The Edmonds Salmon Run is a project by ArtistsConnect, a group of artists in the Edmonds, WA area who meet monthly and hold two "Art Splash" shows a year. The Salmon Run is twenty clay salmon decorated by ArtistsConnect members and displayed in downtown Edmonds shops June 14 to July 22.Well it sounded like fun so I signed up!
OK - what to do with a clay fish? Glue stuff on? Paint it? What design? Feels like art school - here's the assignment - now be creative! Expand!
The deadline was approaching........ I had the school art show to organize, classes to teach....... what was I going to do with my fish?
By now it was Earth Day. I was thinking of the salmon in the area and how their habitat has been impacted so much by human activity. How the salmon only have one place to live - one home. Then my over-loaded brain clicked - salmon - Salmon Run - Earth - migration - home. And I saw my fish on a journey as salmon tend to do - but this fish was on an expanded journey. I suppose it is a metaphor for human exploration, but, this journey takes my little fishie into the vast ocean of the cosmos where it dines on all the knowledge it can hold. Then it feels a primal longing and sets its sight on the only place in the universe that is its home - Earth - fragile, precious Earth.
So now the work begins..... Here I am planning my fish.
First I coated the clay fish with gesso which is what painters prime their canvases and boards with.
Then I used acrylic paints for the design. I normally work in pastel when painting so I did not have a lot of acrylic paints in the studio which means I got to go out and buy paint -eh, eh, eh. Have you ever gone to the art store with and artist? I really had fun discovering the metallic and pearlescent paints available!
When the fish was complete I painted the base and stand and then used and acrylic clear-coat to protect the fish and base and give it a nice glazed appearance.
June 13th was the day of the choosing.... The day when the participating merchants picked their fish. "Cosmic Coho" was chosen by Patti Green of Coldwell Banker Bain and is on display in their office at 108 5th Ave S, Edmonds, WA