Art, in All Its Forms



I've always been drawn toward art. Some consider it a hobby, I like to think of it as a life necessity, as an opportunity to create and open my flow of inspiration. I often daydream about all the beautiful sceneries that I could paint right here in my hometown, Montreal. I imagine Mount-Royal come wintertime, the Old Port at sunset, or a narrow street in the Plateau filled with Montreal's iconic spiral staircases. I've spent the last few years travelling South America and Europe, seeking inspiration for my next series of paintings. I found that each and every one of these locations stood out for their own reasons--the people, the architecture, the culture and finally, the food. A passion for art can lead to a great appreciation for food preparation and presentation.

My passion for art has been the one consistent thing in my 24 years of life. As a child, my family always knew what to get me when my birthday rolled around--crayons. I'd hurriedly unwrap the present, let out a yell of joy and run off to the nearest table to try them out. I've been told that the living room walls were my very first canvas. I don't quite remember this moment, but I'm sure my mother wasn't too happy about it.

My parents quickly noticed my love for art and it wasn't long before I received my first drawing table, with its perfectly round top, crayon-shaped legs and matching chairs. I spent hours, days and weeks seated at that table, drawing freely upon my wild imagination. Pink elephants, rainbows, castles fit for a princess, dragons, and hearts of every color, shape and size... The possibilities were endless. On those warm and sunny days, my mother would always say, "Go out and play!" I would eventually give in and run to my friends like any normal child my age would do, but it always took a while before I put the crayons down--I mean, how could she expect me to put them down instantly, right?

This table marked the beginning of hundreds of my drawings. Soon, my mother's work desk became overpopulated with them, the kind where I would scribble "I love you mommy" and make a cute attempt at drawing her while she was cooking dinner. She'd occasionally end up having three eyes, but hey, it's the thought that counts. I gave some to my cousins, to my grandparents, to my aunts and uncles; I became the family's little artist.

I was always artistic, but my love for painting came a bit later. As years went by, my crayon-shaped table saw me evolve as an artist. My next art adventure became paint by number kits--I was obsessed. I'd be set to paint for hours on end with every new kit, making sure every line was crisp and straight. Once it was complete, I'd hang it proudly in my room.

I eventually outgrew this table and I am now looking for a bigger and better one, one that will help me launch my career as an artist. I began taking painting lessons and hope to host my own vernissage in the near future.

Needless to say, art is who I am. I let my creativity bloom through anything that I do, whether it be painting, writing or even cooking. If I'm preparing dinner, I'll spend that extra 20 minutes making sure my presentation is beautiful. If I'm baking a cheesecake, you can expect all of the strawberries to be perfectly aligned. I believe that food is art in every way, shape, or form. For my next piece, I will be writing about the life and works of Montreal's top chefs. I've been following several of them through social media and they don't get nearly enough credit for turning dishes into beautiful works of art.

Photos taken from Montreal chef Antonio Park's personal Instagram account @chefantoniopark.

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