Artist Inspiration: Maryjo Koch

Thursday, August 29, 2013



I had the pleasure of meeting Maryjo Koch years ago while attending a workshop she taught on nature illustration and have remained inspired by her work ever since.  As an artist, author and naturalist she has written many beautiful volumes that feature her stunning watercolor and gouache illustrations. 

Her latest book, The Artist the Cook and the Gardener, published by Andrews McMeel earlier this year, is a compilation of seasonal garden fresh recipes accompanied by her detailed nature illustrations and photographs of her garden and studio in Bonny Doon, CA.  This new book also features food styling and photography by her daughter, Wendy Koch Candelaria and her son, trompe l'oeil painter Jonathan Koch.


This volume explores the culinary best of the garden's bounty through a series of recipes often served in Maryjo's painting classes, taught at her studio in Bonny Doon, CA.  The delicious recipes feature fresh garden produce or have a nature-inspired theme.  A recipe for  Silky Tomato Gazpacho is provided alongside a watercolor illustration of an heirloom tomato while a colorful painting of flowers (shown below) accompanies a list of edible blooms.  


Mainly self-taught, Maryjo Koch's art is featured in galleries and museums in North America and Asia.  Her inspiring paintings record with scientific accuracy and creative sensitivity the specific details of flowers, butterflies, nests and other natural phenomena. In addition to illustrating over 18 books, Maryjo was Victoria Magazine's Artist-in-Residence during 2012.  She teaches nature painting workshops in her studio in Bonny Doon, CA.

For more information and inspiring examples of Maryjo Koch's art please visit her website.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for this lovely review - I have checked it out on Amazon and made an order, so hopefully will be cooking from this by the weekend. I love anything that gives ideas about cooking with fresh produce from the garden. Have you come across the Canal House Cooking books? I found these on my recent trip to Florida and love the easy recipes that concentrate on fresh ingredients - definitely worth a look.

    Julie x

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    1. Hi Julie,

      I think you will enjoy Maryjo's recipes. Be sure to try the candied maple walnuts. I made them for a dinner salad last night and they are delicious- so simple too...

      I am not familiar with the Canal House Cooking books but will look them up on Amazon. Thanks for the recommendation. I too love to cook using garden fresh produce!

      Thanks so much for visiting!

      Lisa

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  2. What a beautiful book! I have never seen this book, but I am going to head over to amazon and order it! I love cookbooks that have fresh food recipes (I'm already fantasizing about that gazpacho) and it can double as a coffee table book!

    Thank you for sharing!
    ~Kelly

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    1. Hi Kelly,

      This is very much an art book as well as a cookbook. I also want to try the gazpacho recipe and luckily the tomatoes are still ripe and sweet around here.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a great weekend!

      Lisa

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