Friday, September 25, 2009

sacred fish

sometimes i paint.

(click on the image to enlarge it)

i painted this in 1993.

it is a combination of water colour, pencil, and acrylic paint.

i gave the fish
the colour of my eyes
because i felt as i painted that
it was like a self-portrait.
"self" in the use of the word that i prefer
which doesn't refer to my body
but rather to what it is
that i carry within my body
and through my bodies'
and personalities'
experiencing.

i love the way the scales are carved into little sections -
all different in shape and colour -
much like the manner
in which we gather together bits and pieces of experiences
from an infinite number of sources,
cull
and reassemble them all
into something that is symmetrical
or synchronous
or resonant
with our perception of ourselves........

and call it our "self".

when i think about placing myself back in the marketplace,
returning to creating and selling art,
glass is moving from the back of my mind.

i've heard it's voice for almost ten years now.

i have to wait - but really,
it's a colourful translucent voice.

soon i'll post work from a few years after this piece.

39 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a beautiful fish! I like your explanation of the scales...

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

ah...the myth of the Golden Fish...

I was interested in your description of the accumulation of life experiences into some form that resembles and is consistent with our perception of ourselves...

Do you think we draw those events that we think fit the mould or do you think the experiences shape the mould?

Happy days

Titus said...

Very beautiful steven, and yet the rainbow fish seems dolorous. Is it just because he's on the plate?

Dave King said...

It looked good small, but enlarged it's brilliant! How have you managed not to post it until now? if I had painted it I would have wanted it on show by next day.

The poem is intriguing, it really drew me in.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I was surprised to see your very creative fish. It goes without saying that it is a complex painting that took more than dribbling paint on canvas. Or throwing it at a wall as in Pollack. I think it is akin to my lacquer ware fish and at first i was sure it was in stained glass. So the fish you created made my mind wander all over the place. I really do like it.


Having been there for years, in the art market, creating art for exhibits and shows, I can tell you, but think you already know it, that there is nothing certain about that trip and I used to find myself trying to imagine money. Money I needed for this or that. Sometimes a show provided the money and sometimes it didn't.

There is nothing like a regular paycheck. Even those for 185 days spread over 365. At least it was that way for me as a teacher and artist.

jinksy said...

Oh for the days when tribes treated their artists as people to be held in high esteem, ones to be cossetted by the community and allowed to create for the good of all. Creativity would have been shown to have true worth in its own right, I think, in this scenario. Artists can have a hard time dealing with mere day to day essentials when the creative urge strikes! Or are artists brushed with sloth?!

Studio Sylvia said...

I arrived via Alaine's blog. What a lovely painting, Steven. The symbolism is thought provoking.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

A beautiful piece of artwork steven.

Jenn Jilks said...

How on earth do you find time for these things?

It is lovely.

ellen abbott said...

I like this a lot steven. It is very well done and I can see it in glass. If you want to email me I will direct you to different people's work in glass that you would like and also show you different techniques. My email is listed in my profile.

Friko said...

I love that fish with your eyes, the eyes of your 'self'.

Joanna said...

That is a very interesting painting Steven. I like the scales so much and your words about the gathering together of experiences really resonated with me. Self--the sum of all we experience and choose. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Liza said...

Sometimes you paint?
Steven, this a marvelous work. I love how the combination of techniques also plays into
the scales, and your words,
"much like the manner
in which we gather together bits and pieces of experiences"
Art that is All emcompassing.
That is what you have created with this post.
PS..I would like to request that this image also be available on
t-shirts.

Meri said...

It has a sacred feel to it, the mosaic-like fish superimposed on a mandala shape. The words ring true. I'll be waiting for more art to follow.

Dervish said...

I think that's really beautiful. It's so much more peaceful than the painting of yours I have in my kitchen (painted 1981)...

steven said...

hi juliet, thanks. the same painting is being enlarged - sixteen years later - and painted in acrylic on canvas! i'm really excited to be working again!!! steven

steven said...

hi delwyn- i think that we attract experiences we need, and i think the experiences we needs shape to some degree our experiencing of what we want, wish, and then later on need. resonance and synchronicity are features of us recognizing the presence of what we need. have a lovely morning by the river. steven

steven said...

hello titus, i see what you ask. i'm not sure. at the time i was two years into teaching, at the beginning of a marriage. happy. but this painting was to be a depiction of my inner self. i don't know that i ahve an answer! steven

steven said...

hi dave, thanks for that generous comment! this is an old work - sixteen years ago. but i always liked it because of what it represented to me at the time i made it. have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hi abe - i love the idea of painting or creating without any connection to money. retirement - which means - a third career to me and not a lot of naps and books - is a handful of years in the future and so i want to use that time to use my art for a few purposes that don't include a reliance on it to generate cash!!! we'll see eh abe!! steven

steven said...

jinksy - for much of my adult life i've known artists of all ilks - poets, playwrights, artists, musicians, actors, clowns, you name it - and all of them have literally suffered for their art. there's something salutory in the effect that has on their perception fo themselves in relation to the whole of society but there is also something damaging in it that ends or curtails their careers. i would love to see what you're suggesting return and become an understanding, but the arts as a whole are undervalued in terms of their value to society because they are reduced to economic value. end of speech!!! steven

steven said...

hello sylvia - i'm so glad to meet you!!! thanks for your lovely compliment. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

thankyou bonnie.

steven said...

hello jenn - well it was a long time ago and somehow pre- children, pre big demands of teaching and sixteen years ago when i was younger and had more energy flow....... well you know don't you?!!!! not to worry - i am seeing the future becoming present and my artwork gets to return in that time. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

friko - they really are my eyes. i know them when i see them in that fish. i don't know how i did it - it's watercolour. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi joanna - thanks very much for your encouragement. i am grateful. the next paintings are quite different to this as they are from several years later. i'm going to drop by your place and seee how the journey's going. steven

steven said...

oh liza thanks for this. it's an old work but i love it for a couple of reasons. i painted my eyes into it, and it was a gift to my father who placed it so he could see it before he went to bed at night in his old house. was almost tongue-in-cheek about dropping this image onto clothing but perhaps i'd better get myself an esty shop and sell a "golden fish" line of clothing!!! so i'll tell you what: i am working with a man who does silk-screening at then moment and i'll see what's possible in the way of taking this watercolour and transferring the image of it onto other materials. if it works you get the first one. steven

steven said...

hello meri - well there's more coming. the next piece is a work that took a year to complete. not a year's worth of work but it took me a year to find the time to do the work involved!!! thanks for visiting. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

well dervish you see that one is a painting of the world confronting one person and the one person attempting to deal with it. that's an agsty painting you've got. but i loved seeing it in the pics you sent!!!!!

love, dad

Alaine said...

Oh, wow, that is exquisite, Steven. One day you will lift a brush again; I know what you mean about waiting. I would really love to see more of your work.

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

you lost me there...

Happy days

hope said...

Another green eyed soul! We are far and few between in my parts of the world.

Funny, when I saw the scales I immediately thought,"Wow, like pieces of a puzzle. Just like life!"

I can't wait to see the next one here in your own, personal gallery.

Have a wonderful weekend!

steven said...

hello alaine - thanks for your exuberance!!!! thanks also for your encouragement! have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hello delwyn, sorry 'bout that. i sometimes think inside my head as i write and what comes out makes sense to me but to no one else. i'm not sure i can unpack it any more than i did but i'm answering the question you asked in your first comment today. i think that we attract the experiences our souls need. that's the work of the soul on this plane. to deal with the opportunity that those experiences represent to us. i hope that makes my response a little clearer. if not - well you're a clever insightful person and almost certainly already know much of what i know!!!!!! have a lovely day delwyn and thanks for popping back for a look! steven

steven said...

hello hope - yes green eyes - from a brown-eyed dad and a blue-eyed mum!!!! i love my green eyes. i feel really really lucky. they are kind and good eyes. i wanted the fish to have them also. i see them myself but you know you see what you want to see!!! have a lovely day hope. steven

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

now I understand you better,I see the two levels working - the unconscious and the conscious, what we are aware of as happening or evaluate and make sense of in reflection and what may be happening at levels beyond our cognizance...
and the two meeting somewhere in the middle...

Happy days

steven said...

hello delwyn - yes!!! it's my bedtime now!!!! have a lovely day! steven

Goldenrod said...

The painting is so like you, Steven ... a cosmos of what you are all about. Intricately-woven, complex, brilliantly-colored, and all brought together in an orderly whole. :)

steven said...

oh hello goldenrod, thanks for that very generous comment on this little painting. i'll be sharing another one shortly. very different and then again, i think there;s a connection. but we'll see!!! have a peaceful afternoon down in texas. steven