Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Fish Whisperer

Our friends Jamie and Saren have a large pond on their Hudson Valley property filled with Koi. My favorites are the butterflys. With a aged-rum mojito in one hand, I'll watch Jamie feed the koi at sunset until they form an orange swarming. It's magnificent. I've teased him that he's the fish whisperer. I feel like an ancient Japanese courtesan watching an ancient event.

I wanted to make an encaustic piece for them, and made a tons of photocopies of koi drawings (not by me - I'm a thief that way!). I promptly lost the copies somewhere in our house. When I found them six months later, I dug out a wood panel, tiled and glued the koi images onto it, covered it with encaustic medium, scribed into the wax freehand over the koi, pressed oilpaint into the fissures, and wiped it with baby oil. Peter made the hangers on the back. I very much had to stop myself from using my favorite R&F gold oilstick.

Saren hung the piece in their house next to the window where you can look out and see the koi pond. She spells them "coys," which I didn't know at the time. So the art is placed exactly next to the reality in a funny repetitive way.

The Fish Whisperer - encaustic, oil and collage on wood, 15" x 18", 2011

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