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A Feast for the Eyes

Those of you who pop in on my art periodically know that I dabble in food art. It wasn't my goal, but one morning a few years ago, I went to a local Italian café in Bellingham, Torre Caffe, and had a cannoli. It had been years since I had a good cannoli, though that famous line from The Godfather, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli," has made a prominent appearance in past blog posts (when I used to write with my dog, but that's another story). Describing the joy of the cannoli to my family wasn't enough. I had to draw/paint cannoli for my husband and kids. While Peter thought it was slightly obscene to paint cannoli, the girls thought I should keep on painting desserts. So I started a series of heavy gel medium dessert paintings. These were very satisfying through the long, cold winter. I pulled heavy acrylic gel medium across canvasses like frosting over holiday cakes or toasty blankets up to my chin on cold winter nights. As spring came, the gel felt cumbersome, and so after I painted my last Valentine's Day chocolates, I let go of the gel medium . . .

Alas, through the summer, the kids asked periodically about what happened to my food art. And as

autumn began to fall, I thought about that a lot. Why food art? Well, the kids like it, and it's fun to watch kids respond to art. They also get some input into my art. This is satisfying. As independent as I am, sometimes I like art to be a family affair, a social undertaking. As I expanded my thinking, I realized how beautiful food is, from the simple, sliced cabbage to the ornate feasts made with equal amounts of love and pride in most cultures. And other artists have worked with food in serious still life and in pop jest, perhaps I could indulge in a periodic food art "snacks."

So my food art journey makes a stop in Japan, where #bentoart provides an opportunity to express equal parts health, quiet pride and love for life and people in art. And in the US, bentos have become the new go to in kids' lunches. Check out the variety of bento boxes in the back-to-school section of most stores! They provide variety in color and texture and creative doses of vegetables for kids and adult kids. And we make them here at home. The girls have taken over making their own bentos, while I move on to making mine in watercolor pencil on 5x7" cards (or smaller). These will soon be available as cards on Etsy and whenever I show! Soon to be followed by #sushiart. Thanks for spending time with me at #sarahsartlife, and I wish you equal amounts of health and love and quiet pride in your own art!

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