In the Kitchen with La Poodle

La Poodle’s First Cookbook

Preface: Aspic is meant to be enjoyed on a big screen. Click on the images to enlarge.

My art piece, “La Poodle’s First Cookbook” placed 3rd place in the “Shifting Perspectives” art exhibit through the Visual Art League of Lewisville.  This is the first time my art has placed and it is rather unexpected.  I was waffling on what to submit and almost didn’t enter this piece. 

Below is the judge’s notes on my submission.

The art is not typical– the subject matter is eccentric and the art is text heavy.  The left side is the “front cover” of a mocked-up book and the right side is a page inside the book.  My background in publishing greatly influenced this piece.

In the Kitchen with La Poodle
In the Kitchen with La Poodle

Title:  La Poodle’s First Cookbook
Medium:  Photograph
Size (incl frame):  23 ¾” Long x 19 ¾ Tall
Artist’s Statement:  My aspic series explores the changing perceptions of what is considered appetizing.  Research yields images of what some may perceive as grotesque, vomit-inducing aspics (gelatin).  But the “modern housewife” of the 1950s took great pride in her ability to feed her family on a budget while presenting an artistic creation.  I decided to revisit aspic but through La Poodle feeding her pups.  Bone Appétit!

In the Kitchen with La Poodle
Biscuit Encrusted Veggie Aspic
In the Kitchen with La Poodle
Parsley & Broth Chew Stick Aspic

Behind the Scenes
You may be wondering what possessed me to make an aspic, much less an aspic with milkbones. 

It started with a previous exhibition, Inspired by the Masters.  I recreated Norman Rockwell’s, Freedom from Want, but with La Poodle and her family of dogs.  Instead of holding a turkey I decided on the ambitious milkbone aspic. 

“Freedom From Begging” was a lot of work but I loved the outcome. If you look closely, you’ll notice chew sticks in the photo and my first aspic creation, a tomato aspic. The pups are my 4 ventriloquist’s dolls: Percival, Winthrop, Mortimer and Finnegan. Tore Bellis is the dog in the suit.

The milkbone aspic was a thing of grotesque beauty that needed its moment to shine.  I decided on a cookbook authored by La Poodle. 

To have a proper cookbook, I experimented with additional aspic creations, including the Parsley & Broth Chew Stick Aspic.  The aspic features chew sticks with turkey booties.  The hope is that unsuspecting dinner guests will be fooled into thinking this is a real turkey. (ha)

One of the challenges of the Parsley & Broth Chew Stick Aspic recipe page was setting the timer to photograph La Poodle while holding the aspic.  Getting everything in position and in focus in 10 seconds while wearing a dog mask is not easy.  Also, the photography lights are rather hot and the chew stick aspic began to jiggle loose. Below is an example of a photo that didn’t turn out!

In the Kitchen with La Poodle

During the process I became rather attached to my milkbone aspic featured on the front cover.  It became clear I had to slice the gelatinous creation.  This yielded more hours of creativity and fun. 

In the Kitchen with La Poodle
A thing of beauty.
In the Kitchen with La Poodle
This solidifies my purpose for making aspic: art!

Visit the Lewisville Grand Theater now through July 9th to see La Poodle’s work.

Lewisville Grand Theater
100 N. Charles St.
Lewisville, TX 75057

Visit the Visual Art League of Lewisville for more information on upcoming exhibits and how you can become a member.

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