Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big and little fish

I haven't abandoned you all, just been very very busy with work and people and networking and fish.  And little time left over for art creation.  This is one of the few times that I haven't produced anything for days and I feel the need to do so desperately.  But it may have to wait another day or two until life slows down a little more.

This print at the top of this page is from a winter flounder that was given to me a week or two ago.  The skin texture on this fish is amazing and as rough as sandpaper.  Flounder or flatfish always interest me, one, because they're easier to print and two, because they're just such odd creatures with eyes and mouth slewed to one side. 

When I print fish, I do a few test pieces first on inexpensive paper to see how they turn out and what needs adjustment before moving on.  Then I print on my intended paper and add colour to see how it behaves on that paper.  I make several prints on this paper to allow a margin for error as it may take 3 or 4 prints and enhancements before I get a piece that I approve of.

My networking did pay off and I was given a lovely cooler of frozen fish today that I will look forward to starting to print this weekend.  There are a variety of flounder in it as well as capelin, herring, arctic char, whole crab, sea cucumber and a gigantic Atlantic salmon.  I never thought I could get excited about fish, but its happened.  I've had to commandeer a little freezer in the barn to accommodate the fish and others that will be added to them as and when they arrive through the food fishery that starts on the 24th.

A lot of work was tempered with a little play this week and I went out on a whale tour boat.  Capelin are swarming the bays now and with them, come the humpback whales. The day was fine and warm, but the wind made the water a bit choppy heading out to Gull Island.  The whales were there feeding, were friendly and were very close.  Here's one that floated on his back next to the boat, waving his long flukes in the air and slapping them on the water from time to time.  He was beautiful.  And provided more inspiration for a painting. 

I guess a whale is too big to print, but a bit of that fluke might fit... Then he turned over and dived down under the boat, leaving a whale footprint behind. The footprint is a flat surface of water left by the force of the water made by the whale's tale when diving.  You can follow the path of the whale by its 'footprint'.  Such amazing creatures.


Jan said...

Wow! How fortunate you are to see the whales! And thanks for the info on their "footprint." I had no idea that there was even any such thing.

It's also nice to know that you may have to print several times to get a print you like. I guess I was thinking that it was a one time thing per fish.

Time? What is that and where does it go? So much to do lately it seems. I haven't been painting either but need to finish a commission soon!

At least you have the fish to fuel your experiments so when can we look forward to more prints?

bridget Hunter said...

I've just read how you make these exquisite prints - thankyou for the information. The fish are so "fishy". But its what you so cleverly do with the first print - the choice of colour and marks that I really amire.

Jeanette said...

I adore whales Jan. I wish I could go out and see them every day. They're so large and so gentle.

Yes, I make 5 or 6 prints from a fish, perhaps more, then decide what I'll do with them, providing at least one turns out ok!

I'll give more glimpses into the fishy world soon. I can't reveal much as I have to keep it for an exhibition in the late spring 2011. Frustrating, I know.

Thank you Bridget. I always think its important to share what information I know about technique in the hopes someone else may be looking for that information.

The fish are unique as it the colouring process. Everyone is a surprise to me.