Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fish sketches and sculpture

The fish form has always been fascinating to me. It started when I lived in southern Louisiana. My brother and I would fish in the Atchafalaya river spillway deep in the swamp. We would catch fish all day long. Sometimes the fish were ugly. Those were called shoepic or gar. The colors, the scales and the look left a big impress on me. In junior high and high school, I would hit the river almost everyday after school. The cutoff shorts would go on and I waded in the murky water for miles. There were sandbanks that help to define the river currents and edges. My calves on my legs are still huge to this day because of the workout to my legs. Water mocassions and copperhead snakes were everywhere. Yeah I was stupid but I didn't know better. Once I had a water moccician swim right between my legs. The water caustics were something etched into my brain since it was everywhere. 
So these were some of the visuals that have defined my art sensibilities. That's why so much of my work has water in it. Fish was part of my life up till college. Ah now I live in the Northwest where the rivers are a heck of a lot cleaner. During the summer I fish for trout. Man the irradecent colors on a brook trout or a cutthroat trout look like someone took a magenta paint pen and painted dots on the body. 
Here's an image I took from my sketchbook. The painting is still in works. The sculpture is made of sculpy. I inlayed glass beads, mosaic pieces and some metal enamel jewelery I bought in Praque, Chek Republic. 
The fish are a study of pattern, shape and color. My focus is to get a chemistry of elements to create a mood. It's like placing different things together to see what you get. Patterns, colors, textures, details all make the fish forms take on a fantasy feel. 
I never really had an interest in trying to do natural images of fish. There's a lot of great artist that do that type of thing. Even when I try to paint a salmon to look just like a salmon, I start pushing the form or put pattern on it. 
More fish storys to come.

art love

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