celestial koi 54 x 40 smaller

I like to work large, and this pastel called “Celestial Koi” is large.  The seam that’s visible in the photograph is there because I put two sheets of pastel paper together to create the picture.  Overall it measures 54 x 40 inches. Because I used sanded paper I couldn’t use a single sheet — unless I had applied a sanded ground to watercolor paper myself.  This drawing is made on UArt paper — which is wonderful.  It looks just like sandpaper — it basically is just like sandpaper, but is a form of sandpaper made to the exacting conservation standards required for an artists’ material.

So the visible seam is a fundamental part of the picture, part of its form.

Anyway, one of the joys of presenting artwork at the Fine Arts America site is that they offer reproductions at fairly large sizes.  This image can be purchased as large as “48 x 35.8.”  So it’s not as large as the original, but it’s still pretty large.

The original pastel on the easel appears below.  Some of the interior objects, the bookcases and whatnot, give a hint at the scale.  I had just gotten the UArt paper and I was going crazy drawing kois.

studio 4 (2)

Some background: like many visitors to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, I have long admired the many banners hanging from the building that advertise visiting exhibitions.  And like many visitors I have wondered what happens to the banner when the exhibit concludes?  They are of course too large to hang inside someone’s home — but some of the banners could be cut down in interesting ways and adapted for interior decoration ….

nga banner

Seeing those banners instilled a longing in me to create large versions of some of my pictures for not only do I enjoy making large pictures, I also particularly like making large drawings.  A large drawing is one that you can get inside of — all the whimsy and freedom of a drawing can be there — only LARGE. Thus one of the hopes I have for my Fine Art America site is that it can feature more and more large drawings, some that are in small drawings blown up and others that are real-live large drawings.  We’ll see what happens with that.  I’ll keep you posted.

I imagine the Celestial Koi in a room with a lot of yellow.  It could make a wonderful contrast in an airy, buttery, yellow colored room.  I found this room on the internet.  (I like to search for images of beautiful rooms on the internet!)

-yellow-living-rooms-yellow-rooms
This is someone’s gorgeous room.  But if you take down those prints — lovely as they are — and replace them with my large blue koi pastel — wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

Just like that!  Kois over here, imagine them over there. Or in any similarly airy, gracious room in need of a large company of fish ….

Here’s a link to “Celestial Koi” —

https://aletha-kuschan.pixels.com/featured/celestial-koi-aletha-kuschan.html

4 thoughts on “featured work: Celestial Koi

  1. Thank you, Margaret. As to how one frames a pastel so large — “very carefully” (as the old joke says). I’ll have to let you know. This particular image since it’s composed of two sheets will offer a real puzzle.

  2. As always, I am so impressed with your Koi paintings Aletha. I love that cerulean like blue and its contrast with the warm of the fish, and the way the composition spirals into a darker focal point in the foreground. Who would think that fish would know to swim in such an artistic way?

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