Cheese: We love to smell it, eat it and dream about it. In addition to enhancing our culinary experiences, cheese provides a muse for the world of art. From paintings to sculptures and photographs of rinds, cheese is the model turning heads in galleries across the country. Learning to appreciate where our food comes from requires an understanding of its living beauty, and many artists draw inspiration from what they love to eat and the animals that provide sustenance.
Local artist Ginger Shaw’s whimsical creations are the stuff of dreams. This talented interior designer from Naples (she now lives in Tampa) developed an affection for food when she started working in the restaurant industry to help pay for her degree. The subjects of her paintings range from abstract tributes to animals we consume everyday to animated vegetables one might find on the pages of Alice in Wonderland.
Shaw’s most recent painting, “Wine and Cheese Dreams,” represents her passion for the titular food and drink. This stunning work embraces the euphoria that both wine and cheese inspire (especially together). Shaw playfully incorporated recycled materials and cheese labels into her painting, the art creating feelings of freedom, warmth, sleepiness, exhilaration, excitement and pure bliss. Her painting transfers to canvas the feeling of contentment one has after pairing the perfect bottle of wine with a chunk of expertly made cheese. This work currently resides on the wall of the main dining room inside SideBern’s restaurant in Tampa and is available for purchase.
When asked about her inspiration for the piece, Shaw said, “Cheese takes on the characteristics of the land in which the animal that produced the milk grazed, just like wine. Why not produce artwork showcasing and celebrating cheese? It’s an essential piece of our whole entire world!”