Monday, 13 September 2010

Bluegill II

I'm still plodding away with my gyotaku project and have all kinds of fish from the weird to the wonderful.  These little bluegills are found all over North America and I love the shape and size - pan size and very good eating I'm told.

I did a study of them to work out colours and composition.  The paper was pretty absorbent - Okawara - so I thought I'd take it to the next level and really add a shot of colour. I flooded the surface with a highly pigmented wash of watercolour in various colours that complement the natural colours of these fish.  Its as if they're swimming in a dream world now and I rather like the outcome.  The print below is the original study print with a small amount of colour added.

The paper was still damp when I took this image so it will be slightly more subdued when dry.

Experimentation is what this project is all about after all and testing the abilities of Japanese papers. I'm quite amazed at their strength when wet.  The papers have a perceived fragility when you pick them up as they're so lightweight and flexible, and, like most papers, are fragile when wet.  However, I can put a lot of water and manipulate paint on them very well without the paper or the print breaking down.

Japanese papers vary so much in type and price.  They're not cheap papers which is why I often work out pieces as studies first on newsprint or cheap mulberry paper before I pull out something more expensive.  I would recommend people try some Japanese paper if they can access it.  Its a unique experience and has so many possibilities.   My source for good quality paper is The Japanese Paper Place in Toronto.

And now for a quick smile from one of the more different fish that I am printing.  This is a smile from an ocean pout.  I was given this fish and didn't realize it had quite the set of teeth til I started prepping it for printing.  The fish is about 16 inches long and rather like a cross between a sculpin and an eel with a big bony head.  I'm rapidly getting over my fear of strange and weird fish that, in the past, would have had me in the horrors.


Annie of Blue Gables said...

This is my most favorite one yet!!! Great job!!!!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

So are you yet known as "The Fish Lady"? ;)

I couldn't resist a joke after seeing that grin!

I think I like the "before: version better - but I do applaud the experimentation and love to hear about the paper

Sarah Wimperis said...

these prints are going to make a fantastic show all together.
Fish lady or fish wife?
Also, do the finished works smell fishy at all?

SKIZO said...

Thank you for sharing
This fabulous work with us
Good creations

Jeanette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanette said...

Thanks Annie, glad you enjoy it.

Oh yeah, I am The Fish Lady now Katherine. Also seen as eccentric, and very odd for wanting to play with fish. I believe some think I border on witchcraft.

I like the straight prints for many of the species. They are transformed with colour and look entirely different.

Experimentation is the name of the game with this project.

Sarah 'fish wife' is the name in my head for a piece that's in the same place too. I have the concept, just not worked it out completely.

And no. When wet, they can have the odor of the fish you're working on, depending on its level of freshness. Once dry, you wouldn't notice any smell unless you had your nose on the paper and even then it would be very faint.

vivien said...

I too think I slightly prefer the subtlety of the original - but yes, experimentation is great :>) and what your project is all about.

This is really going to make a wonderful final exhibition.

Your knowledge of papers is fascinating too and the experimentation you are doing there.

Nick said...

I think that's great Jeannette, wonderful texture, color, and the placement/overlapping of them is perfect. A 10!

Jeanette said...

Nick, thank you. 10 works for me :)