Faster than I could say “yes”

I was cleaning up my studio and came cross some old works I done which I completely forgot. I post a couple of them on my facebook and mentioned on my find. Almost right away, someone I don’t know comment on it and asked if it for sell. ( he is friend of another of my facebook friend)  I sent this person a reply of yes and the price, right away it was sold and I was sent the money via PayPal!  now my painting is on its way to California .

woman with black hair


Butterly lover

I particular like the yellow Phalaenopsis orchid because when the blossoms open the color almost looked green, usually take a few day for it to turn yellow.
I painted this watercolor a few months ago but was not to satisfy with it. It seems needs something more but I couldn’t think of what to add so put it aside.

butterfly 1
Last week, I took it out again and an idea came to me: The Phalaenopsis orchid’s common name is butterfly/moth orchid. I decided to play with the name and process to add a woman surrounded with butterflies in the background
Here are some shots from beginning to the finished work.

butterlies lover 2

butterfly lover final

watercolor with paper cut, 24″x16″

My life to give away

I been in my downtown studio for 23 years and the last few years the rent just keep going up, just after the Christmas the landlord surprise us with another increase of almost $300! Being a poor artist in this big city is not easy and the last few years were particularly tough and almost right away I decided to move.. I decided to move my studio back home and away from downtown

Since my father’s passing our home just between my mother and I. Recently, I realized she is very lonely during the day when I was away in my studio. So moving back home not only will save the money for rent and I also could spent more time with mother. I been collecting much stuff in the studio all through the years, moving it is a nightmare. After looking around, I decided to give away most of them and let other enjoy them.

I set up a table outside my studio and leave the items out there to let the people on my floor to help themselves.

To my delight, they disappeared almost right away, some I thought no one would wanted but they were the first to go. An idea cam to me I should take photos of the items before they gone to a new home.

Here are some of them:

My ice cream maker

ice cream maker

I had this for over 20 years when I used to live alone I enjoyed making ice cream. Often I would make ice cream with topical fruit, like papaya, kiwi, lychee and mango. It went to my next door neighbor, a fashion designer.

Rice cooker

The rice cooker is a wonderful applicant for my studio; I had make many dishes other than rice with it. I had cooked a whole chicken in it for a few times. It went to Kate, the bookbinder down the hall from me. Yesterday, she told me she used it for the first time and was so happy how perfect her rice was, another happy customer!.

rice cooker

Phone call for mother

Chinese lucky charms

Being the children of immigrants often came with interesting challenges. Both my parents never had formal education and speak very little English. They always depend on us to deal with the English speaking world.

For the last five years I had been accompany mother to her eye specialist, a English speaker regarding her cataract. I would act as her translator between her and her doctor. Finally, this time the doctor said she is ready for her surgery and the appointment was set for next month.

Yesterday, mother called me at my studio, all excited as she has received a call which she couldn’t understood fully all she could make out was the woman ask for her and something about 8:30! However mother has two appointments before the surgery, one on the 26th to measure her lens and the other is for her physical for the surgery and both are not for 8:30. the one closest to that time is the one for lens measurement which is 8:50 am.

 I just wanted to make sure so I called the eye doctor’s office this morning. She told me she didn’t call but could be the hospital where the lens measurement will take place. I called with the numbers she gave me and explained what happened: yes, indeed it was them but the appointment was sat as 8:50 am as planned.

My detective work paid off the confusion was over!

Father and his Dim Sum

paper dim sum

 Father loved Dim Sum and his love for it was almost legendary among us. .Back in Hong Kong where we used to live we hardly ever went out to eat as a family because we were poor. Both of my parents worked and with family of six plus our grandmother there was little money left each month.. But I did remember the few times father took both my older sister and I out the rare treat to dim sum. Each time, as soon we sat down father would order the BBQ pork stream buns for us; we never got to try the ones we were eyeing like the shrimp dumplings or taro dumplings. .It would till I was adult to found out the reason because the stream buns were filling for little stomachs and we couldn’t eat more afterward so father didn’t have to spend much money on us.

After father retired he would go for dim sum at least three four times a week. No matter how bad the weather was, heavy rain or blowing snow he would took the bus for the half an hour ride to the nearest Chinese restaurant. Sometimes he returned covered in snow but in his hand he carried his newspaper and a small box of his beloved roasted pork.

Eventually when his Alzheimer reached its advance stage he couldn’t be out on his own and mother has no choice but went with him, their last dim sum outing end up in the hospital emergency department because he suffered a diabetic coma on the bus.

Just days before his funeral, I was wandering in Vancouver Chinatown and came across a store specializes in items for Chinese funeral. Outside there were displays of paper-made Dim Sum which I had never seen before! (.in Chinese funeral, family often brought realistic looking furniture, car, household items which all make with paper. .During the ceremony the items would be bourn as to offer to the decease for their after life use.)

I brought the paper dim sum carefully packed in my suitcase for the return trip to Toronto and after his service I burn the paper dim sum as an offering to him.


Dim Sum with Mother


taro dumplings

When I was younger, there was no Chinese restaurant near where we lived. Finally, when one open which offered dim sum on the weekend. It was a treat for the new immigrant family like us. The Dim Sum outings reminded us of Hong Kong where we came from. Sunday when both of my parents had the day off from their jobs, our family of six, my parents, younger brother and two sister and I. All packed into my brother’s little car head to the restaurant for Dim Sum.. However the other Chinese families in the area had the same idea and the place was packed with long line of waiting customers. It was not unusual to spend an hour to wait for a table.

chicken with ginger stream buns

The place was full of voices of people talking, the dim sum servers’ calling out the items they had to offer. Almost as soon as we finished eating we would leave to make away the other waiting families.

tea dumpling

These dim sum outings last for a few more years until more Chinese restaurants opened. After my brother and sisters moved away and started their own families our dim sum outings ended.


Since father’s passing, there are only my mother and I living in the house now. With my mother reached to her golden age, there are more trips to the hospital and doctors’ office. Somehow it helped to resume our dim sum outings. After each medical visit we ended up at the Chinese restaurant, just the two of us. I got to enjoy the food as well as the company of mother all over again.