The Taste of Creative Success

You don’t have to be a total chocoholic to appreciate the many levels of pleasure that come from chocolate. There’s the often-agonizing decision of what to buy this time: a favorite or something new, a big bar of cheap chocolate or a small imported bar. There’s also the anticipation of getting through the wrapper, the distinctive crack as you break off a piece and the slow melting of each bite on your tongue.

But then there are the side effects, such as all those calories, the high fat and sugar content, or the triggering of migraines. This is where your paintbrushes come in, because painting also rewards us with a high. And while I’m too much of a chocoholic myself to suggest that painting could (or should) ever replace chocolate in your life, here a few ways to use your love for chocolate to benefit your painting:

Create an Abstract Painting
Use the emotions chocolate generates as the subject for an abstract work.

Create a Triptych
Use a selection of seasonal chocolate (Easter eggs, Valentine heart-boxed sets or chocolate Christmas trees) to create a triptych, or three-part painting. You could also create a series of paintings on the life of a chocolate&$151;before, during and after the eating.

Color Theory
Learn the real names for pigments by picking up a color chart from your local art shop. Then identify specific colors in various chocolate bars and their wrappers. Paint a monochromatic picture using only chocolate browns. Make a three-tone painting using the colors of white, milk and dark chocolate.

When not creating her own art, Kathy Gulrich coaches other artists on the business of art. Her new book, 187 Tips for Artists: How to Create a Successful Art Career—and Have Fun in the Process!, is available at her Web site,, and at She lives and works in New York City.

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