My koi are not painted, but printed, using silk screen inks designed for textiles. Printing gives them a uniformity, and allows me to focus on the way they move through water and interact with each other and their surroundings. Each print is a four-step process. I begin with mixing the background shade and rolling it out onto the linen. Initially, I started with lighter, almost swimming pool colors, but as this summer began to heat up and I spent more time on my paddle board, later versions deepened to the cool greens and deep blues we see here in upstate NY. From there, I print the “ghost” of the koi, letting the fish tell me how they would move from shadow to light, how they would become a scrum when fed. The distinctive golden orange is stenciled to get the coverage I want, with the final print being the black details.
As a word person, I’ve always been obsessed with the collective nouns that we attribute to animal groupings. A school of fish has been an apt place for me to begin this new journey as I have learned through trial and error how to work through an obsession - to see light and movement and balance through the application of ink on canvas.
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