Gyotaku & You

Michael Reimer: That Fish Print Guy

So I'm at work on a Saturday, waiting to do my part of a system upgrade, when I type 'Fish Print' into Google. I was looking to buy fish art for my office. I ran across a web site for Gyotaku and take an immediate interest in the subject. I spend the next few months researching everything I can about gyotaku, practicing in my mind how I'm going to make my own fish prints. I even bought a few through the internet.

It finally gets warm enough the following March to catch a few bluegill in a local pond. Armed with red acrylic paint, news print and my then 8 year old daughter as my assistant, we make some prints which look like fish shaped blobs of ink. Not discouraged, I practice and practice until I feel comfortable enough to use rice paper, rather than news print and block printing ink, rather than acrylic paint.

Fast forward several months to the point where I liked them enough to start framing them and hanging them in my office. Friends of my wife ask if they can buy some as gifts for their husbands and I think hmm......

The following fall, I signed up for my first art show. Since then, I've joined the Nature Printing Society, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and the Greater Norristown Art League.  I served as the vice-president of the Nature Printing Society for 2013 and 2014 and have taught beginner fish printing at two of their annual workshops.

In February of 2008, I became a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. Juried status in the PGC is an honor awarded to work deemed to show excellence in craftsmanship, resolved design and unique voice or style. I am honored to be a juried member.

All of my art work is hanging up in my office between shows. The only prints that I mat and/or frame are ones that I'd keep as my own if I never sold another. Since I catch the fish (or in some cases, was with a friend who caught a fish), I have a connection to each print. I do most of my fishing in Montgomery County, Chester County and Berks County PA.

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Michael Reimer