LONDONDERRY - Sometimes, you can have dessert without consequence. At The Garden Gallery, paintings of all kinds of desserts are waiting to be consumed.

Tom Platt, one of the gallery owners and curator of the show, called Just Desserts, said he's always wanted to do a show of dessert paintings. "I wanted to have a dessert show because I've always thought desserts are the most exciting part of the meal, visually. When you go to a good bakery, they are artists," he said. "They say you eat with your eyes first and the desserts are the opportunity for the most color, most shape. It is the most artful piece delivered to your plate."

The show does not focus on one artists or one style of painting; instead different artists and styles are represented.

Dessert art will be on tap at a gallery in Londonderry   a feast for the eyes and palate.
Dessert art will be on tap at a gallery in Londonderry a feast for the eyes and palate. (Anna Boarini photo)
Platt said a group show gives the artists a challenge of making sure they presented their best work, but also learning from each other and their different styles.

"When you lay out or offer the challenge to painters to be in this group show, it's an assignment, that's how they learned their craft in art school or when they were little...they all welcomed an assignment," he said. "Now many of them are going to continue to paint desserts forever, because they are hooked on how exciting desserts are to paint. You're not going to paint steak, or a piece of roast beef and some mashed potatoes."

Platt calls these artists the sugar babies.

John Semple has been painting for about 50 years. He said he started to paint because it was the only thing he was really good at. "Writing, math, spelling...I've been a total failure," he said, chuckling. "It's the reason I stayed with it."

Semple said his paintings for this show took him about two or three weeks to paint. He was most proud of a vase he added to one piece. His next project involves painting a series of still- life paintings the size of postcards.

"I did my larger paintings when I was young," he said.

While Semple's paintings are realistic, William Hoyt's, another artist, are photo realistic. One painting has what looks like a piece of duct tape in the top corner, and it looks as though it could be peeled off the painting. He said he paints in this style because he grew up with a painter for a mother and a photographer as a father.

"It's probably because I'm not a very good photographer," he said. "I had those two influences and they [his mother's painting and his father's photography] seemed to go together."

Hoyt said painting desserts allowed him to put more content in his painting.

He said he went to farmer's markets to look at the desserts for sale there, and once he picked out the pastry he wanted to paint, he added newspaper clippings, notes and pictures.

His favorite part of getting ready for this show was getting to eat all the desserts after he painted them.

The show will run through March.