Warrior Trout

Artist Statement

In 2014 I started doing work specifically about protecting water, there were so many actions being taken then to safeguard water. To be fair, my most successful pieces have nearly always been frogs and fishes and turtles, but that year it became clear to me that the threat to water was greater than I’d feared. This focus on water is generational. When I settled in to work with my dad on some poems nearly all of the stories he told me were about the waterways through and around Picher, Oklahoma. He learned to swim in Tar Creek. For those who don’t know, Picher is now condemned because of the pollution there. My mom was born in San Francisco, a town that is surrounded by a bay and the Pacific. Growing up there you learn to read the color of the bay, can tell some things about the weather based on what you see. So my concern for water, my attention to it, my interest in it, is definitely a theme. I was thinking about how brave, how focused fish are when they go upstream, what a great image that is for water protection. This fish came from a poem and I was really happy with the way the beading turned out. When I posted a picture of it one friend wrote in private, “That’s not a very big fish”. Laughing… as a beaded piece it was pretty big. I’m a bit nuts with the colors, not unlike Nature really. Bead sellers I work through are all used to me asking them to NOT give me hanks from the same lot if possible, so that I can have many close colors that don’t quite match. This piece is probably the most goofy in terms of the number of different colors. Fortunately since I mostly work in 15/0 beads the number of possible colors is not as dazzling as with 11/0s just because they don’t make as many. I like the push and pull of light, which makes water creatures into compelling subjects. I think that this fish looks mighty, a good ally to have. A particularly good ally as we return to our home waters for this conference.