Surprised? Even though I certainly have some artworks that are somewhat political in nature, when I vend at markets, this is the art print that I get the most questions and comments about. I love it! Having grown up in a family of salmon fishermen and women, I shouldn't have been surprised that there are very specific opinions about one particular feature in this piece.
If you're completely confused, let me explain. On the right hand side of this art print, I've arranged the five Pacific Northwest salmon in order of aesthetics--meaning how I thought the shapes and colors of each fish would look best compositionally and in relation to each other. This is how I organize everything, whether it's the natural species in my artworks or the books in my bookshelf at home (which I'm sure is equally objectionable to my librarian sister.) For most of my natural identification art prints, this style is taken as is.
I often get questions about why I arranged the salmon in this piece in the order they are. After I explain, I usually ask how the customer would have arranged them. The thing I love about hearing the answer to this is that it's always for a very passionate reason, AND the order is always different.
Sometimes, the salmon should have been arranged in order of size, from smallest to largest, and sometimes from largest to smallest. Other times, they should have been arranged in order of what's the most challenging to catch when fishing. Sometimes the salmon should have been arranged in the order of the "hand method" of memorizing the five types, which is probably my favorite reason. Do you know this mnemonic device?
Hold up your hand:
Thumb = Chum
Pointer finger = Sockeye (because it could sock your eye out)
Middle finger = King/Chinook (because it's the tallest)
Ring finger = Silver/Coho (like a silver ring)
Pinkie = Pink
So, how would you arrange the salmon in this art print? By size? By fishing challenge? By mnemonic device? Or how I do it, by artistic eye? Whatever way you like best, I'm happy with this print the way it is. I like how it looks, and I like how it sparks fun conversations with folks who fish.
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