“Aja di Awoha li”, three color reduction woodcut

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Aja di awoha li by Goyo P
Aja di awoha li, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

This is the first print of a series inspired by Native Americans. I am not aiming to simply create decorative designs in the style of Native American art. My goal is to create a series of pictographs and ideograms based on Native American ideologies. This particular ideogram is a representation of harmony.

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Blue-winged Olive Martini

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Ok, let’s get the technical mumbo jumbo out of the way first.  I tied these BWO spinners, dropped them in a glass of water and snapped their pic with my cell phone.  Why the cell phone?  Why not?  It has more mega-pickle than my Nikon SLR.   So there you have it…you know all my secrets..ha!  The truth is I have been slowly shedding gadgets and gizmos over the past few years.  I don’t carry my SLR everywhere I go like I used to.  I travel light.  I carry fewer flies.  I even quit drinking booze.  I know!  What kind of self respecting outdoors man doesn’t steal a sip of booze from their flask now and then?  Me I guess.  I loved to fish from the first time I held a rod in my hand as a young boy.  It was pure passion.  Somewhere along the line the liquor became more important than the fish.  The passion got diluted in a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red.  At some point I realized I stopped being a fisherman and was just a drunk with a rod in his hand.  It’s kinda like being the guy who cheats in golf.  You don’t think anyone knows…but everyone knows.  So anyway…pour me a nice cold BWO martini.  It’s purity for me from now on.  Wish me luck.  I still dream of scotch.

The Cranium Element

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The Cranium Element by Goyo P
The Cranium Element, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

Last year I participated in the Sandhill Crane and Art Festival near Marshal, MI. It was a last minute decision. They graciously accepted me and I had a great time. BUT…I did not have one piece of art that depicted a Sandhill Crane…..a lot of other birds but no Sandhills. So this year I made it a priority to have at least one block print depicting them. This reduction linocut will be for sale at this years event on October 13th and 14th. I hope to see you there.

For more information about the Sandhill Crane and Art Festival click here.

The Mighty Bean

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The Mighty Bean by Goyo P
The Mighty Bean, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

I really dont like labels. But if I had to classify myself as a fisherman, I would say I was a Pike fisherman. I enjoy Bass fishing. I enjoy trout fishing. But I love Pike fishing. In the winter I love catching Pike on a tip-up. I love bringing them in by hand…feeling the weight of the fish. At first I was fascinated by their appearance; forward facing eyes and razor sharp teeth. Later in life I began to appreciate their adaptability. They can survive where others cannot. Pike fishing is much different than trout fishing. For one the environment is different. The rivers and lakes in Lenawee County are too warm for trout. It’s a harsh environment to live. Rivers here are rarely used for recreation. They are a place to drain a field to maximize crop production. Many are inundated with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers. It’s a miracle anything survives in our rivers. But incredibly fish do survive..and E. Lucius is one of them. Secondly, Pike fishing requires hardware. The flies are BIG and meaty. Leave your 4 wt at home. You’ll need a powerful rod to cast big flies and land monster Pike.

Getting to small creeks like the Bean can sometimes be a challenge. There are no trails or walking paths, no TU signs pointing the way, no benches to rest or public accesses. Along the Bean there are waist high stinging nettles. I tried to stomp them down to protect my bare legs. I climbed over a fallen cottonwood to get to the river. I jumped in and flushed two Kingfishers. They scolded me as they flew upstream. I looked down and noticed muddlers and crawfish darting away. I pulled out my flybox and tied on a conehead muddler. The water felt cool on my legs in the 90 degree heat. Wading upstream was impossible…too many downed trees. So I worked my way downstream. The sandy bottom made it easy. I cast into every deep pool I could. I had a few Pike chase my fly but none would take it. Other pools were covered by fallen trees or overhanging vegetation. After an hour of snagging branches on my back casts I gave up. I waited at the bridge for my friends to return. Sherm caught one Pike. Stuart got skunked. I managed to land a decent sunfish while I waited for them.

Bean Creek runs through Hudson, MI in southwest Lenawee County. For more information about this beautiful watershed visit the Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition Website.

Blue Lake Raku and Reflection

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Blue Lake no. 3 Raku by Goyo P
Blue Lake no. 3 Raku, a photo by Goyo P on Flickr.

The sun was merciless. Students walked into my class like soldiers marching through the desert in search of some distant oasis. But instead of heading to the water cooler they picked up their tools and went to work….carving, printing, sweating, seeking, learning. For two weeks they came, they made art, they lit a creative fire and battled the heat. I taught them printmaking. They gave me happiness. Some people can live without art. I cannot. For two weeks I lived and breathed art 24/7 at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. There were no time clocks. Time was irrelevant. Passion was our fuel. As sweat dripped from our bodies we trudged on. As I reflect on the past two weeks I need some sort of symbol to remember Blue Lake. I need something to remind me of the best two weeks I’ve had in a long time. It had to be something that reminded me of the art, heat, kids, instructors and sitting on the Lake Michigan beach watching the stars and full moon. I found it in this raku pot. I’ve always wanted to learn how to throw pottery. My friends taught me. Thank you Ron, Kim, Jesse, Sandia and Chip. It’s my most prized possession.