Thursday, September 23, 2010


Smelt are a cousin of the capelin family and I hadn't seen one previously until Lori provided me with one on her return from coastal Labrador/Quebec.

It was fairly delicate, as the capelin are and didn't take many prints before starting to degrade.  However, I think I got at least one good sheet of prints from it and then tried this one on a piece of black card that I had on my table.  Unfortunately, I had managed to smear ink on the paper so only the front half of the smelt is usable.

I rather like the ghostly effect on the black paper and the final print sheet has similar in pale gold on a rich deep blue handmade Japanese paper called Moriki Kozo.

This isn't the finished piece, but gives you an idea of the colours in the inks I'm using as well as the paper.  Why its posting vertically instead of horizontally, I don't know.  Another of Blogger's little mysteries!


Lisa Walsh said...

Your fish prints really amaze me, Jeanette. I like the sepia-toned smelt, and the blue of the Japanese paper is gorgeous. I actually like the vertical format, it reminds me of salmon swimming upstream. :-)

Jeanette said...

Lisa, because each print, even from the same fish is completely different, it always keeps my interest.

Yes, isn't that blue paper fabulous? I love the rich colour, there are so many beautiful Japanese papers available - all I need is money!

Jennifer Rose said...

the smelt on the black card reminds me a lot of an old photo :) very cool how much detail shows up

Lolli072 said...

I actually just screamed out loud, "OH YAY!" when i saw that... WOW! It looks AMAZING! Will you get to print it again? Hehe! And to think my Dad almost threw him overboard. ;D

Cannot WAIT to see more! Can i post this on my Facebook Jeanette?

RHCarpenter said...

I actually thought the ones on blue were done on purpose in the vertical format - like they were swimming in a vast, blue sea up towards the light. I think I like the blue more than the sepia - but I am prejudiced towards all blues.

Jeanette said...

I like the pale against the black too Jennifer. I keep thinking of old negatives when I see it.

LOL, funny Lori. Unfortunately, the smelt is no more. He started disintegrating, literally so had to go to the compost pile in the field. I got a few good prints out of him first though. Thanks Dad for not throwing him back!

I have lots of prints done Lori, but just can't show them until after the project is finished. If you want to see them, you'll have to come out to the farm.

Sure you can post it on FB Lori.

Rhonda, the sepia, not actually sepia. Its actually white ink on black, but artificial light and my lack of photoediting skills make it look like sepia.

The fish on the blue paper are part of a larger image and this crop was just the initial print before I added details. The blue paper is beautiful though. I hate using it. I just want to keep it and look at it. :)

Caroline Bray Art said...

I love these, Jeanette. I don't even mind the spots of ink on the top print, perhaps you could add a few more to make it look not accidental but deliberately accidental, as it were? Make the mistake part of the piece, a happy accident.

Jeanette said...

Good idea Caroline!

This top print was more a test piece and the card wouldn't be lightfast so it won't last. The ink will, but the card colour will fade over time.

Why is it that the best stuff always is done on crap paper?? :)

jane minter said...

jeanette love these prints on dark paper ..i don't dislike the marks... the blue and golden is very delicate ... sorry you lost some of your trees in the storm .

Anonymous said...

Ditto others about using the dark paper; love the effects.

We used to patiently wait until April for the smelt to come in to the shores of Lake Michigan. Fabulous printers, but also exceptional for dinner!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Jane. I really like the dark papers for printing fish. The results are always dramatic, whether perfect or not.

I love that blue paper especially Tracy and hope the finished piece will be effective with it.

I haven't seen smelt here on the island though they may be around. This one was an import from Labrador. :) I've heard they're tasty too. Maybe next time I'll get to try one.

Anonymous said...

Cute little fish, but they have caused a tremendous amount of problems for our farmers here in CA.

Jeanette said...

Yes, its a challenge to find that balance for both farmers and fish species Robin. I hope it can be resolved for the best for both.

I think these smelt, while from the same family of fish, are somewhat larger than the tiny delta smelt in CA.