My studio has been set up to accommodate painting of the dolls so it’s been pretty hard to transition to flat paintings. I need a sloping desk top and some bits and pieces to hold my paints in while I’m working. It’s a bit of a nightmare, really, trying to paint on paper, but I’m making a go of it. I’m painting on top of a dinner tray that I can tilt up or down and since I don’t use palettes I’ve been taping pieces of cardboard on top of the actual painting I’m working on to mix the colors. I’ll figure it out soon. In the meanwhile, I am having some fun practicing new techniques and working on projects that I never got around to doing.

This is the latest, inspired by my Dad’s penchant for fine and sometimes dubious cuisine and an episode of The Simpsons. My Dad had an insane zest for life. He loved trying new things. When Colorado legalised a certain green thing, he happily drove me to the nearest dispensary and went in with me and paid for my “goods.” And when he drove me to my first gynecology appointment, he repaired to the nearest sushi bar while I was getting checked out and ordered himself a plate of fugu to calm his nerves, as my appointment, he had claimed, was more traumatic for him than it was for me. Fugu, if you are not aware, is deemed both a celebrated and notorious cuisine in Japan and selected countries. The difference between eating this dish and the garbage they serve in the “wet markets” of Asia is that fugu is only legal if it is prepared by a highly trained and licensed chef. As ambitious as my Dad was in his epicurean endeavours, he wasn’t about to make his own fugu in the kitchen.

Later on in his life, he more or less stopped eating fish. He hated seeing fish struggling to breathe when captured and then slowly asphyxiate, and that man LOVED his seafood! After he passed away I went through his files and found that he had been making substantial contributions to the WWF and other animal charity groups. And so this painting is not so much a study of an obscure Asian cuisine but more of a celebration of the life of a man who truly lived his own to the fullest.

The earthenware pot and the sake set are replicas of the ones my Dad owned! The pot is a representation of all the fun family dinners we’ve had to mark a special occasion. Shabu shabu is one of our favourite meals, even for me, who would not voluntarily eat 5/8 of the stuff I painted here, but I always sat around with everyone for hours on end as the pot bubbled and boiled with a seemingly never-ending array of food. At the moment, when visiting families is now either forbidden or a huge ordeal, I’m glad I have plenty of memories to hold onto.