Saturday, September 7, 2019

INTRODUCING: Rachel Reeves' "Gyotaku" Series Paintings

Argyle Fine Art is excited to introduce the work of artist Rachel Reeve! 

Rachel has participated in past Pre-Shrunk exhibitions, but this is the first time the Gallery is exhibiting her larger format paintings.  We currently have 10 new works, fresh from the artists' studio!    

Based in the Annapolis Valley, Rachel is an interdisciplinary artist and educator.  Her work often includes printmaking, painting, and other mixed media techniques.  Rachel draws her inspiration from nature, and often explores the relationships humans have with their environment.

“I am attracted to the respect and affection for nature that exists in Japan...I strive toward innovation and resourcefulness in my practice, being receptive to the new. Whether it consists of ideas or methods, an open mindset is a key ingredient in the creative process...I think this way of working echoes the diversity in nature.” Rachel Reeve, from the Artist Statement.

Rachel Reeve, The Big Catch (Diptych), gyotaku, mixed media on canvas, 11" x 28"

A major component of Rachel's work is the use of a Japanese printmaking technique called "Gyotaku". Gyotaku originated in the mid 1800s as a means of recording and commemorating a fisherman's catch.

The process involves applying a water-based ink directly to the fish, and placing a thin sheet of Japanese paper over it.  By rubbing the surface of the paper gently, the impression (or print) of the fish can be lifted from its flesh. 

The fish print is then mounted onto canvas where it is collaged with other textured papers, and painted to create the finished work.

Because the ink is non-toxic, the fish can be properly cleaned, prepared and eaten.  

Rachel Reeve, Pickerel Invasion, gyotaku, mixed media on canvas, 30" x 40"

Rachel's work is inspired by nature and often explores themes of environmental sustainability.  The artist is also interested in the relationships humans have with the food they eat, where it comes from, and its environmental impact;

 "Each Gyotaku is a reflection on our human connection with nature. They are a reminder that we share the planet with all living species and that as humans we have a responsibility in recognizing the value of the natural world... It is my intention that these works honour that life and its habitat." Rachel Reeve, from the artist's statement.

Rachel Reeve, "Gaspereau Stripped Bass" gyotaku, mixed media on canvas, 36" x 48"

Argyle Fine Art is currently showing Rachel's work, and encourages anyone who hasn't been in, to drop by the gallery and see it in person.  You'll be glad you did!

Additional artworks from Rachel's Gyotaku series may also be viewed online HERE.

Artwork by Rachel Reeve are available for purchase through Argyle Fine Art.  For details and inquiries contact us at (902) 425-9456, or via email at