I grew up in the East Bay, and currently live in Pinole, CA. I have always enjoyed being out in nature, and since childhood, have enjoyed drawing animals and plants. I earned a B. S. and M. A. degree in Biology from Cal State Hayward (now East Bay).
I have especially been fascinated by natural patterns and textures, which are important in the identification of different species. The technical aspects of taxonomy soon turned into an aesthetic appreciation of natural forms and textures, which I captured with macro-photography.
In 2008, I attended a week long workshop offered by the Nature Printing Society, where I met kindred spirits in pursuit making prints of natural objects (plants, fish, insects) on paper, fabric, and clay.
I was immediately attracted to gyotaku, or Japanese fish (gyo) printing (taku), which captures the details of scale, texture and essence of fish. I have since taken fish printing lessons at NPS workshops in Oregon, Colorado, and North Carolina, with master printers Chris Dewees, Heather Fortner, and Ken Dara. In 2012 and 2013 I visited Japan to study indirect printing under master printer Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto. In 2015, I was honored to receive the status of Master Printer from sensei Yamamoto.
There are two methods of gyotaku, direct and indirect. In the direct method, ink is applied directly to the fish, and paper or fabric is applied to the fish, which is rubbed to create a mirror image. I specialize in the indirect method, where paper or fabric is pasted to a fish, and layered colors applied to the fabric, starting with lighter and then then darker colors. The inks catch the texture of the spines and scales of the fish, and the fish more or less draws itself. It is the job of the artist to manage the colors of the print. The inks never touch the fish.
Fish make ideal subjects for printing. Most are bi-laterally flattened, they have a variety of scale textures, and diversity of colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. I get most of my subjects from local fish markets, or donations from my fisherman friends.