This month, we celebrate the brilliance and craftsmanship of food with art that is at once both fun and beautiful. Meet two artists who capture the wonder, deliciousness and mastery of this essential substance.
Artwork courtesy of the artists
[dropcap]Ken[/dropcap] Davis earned a degree in commercial art from the University of Central Oklahoma and enjoyed a successful, award-winning career in television working for clients such as CNBC, Comedy Central and the Food Network until 2012-13. Since retiring, Davis has “returned to his roots,” painting and, fortunately for us, he’s landed in Fort Smith, where he’s taking advantage of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith’s “Sixty-Plus” tuition waiver program. The accomplished painter came to the university to study anatomy and has taken a course each semester for the last two years.
“My paintings have taken a huge turn since I’ve gone back to school. They’re not as illustrative,” Davis said. In fact, he found himself, intriguingly, drawn to sweet potatoes and iced tea. “Sweet potatoes are one of those things that feel like home. These paintings are lighthearted and silly.
“I like the coloring of iced tea. You know, in some parts of the country people don’t understand iced tea … it’s comforting. It’s really hard to describe, but it just feels good. If I’m out eating and I know there’s a pitcher nearby, it just feels nice.”
[dropcap]These[/dropcap] beautiful and unique paintings are the work of North Little Rock, Ark., artist Morgan Coven Herndon. Herndon, a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has created art since she was a youngster; however, she began painting seriously in 2005.
“Painting is my favorite outlet. It’s how I connect with God. It’s when I feel most alive, and it’s a way to get away from the stress of life,” she said.
She began using this style, which she calls dripping, about a year ago. “It’s a motion. The thing I capture with this type of painting is motion. I like to paint food, especially fruit, because I have the ability to make it more organic. I’m really inspired by food. It’s fun and colorful,” she added, laughing. “I paint baked goods just because I love baked goods.”