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Georgia's Backyard

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Georgia's Backyard


Friends -

'Georgia's Back Yard' may seem to be an odd name for a gourd that is decorated with fish, but only if you do not know Georgia!

Let me explain. Bob and I recently went to Key West for his High School Reunion, and were honored to spend the week at the home of one of his former high school buddies. You drive up to John and Georgia's house in your car, and you can exit the back yard on a raft, kayak, or simply by swimming. Georgia's house is like many homes in the Keys that are built with sea walls in the back. You can stand in the back yard on the edge of the wall and look down into the quiet water and observe a fish's world every day. Many of the fish will see you at the same time and come over for a snack (obviously they learned this somehow!). All of them, except the angel fish, that is. Angel fish come over, but only to observe you! They never eat. The simply gaze at you with their big round eyes and move their mouths as if they have something to say. They probably are analyzing our genus and species and recording our behavior!

Anyway, the fish on this gourd are not based in too much biological reality. I borrowed features from groupers, rays, dolphins and grunts to decorate this round and sturdy gourd. I also used a different approach for me. I relied a lot on oil pastels for the colors, but then I used my burner to heat the oils, shove them around, and effectively 'paint' with the burner. As a result, it does not look much like oil pastel at all, and some of the colors came out somewhat iridescent with the heat - which is great for fish in that it helps replicate their lovely sheen! It was a new approach to me and I don't know if it has been done before and I am sure I will do it again.

'Georgia's Back Yard' will be one of my donations to the Quilt and Fine Art Auction that a friend of mine is organizing for next October 3. It is a wonderful event that benefits the Marshall Cancer Resource Center Fund at Marshall Foundation for Community Health. Which, by the way, if you are interested in donating to the event, or want to attend, call 530-622-1121, or ...