TREEFISH: ANATOMY OF A PAINTING
Creating a painting doesn’t always, as a matter of fact doesn’t usually, follow a set of rules. Such was the case for WindowFish which was generated from Tree of Life.
A commissioned work, Tree of Life was not accepted by the client; hence I ended up with Tree of Life back on my easel.
And there it sat. And sat. And sat, and sat, and sat. And it was moved from here to there and back again. That summer I stared at it for weeks.
Enter a photograph of the side of a building left after the adjacent building had been torn down. Photographed downtown in NYC when Joseph and I were driving. The photo was tacked to the studio wall awaiting its use.
One warm summer evening my thoughts came together. I got up, grabbed a brush and began to quickly paint my favorite fish swimming from left to right directly over the TREE OF LIFE. The underpainting was completed that night in B/W. I went to color the next day as Joseph worked on the overall composition and pulling the materials together.
The next few days found us in the studio comparing the picture of the building with the original painting and deciding which symbols to let show through the “windows”. Declared finished after a week, we signed it. We used the same technique as we altered BLUE APPLE.
I’ve always loved fish. The diversity of their shapes, sizes, colors, and textures gives so much to work with. The striped ceramic fish that Nana & Pops brought home from Bermuda in the early 1920’s while on their honeymoon, holds relatively the same place of honor hanging over our kitchen dining table in our family home since the 1940’s. Once again, my process draws on childhood memories of warm, lazy, exciting summers. That particular fish is the subject of the long lino cuts; the basic shape, the catalyst for the black and white “Poisson Polka Dot”. “Poisson Polka Dot” came back to become the image for the home decor.