Koi drawing update

My conundrum as I draw my koi daily is how I continue writing my blog.  Drawing the same subject again and again is not a tedious exercise.  On the contrary, I find that the drawings are all different.  They lead me into different directions.   The drawings take on a life of their own.  And when the ensemble is complete, and I put them together, I think the variation will be an intriguing as the consistency of theme.

Well, the real koi manage to be interesting every day.  They are the stars of their pond.  So my art-imitating-life versions should be able to hold their own if I do my job right.

But.  You knew there was another shoe to drop …. I’m not saying that one cannot write about these things.  A great writer could probably write about the koi every day just as I draw them.  But I can’t.  My koi are shy. I cannot do this and chew gum too.  I can draw them and find them fascinating hour by hour.  But I cannot fathom how to put that into words.  Indeed, if I could do it with words, why paint?

Painting is painting, and writing is writing. 

So, I have got to find other ways to write about art, other topics to draw, while the koi swim somewhere silently in the background dapple light of their lovely pond.

The drawing above is 45 x 60 inches.  It’s the pond I’ve been fishing lately for several posts.

4 thoughts on “Shy Koi

  1. Painting the koi from many angles gave you the experience that allowed you to write this thought provoking post. Painting can inspire writing, and vice versa. This makes me want to choose a subject and do the same thing, maybe photographically- that is, explore the possibilities. I can’t write about it until I’ve done it because I don’t know yet what the possibilities are going to be.

    “Exploration of Subject” might be a good subject for Studio shots-Tuesday, and this would be an excellent lead-off post for it.

  2. Karol,

    If this post inspired you to explore a subject, searching out many possibilities for it, wow, I think that would be wonderful!

    I find that writing about pictures leads me into other ideas, things to try in future paintings or drawings. So the writing is a creative tool pictorially. And painting has also become a subject for writing, so they are definitely very inter-related.

    Yet for me they are different too, getting at reality from separate paths. Another writer might be able to take the daily-ness of work and turn it into a full and rich narrative. That aspect eludes me. I comment on some of what I do, but the nuances — for me — all have to happen inside the colors and lines.

    Perhaps one needs more of a poet’s sensibilities to run the full course from images to words and back?

    Would love to see how the series approach works out! Please, keep me posted.


  3. It is a challenge type post. I have spent my whole writing the same scene over and over again, with a few minor excursions elsewhere. Sometimes it looks like Sunonhead fishing and other times a pianoplayer fiddling with jazz improvisations but fundamentally it is the same scene you see when you are looking into the koi pond. The conundrum remains, everything is a variation on Basho’s great haiku old pond, frog jumps in, kerplunk, there is the ripples expanding now. Hope you are enjoying the book as much as I am enjoying your fabulous paintings. Art is truly a life’s work.

  4. Paul,

    I am enjoying the book very much. I am about half way through. Was reading it steadily, and then icky mundane “gotta do them” life things intervened. So I am suspended inside the poem at the moment wondering what happens next.

    I feel too that I need to reread it. It is indeed puzzling. You learn things as you go that you make you want to revisit the beginnings.

    I keep telling myself that it’s poetry, but also elements of it sound so much as though they must be autobiographical, and I wanted to ask you if you’re a pianist, but then that doesn’t seem quite fair … to go outside the poem asking questions. Maybe it is natural, though, like a child’s question, children being so literal minded.

    The imagery is very familiar! So you are a fisherman too! Amazing.

    I had been painting these fish, wondering what on earth it could possibly mean only to discover that someone on the other side of the planet follows parallel trajectories sometimes …. We must be onto something. And no doubt some others out there are also improvising this rich theme as well ….

    Art is indeed a life’s work and so one must trust the subject and trust the medium and just breathe it and live it.


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