New exhibition is flavored by rich, exotic colors and sweetness of cake confections 

press to build up colors on his can-vases before he even starts painting.

Linda Warren's installation, "Bakery," creates a visual story of her life through her art and personal artifacts. There is an emphasis on cakes, which the Oklahoma City artist believes are the perfect symbols for celebration and happiness.

The beginning of her exhibit includes family portraits drawn by her 4-year-old granddaughter, Sarah, and 24 photographs of an art installation by her husband's grandmother, showing a doll fence, gourd tree and toy sculptures.

"I decided they were two of my influences," Warren said. "His grandmother lived in Eufaula and was a psychic, as well as folk artist. I found her to be such an inspiration. She was so driven to create, and worked daily into her 90s."

A charcoal drawing of a figure making a cake with energy from the heavens introduces Warren's art, where decorated dessert plates and still life cake paintings celebrate the sweetness of sugar and life. Since she was a 12-year-old in an after-school art class, she has been working with still-life painting and grew to love color, light and composition.

"However, there was not much individuality and, the older I got, not enough of a feeling of self-expression for me," she said. "The still lives have evolved into imagined situations. They first exist only in my mind. Then, live as a painted story on canvas."

Her "Believe in Sweetness" wall utilizes a painting of a couple dancing, travel notes and a work of a magnolia blossom, referencing the tree planted the week she was born.

"I love reflecting on the objects important in describing my life," she said. "These are what appear in my pictures."

Another wall has the "bakery customers," which are clay figures representing friends and acquaintances. Like the cakes telling stories with colored icing, the dolls are meant to depict her faith in the celebration of life, with their "belief in sweetness."

"I live with my husband of 37 years," she said. "We are both caught in art. It has provided us a voice that we love." "?Allison Meier

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