Lasting Impressions

I have been yearning for several years to start creating some kind of physical art. I experimented with mixed media, namely newspaper headlines and paper making, but it didn’t scratch the itch.

Gyotoaku print of a sheepshead.

The past year I have been consumed by fishing. I want to be a small scale boat to table commercial fisherman and that has been a more difficult goal to achieve than it looked like on paper at the beginning of 2022. I also knew that there would be some seasonality to it with a lot of bad weather days mixed in. I wasn’t sure if that time would be filled with web consulting or making stuff.

I was familiar with fish printing in so much as I’d seen photos and maybe one video years ago. But in early October I started picturing them in my head, which always leads to a lot of searching on the web. I skimmed through a dozen or so YouTube videos and went to Walmart for some cheap supplies and dive in. Sketch paper and tissue paper, black acrylic paint and some cheap brushes.

My next attempts were a positive step forward. The ink seemed the problem so I switched from acrylic paint to traditional sumi ink. However with several attempts under my belt I went back and watched some more videos. That led to a journey around paper. Rice paper led to washi and now I’m on my third type of paper. I feel this will be a longer journey but the latest mulberry paper I ordered feels like I’m heading in the right direcetion.

My inspiration has been Dwight Huang. Watching someone approach the art from a natural and reverent place I felt a much stronger pull to explore the art.

And just to be clear, the only fish I’m printing so far[1] are ones I’ve caught that meet state regulations from a public pier. They all become dinner or bait, nothing is killed purely for the sake of making a print. That’s an important point to me. Dock to art to table.

  1. I hope to reach a level that allows me to print for others to have a print of a memorable catch. ↩︎