ddrees art

My art work and thoughts

Fish and Fowl Show Preparation

Posted by ddrees on July 27, 2008

I 13 have been making pieces on the subject of fish, for an October show in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia in which my former colleague Jane Morais invited me to participate. The show is to be called Fish and Fowl or something close, and Jane is making ceramic chickens. She has some ceramic pieces up at the Maryland State Arts Council site. I had been making shell pieces for a while before she asked and have quite a few fish and shell subjects dating back. Actually I made some cast paper shell pieces with marbling while taking Jane’s handmade paper class, I think in 1992. I made shell molds from my shell collection for the paper shells.

Terra Cotta Shell  ©1992

Terra Cotta Shell dd ©1992

My “stuff” is like a wunderkammer collection with shades of Andy Warhol and Joseph Cornell. Not as much stuff as Warhol, but if I had the money it might be. This is my OCD heritage. I would love to do more handmade paper work but the labs are not set up now and my house is too much of a mess already. Too bad Pyramid Atlantic is not closer so I could make paper there. I met Helen Frederick, the founder and leader, back in the seventies when she had started her atelier in Baltimore, but she moved to DC for more traffic. She has made it a superb place and has managed to retire from it recently.

wunderkammer engraving

Some of my artworks for the show will be all digital and some will be watercolor and marbled paper. The marbled paper is a good fit because it is so watery. I can scan my marbled papers and use them repeatedly and they also can be tricked up in Photoshop. But I like the look of the actual paper, with raking light catching the paper texture and all.

My marbled paper samples

My marbled paper samples


I have been collecting public domain fish pictures along with other natural history pictures for quite some time. I have a few old engraving books on the subject, the first of which I inherited from my grandfather many years ago. I love these old natural history books for not only their science but for their reverence and wonder at the creatures that were being discovered and catalogued. There is way more to the planet than people.

Here is a watercolor and marbled piece, not digital, that i made this spring.

Seafoam green fish ©2008

Seafoam green fish dd ©2008

Here is a digital piece I made this past winter.

Shellhead ©2007

Shellhead dd ©2007

I am currently playing with some Adobe Illustrator pieces that shall emphasize the gorgeous variety of fish styles. I think of them as decked out in couturier clothes. I am hoping to have time to make some flat shape oriented fish pictures that will be finished in time and also to do some dimensional things with my scanned marbled papers. The design concept of repetition and variation fits well here. Visual comparison of fish types held together by their being a set of fish. One can expand the meaning from there.

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2 Responses to “Fish and Fowl Show Preparation”

  1. AlexM said

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. ddrees said

    Thank you Alex M!

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