Parmesan Reggiano

oil on wood, 12x12"

Parmesan Reggiano painting by Mike Geno

I finally arrived at the challenge of the Italian Grandfather (or should I say the Godfather?) of cheese, Parmesan Reggiano. My experiences with Goudas and the clothbound cheddar helped put this task off. I say task, not in a negative way, but a healthy confrontation with a visually complex puzzle of a surface. The surface honors us with what we know and love of a great Parmesan, that crystallized, craggy and dramatic terrain.

To complicate it, of course, I broke off some chunks for the foreground and this crumbled easily for me. And, perhaps, as the extended hours of painting this marched on (think of Rocky training but with better music) I justified simplification of the foreground by eating smaller bits and debris that cluttered the composition. Nothing invigorates and energizes me more than a nice caramel nutty cheese to eat while painting. I feel this complicated and iconic subject deserved a large surface, hence the rare 12x12 surface.