We harvested these Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Arctic Grayling from Lake Rogers, MT while ice fishing. The grayling are mere fingerlings, and mature fish survive by eating the young of the year, leaving the smartest or fastest to survive. Savage as it sounds, this piece presents the scene in a light that is peaceful, even contemplative.
This piece is made from two sheets of very thin, hemp reinforced kozo (mulberry) paper. The background sheet is hand-dyed with fiber dyes allowing air pockets to form and resist the dye, giving streaks of light. The foreground was created by rubbing another sheet of the same paper upon fish that had been carefully cleaned and then painted with intaglio ink. The colors of the ink and dye are mixed from basic pigments to complement and contrast one another harmoniously. The two sheets are wet-mounted together using the same methods that Chinese calligraphers have used for millennia. Once dried, the final markings and eyes are painted in with watercolor and India ink.
A work like this is best experienced by thinking and feeling side by side. Feel the peace and tranquility that come from the colors and lines of the composition. Analyze the details of the fish: the scales, fins, teeth, lateral line. Consider the way of nature where the strong eat the weak and reflect on how there is a harmony to nature and yet something that is disturbing, perhaps even wrong. Return to feeling, noting the change in disposition that has come as a result of viewing this piece. Think. Feel. Reflect on how art can change the way one sees the world.
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 this one. If not, I may have one similar, or you could commission me to make a piece for you. Why not contact me to inquire?