A Fish Out of Water

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My friend Doug Erion is always trying new things--it may be one of my favorite things about him: his sense of adventure. For the past several years he's been on a print-making tangent, with incredible results. He's traveled all over the country and taken workshops from some of the finest printmakers around. 

I recently met up with Doug in Loveland where we wandered through the Governor's Invitational Show. Honestly, I thought most of the work was rather uninspired, that is until we headed to the basement gallery where Doug's four monotypes were hanging. I'm not surprised they stuck his work downstairs--it's so very unlike anything else in the show--but truly, what a shame it's not front and center!

Erion Scalene Chinook



This particular piece is called Scalene Chinook. Doug has been riffing off the geometrical patterning of salmon scales, which look a lot like a disection of a tree when you blow them up huge. From the scales, he moved toward the more linear pattering of a fish, taking it to its most basic idea, in Doug's mind, anyway, of a scalene rectangle. 

Of this monoprint, Doug wrote: "I think I am getting satisfaction from these simple shapes, as well as from the nature of the reductive process of print making. Without getting all 'arty' on you, I enjoy beginning with an object that I know well and work at reducing the shapes to simple form. In the end, I think the thsi is comminication at a deeper level...oops, started to slip into the visual art BS syndrome. There is something to it though."

This paricular monoprint (hand-pulled print using inks on plexi-glass and run through the press just once) was made on a lovely Japanese rice paper. Beautiful but very difficult to work with. I'm amazed how clean the lines are considering how porus the paper is. It is wonderful to stand in front of but even more fun to walk past in an arch--the image moves, almost seems to take flight. Doug continues to work in this series, each with an ever increasing sense of motion, some to the point to giving the viewer a sense of vertigo.

So, if you find yourself in Loveland, stop by the Governor's Show, but maybe head straight downstairs to see these wonderful monotypes first. http://www.governorsartshow.org/