Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gyotaku workshop

Today I delivered a workshop in gyotaku for a local art association.  My ability and interest in the subject has grown over time since I first learned about the technique and started in earnest pressing cold fish bodies onto paper.  The image above is a demonstration piece that I completed during the workshop.  I enhanced the initial print with watercolour washes and then added some detail with a Rapiodgraph pen.

I did start several other pieces but haven't had a chance to do much more with them yet.  The squid, complete with tentacles, were interesting to print as they made interesting, almost sculptural patterns on the paper.

It was a delight to spread the information to others and see what they produced during the day.   Capelin, squid and scallop shells were the subjects and the morning was spent learning and practicing inking and printing to get a clean, clear image.

The afternoon was spent working on enhancing the original prints from the morning and exploring backgrounds and printing over the them then enhancing the print.  As with many things what you originally think is lots of time turns into never enough time.  But I believe that enough information and ideas were soaked up that people went away, anxious to continue with the technique and experiment more.

The workshop was messy and full of smells of the sea.  The participation level was high and the quality of prints that were produced was excellent.  I will look forward to seeing more of this technique around St. John's now that more people understand it.

There is nothing more satisfying than sharing information and watching others produce something beautiful with that information.


Teresa Mallen said...

What a fabulous workshop. Your students look so focused. My students don't usually like it when I get out my camera. Your demonstration piece is most lovely!!

Billie Crain said...

It looks like a fun time was had by all, Jeanette! I just the love results of this technique.:) Someone from the NM Artists Market must be into this also as I saw some fish prints on one of their walls not long ago. Btw, that squid print is incredible!

sue said...

Sounds excellent! I love your gyotaku work--I'm crazy about the 2 of yours I have hanging in my office, and I really enjoy them there.

Gayle said...

I think your demo piece is stunning.
I wish I lived close enough to attend one of your workshops.

Jeanette said...

I must have had them working too hard to notice I was taking photos Teresa. :) It was a fun day.

I think the technique is starting to spread Billie and its good to see the different interpretations from plain anatomical prints to enhanced versions.

I'm glad you like the prints you have Sue. They're interesting to do and never the same one twice.

Thank you Gayle. Demo pieces are hit and miss at times. You say one thing then demonstrate it and hope it works. Thankfully this one cooperated.

Lindsay said...

I love all of these but the squids are my favorite ones.

The work shop looks like fun.

Jennifer Rose said...

i would have loved to be in that workshop. you need to come over here and hold one ;)

love how the squid print looks, lots of interesting textures :)

hmm don't think my teacher would appreciate me brining in a fish to try this is expressive class :p he does want us to experiment tho so worth a try :D

Jo Castillo said...

It sounds and smells like you had a great time!! The prints are amazing. Your demo piece is wonderful and colorful.

Jeanette said...

The squid make amazing patterns Lindsay and we had great fun with this workshop. I had a wonderful group to work with.

And I'd love to come over and do a workshop there Jennifer! I think it would be an interesting idea for your classes. Nothing could be more expressive...

Jo, I love the different prints and enhancements that can come with this technique.

Jennifer Rose said...

I should ask my teacher lol he very well could say sure bring in a dead fish :) I would probably pronounce gyotaku wrong tho lol

RHCarpenter said...

So interesting and beautiful! Really great outcome and my favorite is also the squid - there is something so appealing about that one. I'm sure the students learned from your immense knowledge and they didn't even mind the smell :)