreciating the objects purely for aesthetic reasons. Using the edibles as something to go by, shapes and colors emerge and become their own entity.
I also enjoy painting something quite realistic in its pristine beauty. “Morel” is a painting of a subject very close to my heart. Growing up in the forests of Montana, I would search with my family for these delectable fungi. After finding baskets full in the fire-ravaged woods, we would travel home and eat the fruits of our labor. I tried to capture the mushrooms smooth shape and fascinating translucency. I also enjoyed painting the delicate abstract shapes created by the gills.
Whether viewed as realistic or appreciated in a more abstract manner, my paintings of these edible forms express my interests in food, color, and shape.
“Morel” and other work in the series “Vegetables, Fruit, and Fungi” by Cassia Leidigh will be shown at Art & Light Gallery, 1211 Pendleton St. Greenville, SC.