Ocean Perch on kitakata paper
As part of my plans for 2010, I applied for a grant, heart in mouth. I was lucky enough to receive it and for the full amount, as often amounts are reduced to spread the wealth a bit further.
My project is to produce a body of work in gyotaku (fish rubbing) using species found in Newfoundland waters. I will also be offering a workshop next spring to share what I have learned with other artists. I applied for a longer project time frame because working full time, I need sufficient time to produce work to the quality that I want instead of feeling rushed.
I'll be experimenting with various Japanese and traditional papers to determine the best for gyotaku as well as backgrounds and techniques. I have feelers out to various fishermen who can supply me with fresh fish and oddities of the sea.
Today, which was a holiday for me, I started experimenting with a local ocean perch, also known as red fish, that I had in the freezer. I love the patterning on the gill plate of these fish even if they do have pretty spiky fins. I have a sampler of Japanese papers as well as newsprint and masa that I worked the initial prints with. I love the Japanese papers! They are so soft and flexible, especially when dampened and the two that I used, kitakata and chiri printed beautifully.
Red fish prints
I'm currently researching and accessing a variety of papers and best techniques for using them to print and am looking forward to the project unfolding and seeing what the ocean will provide for me to print. I have the seed of Part II of this project in my head which may need another grant to fulfill. Time will tell.