How to Enjoy Sweets WITHOUT the Calories
As Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, the candy industry is in full swing tempting you with all its sweet and delicious offerings. Consuming these sugary treats is not the only way to enjoy them. Montgomery County based-artist, Jennifer Kahn Barlow has taken a unique approach to transcending the impulse to eat confections and instead transforms them into approachable, colorful works of art, in oil on canvas.
I began my journey painting, life’s most delicious moments, with a box of Ladurée macarons. The unique texture combination, elegance, and bright colors of the French macarons initially attracted me and from there I has painted over 15 paintings of macarons in the past 6 years.
Beyond the French macaron, I am constantly searching for the next treat to render in oil on canvas. My inspiration can come from a trip to the bin-candy aisle at the grocery story to standing in line for a half hour to obtain Georgetown cupcakes. I am constantly searching for the next sweet to immortalize on canvas.
Why paint sweets? My paintings of confectionary distill precious moments from the normal chaos of daily life. The indulgences speak simultaneously to a powerful cultural trend as well as a personal challenge. As a mother of two young children, time is the most elusive of all commodities and these delicious oases offer a brief hiatus from life’s daily operations. Holding on to these glorious indulgences in a permanent state of joy is the goal of so much of my work.
It is said that artwork can tell a great deal about an individual, in this case, the artwork can also tell a great deal about my palate, as I can not paint something that I don’t like to eat. Chocolate (dark), gummy candy, and French macarons are among my favorites. These themes seem to crop up again and again my her work; however, color, texture, and sheen also play important roles in choosing the sweet subject matter.
Next time you order dessert or choose a box of chocolates for your Valentine take a close look at its beauty, beyond your longing for consumption. Is it a work of art itself? Does it inspire you to immortalize it on canvas and hang it on your wall?