I used to make a living as an artist. First, a technical illustrator, then an advertising "imagist" (I joke, people), then an illuminator of children's books, mostly textbooks.
Let's just say I really sucked, and I fired myself after too many years. I still have a few pieces of my own art I like, but in general, I sucked.
I do have a certain design sense I'm proud of, so I thought I'd be OK at plating food.
And yet? I sucked.
I know this, because Cranky is the other food plater in our house. He's really good.
Cranky has a loose, Matisse style when strewing the edibles on the crockery. It's never messy, like a Kandinsky. He makes everything count, and nothing is lost in the strew.
I, on the other hand, tend to arrange morsels as if I were reinventing the sunflower. Everything radiating from the center, and too much concentric. Gah. I cannot loosen up.
I have taught Cranky a hugeload of tasting and cooking strategy. You'd think he'd give me a few lessons on plateology. But no, he remains the genius, the idiot savant, the master. He doesn't want me to learn.
This was the last slice of our cold chicken terrine, served on a plate of eye-pleasingly, opulently, adorably scattered greens and reds and whites.
Cranky did it.
It looks simple, but I would have done it completely dumb.