Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Doing Gyotaku in Colorado

Hello from beautiful Fort Collins! I have been having a wonderful time at the nature printing workshop the past couple days and I feel like I have been learning a lot! Monday and Tuesday were spent learning the two forms of gyotaku, direct and indirect.

Here's some photos I took from Monday's direct gyotaku method. Paint is applied directly to the fish or creature, paper is applied over that, and smoothed along the body, creating a print. It's what I have been learning from Sharron, so it's cool to see someone else's take on it!

Jack talking about the differences in fish he brought for us to print.


Making sure the fish is completely dry after you clean an sanitize it.

Applying the paint to the fish

After smoothing the paper along the fish, this is what he got! Pretty cool!

This was my fish. I'm not sure what kind of fish he was but he was rockfish-esque.

Frank with my fish for size comparison. They are both now blue. :o)

My first print! Not the greatest but it gave me a baseline.

My final print from this fish. Looking better!

I prepped and printed a mullet after the other fish but forgot to take a photo of my two mullet prints. Oops! Maybe later!

After our classes my friend Erica and I decided to go grab a beer. We headed to New Belgium, but they were CLOSED!

Sad Brittany is sad.

They do have a sweet Airstream, though!

We then headed to the Crown Pub, where we learned about Equinox Brewing, which was in the building behind where we were. Success!

We each got a sampler so we could share.

We had to show her mom, who was back on campus, what we were up to. :o)

We ended up missing dinner on campus so we got...


And beer! No, not a delicious cliche. ;o)

Tuesday I did the indirect method of gyotaku, which is where you cover your fish with silk and dab paint on it from the outside. A really good artist might spend eight hours on one fish, layering thin layers of color, but we had just a few hours.

I set up my fish. (Aren't they cute?! Only four or five inches long.)

Traced stencils for them on acetate and cut those out.

Set up the stencils and covered my silk.

Started to paint my fish! And, of course, again forgot to take a photo of my finished product! But I will so you can see it!

These are the tampos that one uses for indirect gyotaku. They are little bits of cotton wrapped in kimono silk and rubber-banded onto the end of a toothpick. You just super lightly dab paint onto your fish. You should dab about thirty times before getting paint to really show up on your silk. So you can really see how it might take artists hours upon hours for one fish!

After classes we headed to an art show and sale for locals to come check out art they might not see otherwise and give other artists a chance to see more of each other's work.

I bought this monoprint of a lacey black oak leaf. It's so vibrant in real life!

I also won this print for $15 in the silent auction! It combines two of my favorite things: fish and leaves!

One last picture. Us ladies at the art show. Me, Sharron, and Erica. Good times! We are having SO much fun!

So this is what I have been up to the past couple days. Pretty awesome! I can't wait to get back to Portland where I can have a big work area and can really start doing some of this stuff. Only a couple more months... :o)

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