The duck us got us through the weekend as I practiced my new hobby, Chinese brush painting. It's hard, but fun, and for results requires practice in much the same way taijichuan or qigong does. You have to perfect the strokes and channel the qi, preferably under the tutelage of a master. I started with orchids and pine needles, and tried a bit of bamboo. I have a long way to go, still have to get a handle on the brushes, so to speak. The new hobby also gives me a way to use some of my poisonous Chinese dinnerware, lead-laden teapots and bowls that I don't eat from, but a little lead-based paint isn't so bad in an ink rendering of an orchid. No one is going to eat my designs, though they might want to throw them away. The sugar bowl is especially great for rinsing brushes.
I'm thinking Nam Fong's cooked animal designs might be good for brush painting practice?