Koi Paintings

I have some really large sheets of heavy, glossy paper that feels like cover stock or really heavy photo paper that a friend gave me but we don’t know what it’s made of. It handles paint in interesting and unexpected ways. Regular watercolors float on it and, unless they’re a staining variety, can be wiped away–almost completely erased–which is very un-watercolorlike. (A spray or two with fixative makes watercolor permanent.)

Dr. Martin’s radiant watercolors stain and are permanent from first brush.

Acrylics float if thinned out but eventually stick tight.

The paper is so tough that I can scrub away at it, finding wonderful effects without tearing the paper. It’s the perfect stuff for water and fish, so slippery and unexpected and fun.

I tried a large painting on this paper–25 x 30–but ended up not liking the composition, so I found and developed several smaller paintings, using that as a base. I call them One Koi, Two Koi, and Three Koi.

Click on a picture to enlarge it.

Dirty Pretty Things: DVD Review

The scene is London, the characters almost all immigrants from Third World countries, some of them illegal, all of them trying to survive and avoid the dreaded immigration officials, cast as the bad guys.

I rented Dirty Pretty Things because it boasted the star of Emilie, my favorite movie of all time–even beating out Bagdad Cafe–Audrey Tautou. She was very good in this one as a young woman who dreams of going to New York but is being carefully watched by the bad immigration guys, who are hoping to catch her breaking the rules (like working, or harboring an illegal, both of which she is surreptiously doing). But even better is the main character, a Nigerian doctor reduced to clerking in a hotel, driving a taxi, rarely sleeping. He ties all the characters together and is essential to what gradually becomes the obvious central plot line: a market in human organs, traded by illegal immigrants for new identities, passports, and legal status.

I loved the European pacing of this movie which was nevertheless in English, the good-heartedness of it, and the deeply satisfying ending.


Each of the six FISH THERAPY cards, which measure 5 x 7, carries its own special message of courage on the back (the inside is blank) for anyone going through a difficult time. Even the package cover can be used as a post card. The package of six cards and envelopes retails for $15 (wholesale orders are welcome), or pick your favorite image and order 6 or more of those (6 for $15).

Lake Cards, based on paintings of Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan, are also available in three different 4-card packs, $10.00 each.

Summer has begun with a bang–tornado warnings, hail, and thunderstorms–and I’m working up a sweat just working at the keyboard, but it’s welcome here in Michigan, where until last week the weather was unrelentingly chilly.