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Recipe Paintings

BY: | September 27, 2010

A little while ago I was feeling bummed about a painting G and I were working on. Illustrators have to find exciting angles into subjects that might not normally interest them. That much I get, but this was our personal work, and I still couldn’t find a way in. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to find time to cook more. Since we had our daughter, it’s been tough to find time to read or follow cook books as much as I’d like. Even still, I think alot about cooking and eating, so why not bring that into our paintings? Some sort of bouquet / exploded recipe felt like the right thing to do. It didn’t even occur to me until later that recipe paintings might be sort of a shallow idea for some. For me, I’ve always seen our paintings from more of an emotional viewpoint. Sometimes I get tripped up thinking of them in a strictly cerebral language. The idea still felt right, even if it was more of a feeling than an idea. We prepare, sit together and eat these meals as a family everyday, what could be more close to our lives than that?

Anyway, before starting, I pored over my cookbooks to find something to paint. Pretty quickly, I figured out some of my most classic cookbooks had too many ingredients to think about painting. Then I dropped my pretensions and went to the most used books on my shelf, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Fruit and Chez Panisse Vegetables. I love these books because the chapters are organized by the main fruit or vegetable component. They let me go to the market, pick what’s good, and then come home to cook it. The painting above is Roasted Fig and Quail Salad. We have great fig trees in our neighborhood, so I knew this one would be fun. Below are the figs I picked, the salad we enjoyed, and some details of the painting.

Food Studies

BY: | July 28, 2010

We’ve been working on some food paintings lately. Before we dove into the bigger ones we’re working on now, we tried a few two-ingredient studies. I’m looking forward to sharing the ones that came after these, but they’re still cooking.

100 Heads for Haiti

BY: | April 9, 2010

Dave Plunkert and Joyce Hesselberth over at Spur Design have put together a great show for a good cause.

Here’s the info:

100 Heads for Haiti Saturday April 10, 2010 6-8:30pm Spur Gallery, 3504 Ash Street, Baltimore, MD 21211

WHAT: 100 HEADS FOR HAITI is an exhibition designed to raise money for Doctors Without Borders by selling original drawings, paintings and collages donated by invited artists. 100% of proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

GOAL: $10,000 Original Art and a Group Poster print will be sold at the gallery, pieces will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. The remaining pieces & posters that do not sell at the gallery event will be available for purchase online for one month after the opening. Original Art: $100 (plus tax) Two piece maximum per customer. Group Poster: $50 (plus tax)

Here’s our bit: gina and matt, 100 heads for haiti, gina triplett, portrait, screenprint

some more

BY: | March 11, 2010



I thought I’d take a moment to follow up on my last post. I’ve been experimenting with ways to make patterns that keep the look and feel of our non pattern work. We usually prefer to push our elements out to the edge of the composition, allowing elements to be cropped off. In making these patterns, we’ve found that it’s much easier to contain each unit within it’s own rectangle. I’m still experimenting with ways of getting the expansive feel of our more full compositions. So far, I think the landscape in the last post was my best attempt.

With the batch I’m posting here, my goal was to more directly address the grid while coming up with something that still feels characteristically us.


BY: | February 5, 2010

Gina and I have been working on some patterns lately. This is the first time we’ve sat down and made patterns that actually repeat. It’s had me thinking of the influence patterns and textiles have had on our work over the years. It’s come up in a bunch of jobs, but really, I’ve been thinking of how it played a role in the early parts of our personal collaborations.
Just before we started working on paintings together, I was working out this idea of weighing mechanically reproduced methods against hand reproduced methods. I had these screen prints that would be intentionally imperfect, and then repeated oil paint areas that were as near to identical as I could get them. I had painted about a dozen of these paintings on my own, and thought they were done.
Then we had the idea of working together. To get started, I handed these paintings over to Gina. She added an entirely different dimension, and things became more than a simple one-two comparison. This is how some of that work looked by around ’01 or ’02.

illustration, patterns, gina and matt

Over the years, we’ve continued to draw upon repeats and from textile examples for various reasons. At some point we figured out that gender issues would be inherent in anything made together by a boy and a girl. I liked the way that, by using paint that referenced textiles, the issue was imbedded right there in the material.

We’ve cooled out on gallery shows in the last few years, but the last one we really threw ourselves into was at 222 Gallery. There I made a seemless screen print that covered a whole wall. I posted about it back then on Drawger. This got me interested in making some patterns that could actually be repeated on fabric. Kind of coming full circle from just looking at fabric to make paintings, we’re now making paintings that we’re envisioning as fabric.

Here’s some of them.

We’ve got a large batch, but I like these best so far. I’ll be posting more later.

Cheers, Matt