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Painting with Salts and Spices

Spice of Life, recreation of Van Gogh's “Starry Night

Photographer Kelly McCollam does more than simply take snapshots of rich landscapes. She constructs textured landscape portraits using salts, spices and food coloring. The Ohio-based artist has crafted two series of works, each utilizing common cooking materials to create masterful pieces.

In her series entitled Salt of the Earth, McCollam produces a multitude of generously colored landscapes. Simply using salts and food coloring, the artist manages to capture the beautiful scenery of nature, we often see in photography, in a new medium. The alternative materials used develops a new perspective to each image, adding a textured surface.

McCollam's other series entitled Spice of Life employs like elements with the addition of an array of spices. She has chosen to reinterpret classic paintings with the use of spices, Vincent van Gogh's pieces in particular. The artist's use of spices opens her art to even more grainy or flaky consistencies, which enhance the quality and effectiveness of her images.

Spice of Life, recreation of Van Gogh's “Wheatfield and Cypress Trees”

Salt of the Earth‘s “Golden Field”

Spice of Life, recreation of Van Gogh's “Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun”

Salt of the Earth‘s “Salty Sunset”

Salt of the Earth‘s “River Rocks”

Spice of Life, recreation of Van Gogh's “Aries with Irises”

Salt of the Earth‘s “Robin's Blue”

Salt of the Earth‘s “Rainy Afternoon”

Salt of the Earth‘s “Forest Fall”

Salt of the Earth‘s “Summer Trees”

Spice of Life, recreation of Van Gogh's “Mulberry Tree”

Kelly McCollam's website


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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