1. Where do you get your fish?
The fish are caught locally off Maui's shores by my spear-fishing husband, neighbors, and friends. Fish are always acquired using sustainable fishing practices, obeying size and catch limits.
2. What happens to the fish when I'm done?
I use non-toxic (soy-based) inks that are simply washed off, so that the fish may be enjoyed in a meal afterwards. I prefer to make my prints
immediately after the fish is caught, while it's still firm and plump. Although sometimes, if the timing is inconvenient, they will be frozen for printing later.
3. How many rubbings can I get from one fish?
Because the fish is usually the main course for our next meal, I work quickly to prevent the fish from getting warm. I can typically make about 4 to 6 rubbings off of a single fish printing session.
4. Ocean Stewardship
Working to restore healthy reefs and abundant native fish populations is a top priority of mine. Every month, a portion of my proceeds are donated to community based, non-profit organizations that are dedicated to marine conservation. I support/donate to the following organizations and encourage others to learn more about ocean conservation:
5. My cards and prints are printed in my Kihei studio on archival, acid-free paper. They are suitable for framing.
The Japanese Art of Fish Rubbing, Gyotaku
I became captivated by gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish rubbing, at an exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History many years ago. A traditional form of printing in Japan since the mid-19th century, gyotaku was originally used by Japanese fishermen to record their catches. I was immediately taken with the simple beauty and refined details of the art form, but it wasn�t until I moved to Maui in 2008 that I began using my training in printmaking to create my own fish rubbings. Though firmly rooted in history, gyotaku crosses cultures and boundaries and delightfully combines my interests in science, nature, history, and art.
The subjects of my new passion are caught by my spearfishing husband and his friends off Maui �s shores. To me, a successful gyotaku inspires the viewer to reverently contemplate marine life and our connection to it. I use nontoxic inks and every fish in my paintings is enjoyed in a meal afterward. I am guided by the traditional Japanese methods, but I have adapted them to my own style, and I continue to experiment with new processes, beginning with the first application of ink on the fish. Though I strive to capture the essence of my subject, I love exploring unconventional color combinations as I ink the fish and rub the paper or fabric, �feeling� the impression into existence.
An original gyotaku features irregularities in the paper or cloth, which add character and individuality to the work, and the result is a strikingly accurate physical record that is also playful, allowing the opportunity for expression and happy surprises.