Friday, November 25, 2011
illustration friday (round)
There are two gift-giving seasons in Japan. One is in the summer and one is in the winter. Winter gifts often involve agricultural produce for which the sender's home prefecture is known. Each winter I receive a case of potatoes from an old friend in south-western Hokkaido, a case of tangerines from an even older friend in Nagoya, and a case of persimmons from the oldest friend of all in Shikoku. I reciprocate by sending each of them a case of lily roots, a rather high-class vegetable that is often used in New Year dishes. 90% of the domestic product is produced in my home prefecture of Hokkaido. I also try to send each of these friends an Etegami thank-you card with a painted image of the gift I received from them.
I never tire of the gifts, even though my friends have been sending me the same thing every year for over twenty years. I base my winter shopping and meal plans on the assumption that I will have lots of potatoes, tangerines and persimmons. And I suspect my friends make similar plans each year around the lily roots that I send them.
The problem is, I run out of new ways to depict this produce in my Etegami thank-you cards. I've painted whole persimmons, halved persimmons, persimmon wedges, persimmon pie, persimmons in the box, persimmons on the branch, persimmons in salads... One year when I was at loss for a new way to paint persimmons, I decided to slice them cross-wise, which is never done, because it makes them harder to eat or use in cooking. It did provide a new and interesting visual perspective though. So I accompanied the image with the words: "A Change in Perspective."
For those of you who have never seen a lily root, here is a smaller image from one of my illustrated recipes. Lily root is a lot of fun to cook with. You can see that it's (sort of) round too. : )