Drawing Dinner

Diary 2008.9.25

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Tonight we had a wonderful fish dinner on Kyoko and Chan’s porch. There were about fifteen of us sitting around the table while Tayo, Kyoko and Chan’s green eyed white dog ran around under the table hoping for morsels. These are the drawings I made in my sketchbook before and after dinner.

Shoes on the porch, with the hibatchi grill and Tayo’s house in the background.

When I draw I pay much closer attention to small details such as which shoelace goes over and which one under before they are tied, or which direction a particular fish’s scales tilt, how objects are grouped and how they relate to each other. Drawing is this awareness, this being present in the moment with the object being drawn, when the world shrinks to a very tight circle around the object and the drawer, and everything else slowly falls away. It is an exhilarating experience, one I like to seek out repeatedly. Without trying to sound too esotheric it is for me a form of practice, of meditation.

Octopus strips on a plate, sudachi, tiny fish with needles inside, tableware, wine.

While I draw I realize every moment how much detail and variation exists in even the smallest patch of the world, a table, a plate. How different the faces of two grilled fish of the same kind and size can be. How the chopsticks in a pair have subtle differences, like twins.

Upside down fish garnished with rosemary and basil on a platter. Chan says the eyes of this fish taste like milk.

Pepper mill, dishes, sudachi, grilled fish and a small bundle containing my stamp and ink pad. The name of this fish is Queen of the Water, which is also Sato-san’s second daughter’s name.

There was much laughter and pleasant humming around the table, Japanese words were practiced, and Keiju played his guitar so beautifully that I am definitely going to Keiju & Ami’s show on October 5th. Then it got late, so we helped clear the table, got in the truck, rolled down the mountain through the switchbacks and cicada concert. Patrick drove us home.

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KAIR2008 Artist

Articles by Andrea


  • Andrea- These entries of yours have made me so happy tonight. Yesterday, at Bobst Library, I brushed my hand through a Lafcadio Hearn book in the Japanese folklore section. I hesitated a moment, then picked out another book. (It is mistily rainy here, not good weather for big library hauls.) Tomorrow I am going to go back and find his, though- you have inspired me. Ghost stories, sketchbooks, Japan- so good. (!)

    09/25/2008 1:24 PM | Kaela Noel

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