Laurel Greenfield on Creating Food Art

Photo by Becky Shade/Shade Made Creative

Maybe you’ve seen her at SoWa Open Market or perhaps you’ve come across Laurel Greenfield’s super colorful paintings at the Boston Public Market. The Boston-based painter is known for her vivid style that centers around one thing everyone loves: food. Here, she dives into the inspiration behind her artwork, where to find her favorite dim sum and the best Instagram accounts she loves to follow (pay attention, fellow food lovers!).

Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to start painting?

I’ve lived in Boston for almost 10 years now. I came to Boston in 2010 to go to BU and my original plan was to enroll in the fine art program at BU, but I decided not to at the last minute! I had been painting all throughout high school, mostly focusing on food as my subject since it’s the source of my happiest memories. I ended up focusing my studies on food instead of painting, graduating from the BU School of Hospitality Administration and then the BU Gastronomy masters program, but I continued painting on my own throughout college. Turns out other people love paintings of donuts and ice cream as much as I do!

What’s your painting philosophy and style?

My philosophy is simple: the more color the better! For me, painting is all about expressing my joy and the best way to do that is with bright, vibrant colors. Most of my joy happens to come from joyful and nostalgic food memories, so naturally colorful paintings of food are what I love to paint most. My style is mostly pop art, taking recognizable, nostalgic, iconic foods and blowing them up with tons of color! I love painting foods that people instantly have meaningful memories about, like ice cream cones and cakes. I don’t think art necessarily needs a deep underlying message to be powerful. Sometimes an iconic image and vibrant colors can be powerful on their own!

Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list (foods that you love and would recommend to people).

Kimchi fried rice from Coreanos in Allston, Ramen from Ganko in Brookline, Pig head from Craigie on Main, Nachos from Lone Star in Allston, Dim Sum from China Pearl

What do you think the next big trend is for food?

Hopefully another crazy dessert hybrid!

Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?

I love @joannebchang, @christinatosi, and @ciaosamin. All three of these women are not only brilliant at what they do but they always seem to be having so much fun! Their passion for food is undeniable.

Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?

I love @thaliaho’s close up texture shots of ice cream and buttercream, @katherine_sabbath’s amazing cakes, and @bromabakery’s stunning food photography

Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.

Underrated, approachable, evolving

Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?

I’m excited to try Orfano in Fenway, No Relation in South End, and the new Ittoku in Cambridge since they left my neighborhood!

A Few Of Your Favorite Things:

Favorite brunch spot: Puritan & Co. That pastry basket…

Favorite place for outdoor dining: The Cinquecento patio

Favorite BBQ joint: Sweet Cheeks (I’m a little biased after working there for 6 years but it truly is the best!)

Favorite late-night: I’m not much of a late night person…

Favorite neighborhood for food: South End, there’s everything you could ever want from donuts to Cambodian food!

Favorite new restaurant: Dakzen in Cambridge. Best pad thai of all time.

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