There are a lot of Art Museums in the world. Almost every large city has one. Paris has several, including one of the most well known, the Louvre. I got lost in there when I visited in March, and will probably go back before I leave in September to see the things I might have missed. There was just so much. ART.
Last week I visited the Musee d'Orsay for the first time. I kicked myself for not visiting in March, but was glad I went this time. The collections were amazing. I found myself walking though the Art Noveau wing with my mouth dropped opened. The Musee only has artwork from a short period of time, but still it's collections are large. It is maybe, quite possibly now my favorite museum; but then again, there is the Pergamon museum in Berlin, which is quite impressive also.
A few weeks ago as I strolled through the Centre Pompidou's current exhibit of Wassily Kandinsky's work, I was struck by the thought of how many paintings, drawings, works, ect. he had created in his life. This exhibit surely wasn't even all of them. Looking at the description plaques below the photos, you could see the works in the exhibit came from all over; different foundations and museums had loaned their own personal "Kandinsky" for this exhibition.
Wow, I thought. He must have had to have been constantly working, painting everyday of his life to be able to create this many pieces to fill such a large exhibiton hall, and yet there is more still out there. But isn't that how it is with artists? Isn't that why they are artists? Nothing is as fulfilling for them as taking the brush, or pencil, or pastel to the paper or canvas and unleashing their creativity. Then it occurred to me. If I could collect every cake, tart, tiramisu, batch of cream puffs, cupcakes or cookies I had ever made and put them on display, you bet I could fill the Centre Pompidou for one tasty show. This is my art, my creative unleashing, my passion. Somedays I make my art and I'm amazed at what I can do, and other days I'm disappointed in myself, but vow to do better next time.
The challenge here in Paris is, I'm not just baking for myself or for the sake of art. I have an audience, a paying audience. And just like the Paris Salon disapproved of Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass" the year it was first exhibited; sometimes my creations are not well received by everyone. The French take their food seriously, and everyone, not just those with advanced culinary knowledge, have an opinion. I'm not letting this discourage me. Instead it has been a great learning experience for me and challenges me to think more before creating a dessert.
The critics so far have not said that anything I've made was terrible or inedible, just offering suggestions of how it can be made better. It is fair; my art is definitely in it's youth. Just like a painting, I have to think about color, contrast, texture and depth. All of these things need to play together just right, along with good taste to deliver the best effect on the palates of my audience.
I'm no longer just learning, I'm growing and practicing and it's a wonderful feeling. I must admit, at first I was afraid of the comments and suggestions, but now I look forward to them. I get excited when plate goes out for tasting, and I'm eager to hear the results. And some days, like today when the Pudding au Citron was tasted, there is nothing but rave reviews. It lets me know I'm moving in the right direction. These are just little exhibitions, working my way to the big one.
Check out my most recent works: