Potato, Sweet Potato

I am your baked sweet potato
Divert your eyes, 
From my hard, 
Imperfect skin
Inside, I am soft and hot for you
Pierce me, now, please
Open up my cut, and fill me
With your butter
Watch, as it melts inside me
Take my earthy sweetness
On your tongue
And feel me
Sliding and satisfying

This painting is part of a collaboration between myself and the writer David Hensley who composes poetry about food. The first time I met David he read this poem to me and the line “open up my cut and fill me with your butter” stuck in my head. I wasn’t sure if he was being serious until I saw the twinkle in his eye. 

Initially the images that came to mind were abstract shapes with orange tones. As this was going to part of a collection, it was important that I could continue a similar theme with other poems. After working through several ideas I decided to create large, bold images, contrasting with the liquids that are melting or drizzled over the food. Hopefully they capture the poems sense of humour and sensuality.  

One of the influences of this work are the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keefe as their large scale changes your perception of the object.  It was also an opportunity to develop working with the blotted line technique and print on top of the paint rather than just use it as an outline.



A Dish Of Broccoli

Across the table
Green-eyed, young, fresh and moist
You sit temptingly

I want to take you, 
Dripping with dipping sauce
Into my mouth

This painting was created by staging a photograph. Initially my first ideas were to capture the vegetable laying down, however the image didn’t seem to have much presence. So, after auditioning a lot of broccoli the final spear was chosen to be drizzled with a mixture of honey and soy sauce.

Printed using the blotted line technique, the main stalk and leaves are painted in gouache and the sauce is contrasted with watercolour. I do think of this image as being female, the leaves around the head reminded me of Elizabethan ruffs.


Bananas - The King's HAnd

I seek your hand, lovely
Yellow skin, soft sprinkled
Freckled brown, so I know inside
You are ripe for me

As your fingers curve
I long to pull one off
Unzip and peel
See how you feel

I will lie you down
In your vanilla bed, cover you
With fresh whipped cream
And eat you

I adore you
Banana Split
You are well fit
For a hungry Queen

“Unzip and peel, See how you feel” was the line in the poem Bananas - The King’s Hand  by David Hensley that stood out for me.

I researched recipes for banana splits and how the shape of the fruit has been used in art and design. I love the slap stick and double entendre humour associated with bananas and wanted to include it in the final painting. As with others in the collection there is a contrast between the texture of the banana and the soft whipped cream.