One Fish Two Fish, Green Fish, Blue Fish…or something


I tried, I really tried.

paint table

I attended the reunion of my husband’s family from the Nordic side of the tracks. This happens every three years according to family lore. This year it was held a mere half hour from our farm. This meant that after the calves were fed and the herb garden was given a fine haircut, we were able to hop in our chalopy and make out for the gathering. I wish to make it clear that this is no random gathering of souls. It was thoroughly planned with historical exhibits, a raffle drawing for family artifacts, musical entertainment, a reflective speech, and various outdoor activities. Oh, and food. Lots of food. Good food.  No wonder it occurs every three years. This takes fine-tuned planning to pull off something of this scale.

Being that my husband’s family is from Norway, there is the looming possibility that Lutefisk may be on the menu. I was a little worried about that. I can eat sushi, but I finally gave up on trying to be friends with the Lutefisk. I can’t do it. But I enjoy and respect those that can. And if you like it, you really like it. And if you don’t like it, here’s what you do instead:

Paint a Lutefisk:

Lutefisk Head

One of Pete’s relatives had the brilliant idea to cut fish shapes out of wood, and have a table where kids can just go crazy and paint a Lutefisk fish fisk…fish. You get the idea. Paint it, don’t eat it. Yes!! I quickly gravitated to that table, slapped on an apron and was determined to get crazy with the Lutefisk. Only to find that I was outdone by the Lutefisk children who know better how to get crazy with the fishies:

Lutefisk dreams

How do you do that Children of the Lutefisk??! How do you manage to integrate color, design and imagination in such a glorious way without preconceived notions! You are free to create according to your own desires. I found that I was held hostage by my own adult constraints:

one fish two fish

I’m not unhappy or displeased with my results, but I do recognize that I wasn’t letting myself loose. I did One fish, saw how controlled I felt, and went back to do Two fish, and still felt controlled. Argh. Really!!? I still can’t throw off my adult inhibitions and get Lutefisk-crazy like this Child-of-the-Fish did?:

Red Lutefisk

It’s good to realize when one needs to pull back, cut the tight rubber band and go boing!! There was a time, and there are still times when I do a drawing that comes spontaneously, and it just works. This was one good Lutefisk exercise to bring that concept of spontaneity back home. I have to keep remembering that, I have to once in a while go boing. And not worry about constraints. Just go with it. Why did it seem so easy when I was younger? I suppose as an adult I’m constantly making to-do lists and checking items off accordingly. Unfortunately it’s affecting my approach to art. I need to walk away from the lists, and walk towards the crazy Lutefisk. And just get all, Go Fish Go.

fish heads

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