When I attended art school at the University of Alabama in the early 70s I was told as are so many other students that I would never be able to earn an income as an artist. As a result I turned what I called my “creative energy” into the expression of an intimate fine dinning restaurant. Being an entrepreneur has helped me so much to create a solid foundation of business practices in my current profession , a full-time painter (for over ten years). I learned how to present myself to the public as well as prepare a business plan, use quickbooks, create a successful marketing plan ect….. however the biggest influence is on my actual painting. When Libby Dasher a culinary Institute trained Chef came to work at my restaurant I took on the job as sous chef for three months. It was such a wonderful learning experience. I designed a limited menu based on market fresh ingredients. Being in Pensacola Florida right on the Gulf of Mexico we had access to the most beautiful fresh seafood. There was such joy in the kitchen preparing these marvelous dishes out of such wonderful ingredients . It was making art, every detail was taken into consideration in order to please the diner and develop repeat customers. I do apply some of these principles in my painting today. I love thinking about the person who might choose to live with the piece I am painting and hope that they love having that experience. Working on the painting applying layer after layer and watching colors mix on the canvas reminds me of preparing recipes in the restaurant and making those decisions especially around seasoning a dish.. more of this.. too much of that the adductive and reductive process. I am often struck when I have juicy piles of paint squeezed out on my palette just how delicious they look shiny and glistening like cake icing…YUM!
The links below tell more about the actual restaurant as well as additional photos.