I have been catching and eating blue crab for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I created my first blue crab Gyotaku. Shell fish are much more challenging because the paint is slippery on the shell. These two look like they are about to have it out. What was that little guy thinking?! Haha!
This paper is so beautiful! The name of the color is Shining Sea. It has all of the colors you would think a tropical island should have. Turquoise, blue, lime green, all Marbled together. The other thing I love about it is that the marbling shows through the paint giving it an abstract quality.
Marbled Momi Paper is from Thailand and is one of the most luxurious papers I use. Momi papers, or crinkled papers are made from the Kozo (paper Mulberry) bush. It has a uniquely textured surface and much more cloth-like "drape" than most other papers. Their texture makes them a unique choice for collage, and their strength and durability makes them particularly well suited for bookbinding and boxmaking.
What In the World is Gyotaku? Gyotkau (pronounced GEE-OH-TAH_KOO) literally translated means Fish Rubbing. Here is a basic description of how I do it. I paint directly on the fish (or other sea creature), and then carefully place the paper over him, gently rubbing the length of the fish. When the paper is lifted there is a mirror image of the fish imprinted onto the paper. After the rubbings dry I add the eyes, backgrounds, sign them using my "chop" (mine is my name in Japanese) and add my signature. I can usually get 4 to 16 rubbings from each fish (depending on the type of fish) and they truly are very different with each rubbing. Once dry, they are mounted on acid free backing OR rolled and kept in a tube. I use handmade papers, usually mulberry or rice paper, but I do like to experiment with other types. Each painting has the type of paper used in the description. I also try to keep my sizes standard to fit most frames, but the size of the fish can determine the size of the paper. Since the papers are shipped to me rolled in a tube or box, shipping a finished Gyotaku this way is perfectly safe. Your Gyotaku can be stored this way until you are ready to have it framed. I ship all of my Gyotaku rolled in shipping tubes.
Marbled Momi paper, Real Blue Crab, acrylic paints