Working Up an Appetite for Art at Coda Gallery

Exhibit gives patrons pause with "Food for Thought"



David Dornan stands by his ice cream painting at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert. Behind him his a painting of a roasted chicken and beer can by his wife, Marilou Kundmueller.

Marcia Gawecki photos

 

Artist David Dornan just lost 70 pounds and yet has a lot to say about painting food.

His small and large-scale paintings of ice cream cones are featured in “Food for Thought,” a Coda Gallery exhibit running through Nov. 30 in Palm Desert.

The artist known for his still life paintings of paint cans focused on ice cream cones for the show. However, their strange colors of red and blue ice cream look less like dairy and more like balls of paint.

It’s the Mess that Matters

“I’m like an ice cream vendor at a fair,” says Dornan. “The ice cream will be dripping all over, and it will be messy.”

In fact, it’s the mess that impresses Dornan the most.

“I’m not interested in painting the big bouquet,” he says. “I want to paint what the floral designer left over - the stems, the pieces and the mess. I want to capture its ‘humanness.’ To me, that’s a more interesting painting.”

Dinner parties at the Dornan household are unpredictable. Instead of flowers, they have stacked glasses of milk as the centerpiece. One time, they served everything with surgical instruments, bedpans, and nasal aspirators.

Marilou Kundmueller, Dornan’s wife, is a medical illustrator, and she also has paintings in the Coda Gallery show.

Dornan’s ice cream cones are topped with whip cream and cherries, while others are toppled. But it’s the colorful drips that also capture your attention.

Dornan, a retired teacher from the University of Utah, has been showing at the Coda Gallery for more than three decades.

One of his student assignments was to mix the color of bologna.

“A few of them came close, but all of them were unwilling to add the green paint needed to get the right color,” Dornan says.

Still Teaching

Dornan continues to teach emerging artists like Mark Green out of his studio in Helper, Utah.

Green, a Mormon missionary who used to deliver Wonder Bread, found Dornan’s studio and convinced him of his dedication. His oil paintings of uniform Corona bottles and Coke/Pepsi cans show beauty in repetition.

“But what makes his paintings interesting is the imperfections,” says Dornan as he stands before “Pepsi Challenge” at Coda Gallery.

Green isn’t ready to paint the Wonder Bread loaves that he used to stack for years.

“It’s still too personal,” he says.

Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.

 

VIDEO: Listen to David Dornan explain the thinking behind his paint tube creations.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

5 Tips to Ensure a Great Hotel Experience...From a Hotelier

Five handy tips to ensure a pleasurable hotel experience in the Greater Palm Springs area from our hotel blogger, Nicole Bowen, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade.

Authority Zero Brings 20-Year Punk Journey to The Hood Bar & Pizza

Punk rock rebels Authority Zero have survived many line-up changes in its 20-year journey, and original member Jason DeVore remains a driving force.

Stay Cool and Rock Out With Indoor Miniature Golf

Rather than tell his kids to find something to do this summer, Jody Erdahl actually created that something: Rock’n’Roll Mini Golf in La Quinta.

Lasers Light Up Fantasy Springs Bowling Center

Turn off the lights at Fantasy Springs Bowling Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, and one of America’s oldest recreational sports literally illuminates a whole new persona - laser bowling.

McCallum Theatre Presents Palm Desert International Dance Festival

On the heels of a successful first venture, the McCallum Theatre is presenting its second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival, Nov. 6-15.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.