Before the Koi was the Fish Whistle
July 1, 2011
Actually I think it’s a whale — it’s a whistle in the shape of a whale. And if I ever locate it, I’m going to paint it again. File that under “house-keeping” and add another tick to the long “to do” list.
I made this painting a long time ago. I had set up the still life aiming to compose large sections of bright color that didn’t necessarily go together. My goal was to harmonize colors that were not coordinated, that were color uncoordinated. I figured that if I got the life-likeness of the things, the harmony that they get from simply existing in the same light and atmosphere might be caught. It’s a bit of Cezanne’s philosophy only I didn’t know it back then.
Meanwhile, I was painting something that swims in the water and swishes its tail though technically does not represent a fish. I don’t really see the harm, however, in calling a whale a fish when it is so fish-like. Anyway, this was proto-koi — an early whispering of the theme that has since occupied much of my thought.
For the record the whistle is shaped like a whale, but is not designed for calling a whale. One could try it, though, and see if having whistled on it, a whale comes. If I ever locate the whale whistle again, after I paint it, I might try this other idea too. And I’ll be sure and let everyone know if it fetches me a whale.