Food as Art, Art as Food

Food can oftentimes be considered art. And art, on the other hand, might be considered food for the soul. So it didn’t feel entirely inappropriate to do a bit of art promoting on my food blog.

I have, in the past, been accused of being a “Renaissance man”. This is because, in addition to being a chef, I am also a writer, musician and artist.

But for as long as I can recall, my response to that accusation has always been: “I really only do one thing. I just do it in a lot of different mediums.” Whether I am cooking or painting or writing a song, it’s the same process; I’m just using different tools. And my food winds up tasting like my paintings look. I can’t escape myself.

Food as art

Besides creating labels for our family wines, I haven’t painted as much in the past decade. I used to joke of my art website that it was last updated in 2003 — the year my son was born. And that ever since, I had been working in flesh. (i.e. making small people.) But not anymore! Because today, unsuspecting food blog readers, I present to you my new art website:

The oldest paintings on the site date back four or five years. But most are brand new, as I have been taking advantage of a slow spell for our regular business (marketing, advertising, website design) to produce a new body of work. I hope you will enjoy perusing the paintings.

For regular updates on new work, shows, contests and raffles 😜, etc., you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @seancolginarts.

Thank you for indulging me — remember, art makes the world better. And I promise to get back to the art of food with the next post.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Aug 25, 2017 @ 03:25:23

    well done.


  2. Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser
    Aug 25, 2017 @ 13:17:06

    Very nice Sean!


  3. Amanda Bower
    Aug 25, 2017 @ 15:39:27

    Nice artwork! What can’t you do? Many talents – very impressive : )


  4. timoirish34
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 20:51:01

    I like your new website. It was your father who turned me onto your original painting site. I found the paintings very good. Your father was quietly proud that you were selling work, especially when I pointed out to him that any artist who sells more than two paintings in his life has already outdone Van Gogh.

    For a few years I lived in LA’s Little Tokyo. No kitchen facilities in my loft, so I dined out nearly every night in one Japanese place or another. To my amazement, after six months of this, my blood pressure had dropped to normal, healthy numbers. I love squid, by the way.

    I met many Japanese travelers in those days. JAL housed its flight crews in a small hotel upstairs from my favorite sushi bar. I was pleased when any Japanese complimented me on my manners–it’s like getting a Papal Knighthood or something. I wanted to visit Japan for a long time. I was surprised when your father told me he had traveled there. I figured he may have held a grudge against the place since so many Japanese had tried to shoot him during the war. He was admirably over it.


    • scolgin
      Sep 06, 2017 @ 14:24:14

      Thanks Tim. I love Little Tokyo. The amazing thing about it is that, once you’ve been to BIG Tokyo, you realize how similar Little Tokyo is. One of my dad’s best friends was a guy named Sueo, whose father fought on the Japanese side during the war. I was shocked how lovely and gracious the Japanese are toward Americans for that same reason. At the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki, an elderly woman gave my children each a garland of hand-folded paper cranes. Time heals.


  5. timoirish34
    Sep 17, 2017 @ 15:33:33

    That is so very sweet! Nearly every Japanese national I have met has been awfully kind to me–I guess it helps if you don’t immediately pull any of that ugly American stuff (let me try to keep politics out of this commentary).

    I recall going for sushi one spring evening when about two dozen older Japanese golfers came in from some private course. They brought their clubs with them; all of their gear was beautiful and doubtless fantastically expensive. They all ordered the same meal (shrimp tempura, steamed soy beans, noodles and a side of sushi, but began with something new to me: a double-sized saké with a dried fish fin floating in it. Up for anything, I ordered one and drank it down. All the elderly golfers cheered and applauded me–I still don’t know why. It must have been some Nippon rite of passage or something.


  6. timoirish34
    Sep 27, 2017 @ 04:56:30

    I do miss LA’s Little Tokyo (upstate New York is still working on getting a decent pizzeria) so I can only remember the fine meals I had there. LT boasts two large traditional Japanese gardens; one at the former New Otani Hotel and one behind the Japanese Cultural Center. The Center’s garden was the superior; it was built into a man-made hillside and surrounded with a berm of evergreen trees–sort of a Buddhist Disneyland. It was great having this just two blocks from my house.

    What I miss the most of Little Tokyo is the Japanese-style supermarket which sold Japanese food stuffs and hard goods. In addition to groceries (both cooked and ready-to-cook), they sold about three-dozen kinds of rice cookers, kimonos of every size, pattern and color and the block-y, wooden geta sandals (下駄). . You could also pick up two liters of saké in a miniature version of the distinctive barrels in which saké (not a “rice wine”; it’s brewed, not vinted) was traditionally shipped. Those made great gifts.


    • scolgin
      Sep 27, 2017 @ 15:29:18

      I’ve spent much time in both those gardens. The last time I went to the JCC’s garden, it was in a bit of disrepair. But knowing those Japanese and the pride they take in their gardens, it was simply a transition to something even better. I used to enjoy eating at the New Otani’s tempura bar, at the 1000 Cranes restaurant that overlooked the water pond of the roof garden. I went to the New Otani in Tokyo, where their garden is a little more impressive — a multi-acre affair that’s part of a shogunate that dates to the 15th, I think, century.


  7. timoirish34
    Oct 05, 2017 @ 10:38:35

    Yes, the New Otani’s garden is well cared for. I’ve seen many couples using it for wedding photos. The Tokyo Otani was built adjacent to a garden several hundred years old. I applaud the management for their efforts at creating this near duplicate. The JCC garden was funded and created by professional Japanese American gardeners, who are still supposed to care for it. I think Japanese gardeners must be an endangered species nowadays. I liked this garden for it’s use of water–one stream at the top which separates into two (symbolizing the cultural duality of Japanese Americans). The streams rejoin at the bottom of the garden, ending in a perfect koi pond. All that running water really masked the city noises very well.


  8. ladybaldie
    Oct 24, 2017 @ 21:02:16

    It was really a pleasure to read this article! well done!


  9. nayeeraneera
    Nov 20, 2017 @ 03:12:30

    That was love…


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