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art for sale

Artwork stacked for display

How to Spruce Up Your Space!

By | Art

Choosing the right artwork for your home is an important task. After all, you spend most of your time in your living space – whether it’s a condo, apartment or house. You want décor that lets you express yourself and makes you feel at peace in body and soul. Sound deep? It doesn’t have to be! We have put together some tips for helping you choose the right art with no stress – it really just comes down to a few practical approaches to get started.

First and foremost, determine the amount of space you have. Get out the tape measure and take account of your wall space that you want to fill. Decide whether you would like one large accent piece – which can make a huge impact – or several smaller pieces to create a gallery wall. Most people opt for the latter and a gallery wall can definitely enhance your space by choosing a strong color palette. Take note of the furniture, wall coloring and other décor in your home and select art with styles and colors that compliment them.

piles of artwork

Speaking of color – that’s step two! Use color to make certain areas in your home “pop”, as they say. If you have a room with mostly earth tones, maybe use your artwork to add a splash of vibrant color like red or purple. In a room with several patterns and textures, you might want to choose a more subtle piece of art.

And, finally, the last step is just to have fun with it! Mix styles and colors together in wild abandon or stick to a genre and palette that you’re comfortable with. There is no right or wrong in art. And, remember, sometimes the art chooses you. If you feel drawn to a particular print, take a chance and buy it! You’ll figure the rest out later. There is always a place for a piece of art – you just have to find it.

Ready to spruce up those walls? Take a look at our nautical print gallery and let your creative imagination run wild! https://www.fishayetrading.com/wall-art/

John work on fish

Just what is Gyotaku Art, anyway?

By | Gyotaku

Gyotaku art began in Japan in the mid-1800s. It is a method of printmaking using fish and other sea animals as printing plates. Translated literally, gyo means “fish” and taku means “rubbing.”  It was originally used by Japanese fisherman to record their catches. Fisherman actually carried ink and supplies with them on boats, so as to make a record of their freshly caught fish. The fish was then washed and eaten – a tradition that has led to the gyotaku three step motto: Catch It. Ink It. Eat It.

It is still used for that purpose today. If you were to visit tackle shops in Japan, you would find gyotaku hanging on the walls; however, over the years, it has become its own art form.

There are actually three different approaches to gyotaku in the modern world. The first or “direct” method, chokusetsu-hō, is the closest to the original method using sumi ink. The fish is cleaned, prepped, supported, then inked. Following that, an image is created by pressing washi paper (made from rice) to the fish and rubbing or pressing. Because, these prints are more to serve a purpose, such as recording the fisherman’s catch or settling on a winner in a fishing competition, they are often left in black and white with no coloration except gray-scale around the eyes.

The second approach, or “indirect” approach is for the more artistic and is called kansetsu-hō. In this method, the washi paper – or sometimes silk or other fabric – is adhered to the fish using rice paste. The ink is then applied to the surface delicately with applicators of silk wrapped around cotton. This approach is preferred by some artists, but is much more time consuming, resulting in very delicate and detailed images. Color is usually added to these images.

Thirdly, the “transfer” method, or tensha-hō, is used to create images on harder surfaces such as wood, leather or stone. The fish is prepped and inked as in the direct method and then carefully lifted by pressing a piece of nylon to the it. The nylon with the image is then pressed to a harder surface, thus “transferring” the image.

In Western Culture, gyotaku could be compared to what we would call “nature prints” where leaves and flowers were coated on both sides with ink and pressed to paper to make prints. Today, the direct method of gyotaku is used on a variety of subjects throughout the world.  Artists now have moved beyond fish and use other animals and plants as subjects as well as implementing different types of colors and surfaces.

At Fishaye Trading Co., artist and owner John F. Doherty has his own method of gyotaku. “I use the following method to make the image look as natural as can be,” he says. “First, I mix up paint or ink and then apply it directly on the fish. Next, I simply cover the fish with fine paper or fabric and gently rub.” To check out John’s work, click here. https://www.fishayetrading.com/