Brook Trout, Brown Trout, and American Pondweed

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This piece comprises three different original works  that have been fused together using the ancient methods of Chinese calligraphers. Each work is on a full sheet of ma (hemp) based mulberry paper. The bottom sheet is hand-dyed by the artist using archival fiber dyes. The middle sheet is a full print of a large piece of American Pondweed harvested from Parksville Lake. The top sheet is made of fish rubbings of California brook trout and Tennessee brown trout. After the three works are wet-mounted together, the unity is finished with watercolors and India ink to add the eyes and spotting of the fish. 

Compositionally, all the factors compose a beautiful unity: Initially the viewer sees seven fish, each different from the other. All appear to be swimming in different directions, but the curves together form a singular movement to the bottom left. The pondweed amplifies this movement by revealing that the flow of the water is actually from left to right and upward, thus the fish are shown to be swimming into the current in the opposite direction of the water flow, but on the same path. Finally, the dyed paper has striking lines that both offset and compliment the previous mentioned lines: the prominent ones are intersecting the line of the fish and the pondweed but secondary lines restore harmony and balance, as if it is the light from the sun penetrating the water column from multiple directions. 

Finally, the colors of the piece are also a powerful example of unity emerging from diversity. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like the cool colors of the brown trout should harmonize with the warm colors of the brook trout, but all the colors are mixed by the artist starting with a common core color of permanent yellow lake, thus giving every color on the fish a common ancestor and DNA harmony.


All of my reproductions are limited to an edition of 100 and are printed on Hahnemuhle photo rag paper by London-based Creative Hub. Their products are the best I've seen and all their work is end to end carbon neutral. It takes a little longer to get them (about two weeks), but I promise it's worth the wait. Shipping is included in the cost, even to send it across the Atlantic! 

Interested in an original? I may still have the one from below. If not, I may have one similar, or you could commission me to make a piece for you. Why not contact me to inquire?