The sky above, the sky below

Koi slide between currents of water, the water like glass discloses the sky to me.  But what do the koi see?  What do they think about the clouds above them, the depths of blue?  How do they feel breaking the surface and feeling the air, knowing in that brief moment a not-water world that lives above them?

I have been making small koi drawings.  If the large koi pictures are ponds, these would be koi puddles, I suppose.  Guppies, fish in the fish bowl.

And of the blue?  What does one say of that?  For large acres of sky, I trade in little patches.  Bits of sky.  Sky confetti.  What a delight blue is.

Oh, let’s throw a party!  A sky party to celebrate, yes indeed.  I’ll give you a puddle-worth.  And we’ll splash like children again.

The Water’s Surface

Spent another day painting koi.  One of the challenges of these paintings is what to do with largish areas of canvas that are just blue — as in the detail above of the painting-of-the-moment..  I have been thinking with the brush in hand, but I also make drawings in which I experiment with different shades of blue set side by side.  Or I try to figure out how to create some facsimile of the dimension of the water itself. 

It’s more “thinking about” than achieving “success” at this point, but it goes to show how any motif can take you deeper and deeper into the question of how we perceive our perceptions.

After painting, I stopped by the koi pond to see the guys.  They all say “hi.”  They’ll be very happy if I can make them famous. They think they’re worth it.

It was quite hot and muggy in Washington DC today (our typical mid-summer weather), but I had a quiet pool of blue water to stare at so I was vicariously cool as can be.  Still have a long ways to go with this painting, propped outside the studio door at my secret, fortified bunker studio in the heart of the Nation’s capital, many days to go during which I will sit beside my koi pond in thought.

The Painting, First Strokes

This is the first lay-in of colors.  This is what the bottom layer of paint looks like.  And what will go above it, oh that’s the fun part!  If this were an orchestra, everyone would be tuning up their instruments and playing a few of the more challenging riffs to get warmed up.  So, the fish still have my permission to swim a little to left or right.  Some might even get bumped right out of the picture!