Friday, December 13, 2013

December 2013 Exhibitions

Last weekend was the kick off for the Vashon Island Artist Studio tour and although my studio is not in the tour line-up this year I have work in several venues on Vashon and garden sculpture in the Small Works show at Roby King Galleries on Bainbridge Island.  All these openings were on the same night Friday December 6.  The work will show through the month.

In the photo above I stand before some of my Monotype and sculptural work at The Heron's Nest, during the Vashon First Friday Artwalk. Sculpture and watercolor artist, Darsey Beck and I were the featured artists this month at the Heron's Nest on Vashon.

Below is a shot taken at the opening of the Vashon Allied Arts Gallery's "Masters in Miniture" show.   My Monotype work (the three descending at center) along with print collage work by fellow artists and friends Janice Mallman (below) and Edith Sehulster (at right) were part of this 40+ artist invitational show.

Below, I am standing before my oil on canvas painting "Byzantium"(at right) and another Monotype by Edith Sehulster at Bergamot Studio's "Scarlet and Turquoise" December show In Burton, Vashon Island.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Masters in Miniature, Small but Mighty

"Kentro (center)" Monotype with Gold Leaf, (1/1), 6 x6 x 1.5 in. on panel

Above and below are two of the Monotype images I will be exhibiting in the Masters in Miniature show at the Vashon Allied Arts Gallery, December 6-23.  The opening is December 6, 6-9pm.

I have been exploring "Journey" and "Center" as subject for the past couple years and these small works were compositional studies for much larger Rust Prints and future oil on canvas paintings.

"Transit of Venus" Monotype Print with Gold Leaf (1/1), 6x6 x1.5 in. on Panel

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Empty Bowls, Brian Fisher, Liz Lewis Collaboration

Last night the Vashon Island Community Meal Program, sponsored by Vashon Social Services Network held the Vashon 'Empty Bowls' fundraiser.  Vashon Island artist Liz Lewis coordinated the making and painting of each handcrafted bowl for the event. In exchange for a cash donation guests kept a bowl as a reminder of all the bowls empty of food around the world.  Above and below is one of the many bowls Liz Lewis made and that I had so much fun painting.  As a creative experience I felt inspired by the project and the challenge of painting on a three dimensional surface!

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Man at Center", work in progress

I have continued to explore rust as a medium this summer and early fall.  My "Man at Center" Rust Monotype, 30" x 30" in., mounted to wood panel, was made with an open Corten steel plate and acetate stencil.  Below is am image of the plate after the print was pulled.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Studios, Cloth Paper Scissors

‘Studios’ magazine featured four Vashon artists and their studios in its Summer  edition.

My studio was chosen as the cover.  The following is how I describe my present creative space.

I am a Print, Paint and Assemblage artist.  The images I make have their origin in story. The story may be personally relevant but often falls within the realm of myth.  The interpretation of myth and visual exploration of story is informed by and evolves in my approach to Monotype print.
I think of Monotype as a lively conversation of knife with paper, ink with plate, and paper and plate with press.  The exploration of these simple materials, mediums and tools provide an exciting way to discover imagery that I may subsequently interpret in the more traditional medium of oil on canvas or include as critical components of my assemblage work.

In addition to my press work I am currently exploring another Monotype process utilizing mild steel plates that are composed, cut and rusted to muslin. The cut steel provides a designed and predictable matrix while the process of rust and transference by absorption of rust into the muslin is always a surprise and unique visual mystery.

My Vashon Island studio and the garden workspace that surrounds it support my exploration of Print, Paint and Assemblage by being well organized and flexible.  Custom built furnishings have allowed me to maximize creativity in a somewhat constrained space.
Inside the studio, my press, large and small work surfaces and print drying rack, are all on wheels and positioned as dictated by work or exhibition events.   Because this space serves occasionally as a retail space my artwork is always on display and changed as events and space dictate. 

On the surface of the central table (nicknamed The Barge), I mix ink, cut mats, frame, carve and construct my assemblage work.  In its drawers and on its shelves are stored many of the tools necessary for my work.  When I’m printing this surface is covered with glass that I remove to perform other tasks.

I have constructed additional vertical and horizontal shelves around large flat files.  This storage unit is 4’ deep, 8’ long, 4’ high and provides another horizontal work and display surface with a bookcase above it filled with favorite books for easy reference.  The flat files are invaluable for holding paper and finished prints while the vertical shelves hold the various plexiglass plates and glass I use when printing as well as full sheets of matt board and foam core for framing and panels used for painting.

More storage space behind two draped alcoves keep things at hand but out of sight.  I have found that a zinc lined and air tight antique oak refrigerator, also in one of the alcoves, is great for safely storing thinners and flammables.

Outside, when weather permits, two 4’ by 8’ tables provide satellite work surfaces.  Most of my rust print process I do here to take advantage of open air and sunlight.   The tables make an excellent outdoor classroom in the summer months when positioned beneath the cedar trees.

My studio is 15’ x 13’ with an 11’ ceiling .  Although I hope to build a larger studio someday I could not ask for a more pleasant and light filled space than my present Vashon Island studio.

You say El Faiyum, I say Fayum.

'Saqqara, Oil on Panel, Gold Leaf, 48x36 in.
In the Greco Roman Egyptian region known as Fayum or el Faiyum, the Egyptian cult of the dead inspired unique portraits that were bound to the mummified body.  As such they became by definition objects of worship.  Each was an intimate and symbolic part of the mummy with which it was found. 

The portraits were regarded not just as representations but as the immortal surrogates of the dead.  Men were identified with the god Osiris and women with the god Isis.

The mummies were considered to be essential for life after death according to Egyptian rituals and the portraits were sourced in style by the naturalistic traditions of Greece.

The Faiyum portraits are thought to have been painted from ‘sittings’ done during the youth of the subject and kept in the subject’s home until death, when the were placed on and bound into the mummy as the face or soul of of the deceased.

The image (above) is my contemporary interpretation of a shroud, originally painted in tempera on linen and found at Saqqara, a settlement of the Faiyum region.  The original shroud depicts an almost life-size man in the prime of life who at death is being taken under the benevolent protection of the jackal god Anubis.  To the left is Osiris, god of life eternal or the resurrecting deity, represented as a mummy.

My painting and the inspiration for my interpretation (below) are alive with mysterious insect-like, stick or ant-like people.  They may be depictions of the damned or represent souls that act as conductors to the beyond.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Faiyum is an Egyptian city and region located about 80 miles southwest of of Cairo.  Faiyum Governorate, the modern capital, is also the ancient site of Shedyt or Crocodilopolis.  Founded around 4000 BC,  it is the oldest known city in Egypt and one of the oldest settlements  in Africa.

During the Ptolemaic dynasty, (305 BC to 30 BC), and after, the Faiyum region was a major producer of grain and cotton for the Roman world.  Today Faiyum is particularly know for the remarkable tomb portraiture created during it’s Greco Roman period of affluence in antiquity.

The Faiyum portraits or Fayum portraits, were created as encaustic on panel or sometimes tempera on linen.  They were bound into bands of cloth that wrapped the mummified wealthy for burial.  About a thousand of these portraits have been discovered.  Each is a remarkably realistic portrait, sometimes double portrait, of people that lived 2000 years ago.  Buried with their “subject” the portraits  were never meant to be seen again.

A couple years ago a friend and patron asked if I would make for her my own interpretation of the Faiyum portraits.  I was immediately intrigued.  I ended up panting four portraits, a double portrait and one large interpretation of a shroud painting. 

Above and below are my take on Faiyum.  It was a whole lot of fun painting these.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vashon Garden Tour

My sculpture 'Haiku' with yucca and a stunning white rose.
The Vashon Garden Tour is this weekend.  I was honored to have my Threshold Guardian stakes and sculpture in the garden of Ron Gawith and Linda Weiss.  Their contemporary home and the garden that surrounds it are absolutely stunning.

Behind me is 'Hyperion' in stainless steel, hung from Gabion cage.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Island to Island Exhibit

June 13th-August 4th

Anne Belov, Sandy Byers, Debra Calkins
Brian Fisher, Melinda Hannigan,
Lorraine Healy. Ingrid Lahti
Mark Lucero. Mary Dyer Rothermel
Kim Tinuviel

THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 5:00-7:00 PM

2430 76th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Please RSVP at (206) 230-0150

"The Caledonion Boar," above, (14 x 14 in.) is one of several Monoprints I will be exhibiting in the Island to Island show.  June Sekiguchi and Kelly Lyles curated this exhibition for Aljoya. It will showcase work from Washington State "Island" artists, (Whidbey, Vashon, Mercer, etc).

Monday, June 3, 2013

An Architectural Art Commission

Earlier this year I completed an interesting commission for a good friend and patron.
The final print images were to be digitally reproduced and used as skins for pantry doors in his kitchen.  We discussed imagery and finally decided that two Monotypes describing four phases of his life would be fun and personally relevant.
Above are the door skins in place.  Below are the initial drawings and  the final Monotypes that were reproduced as door skins. 

Friday, May 3, 2013


It's a blue sky day!   Great weather for a drive and some island hopping.  That's what I am about to do because tonight is my opening at Roby King Galleries on Bainbridge Island.   Here is a link to the images I will be exhibiting.  Brian Fisher at Roby King Galleries

I am very excited to be showing my Rust Monoprints and several new wall sculptures.  The sculptures are a bit of a twist to what I have been doing with steel,(rusting.)  Two of the sculptures are made from stainless and one of those combines stainless with carved and painted wood.

It has been my intention to combine carved wood with cut steel and since the beginning of the year, sculpture, Elaine Hanowell has been teaching me to carve in wood.  She is a wonderful artist and teacher and I am grateful for her instruction. 

"Okeanos," is the Titan who personified the world ocean encircling the "known world" in Greek Myth.  My wall sculpture "Okeanos," at right, is 47.5 x 24 x 4.25 in.  He's made from stainless steel and carved and painted wood.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


May 3 to June 1,  2013, Roby King Galleries of Bainbridge Island will exhibit the Paintings of Martha Brouwer and Rust Monoprints by Brian Fisher.

Gull Descending, 18x11 in.
I am honored to exhibit with Martha Brouwer and thank Andrea and Wes, the owners of Roby King Galleries, for the opportunity to exhibit my new rust work.

Martha describes her work:  "My design skills and my interest in patterns and textures are reflected in my approach. I enjoy layering different media to accomplish depth of tone and meaning."  When thinking of her subject she says: "My paintings celebrate the interconnected of all life -  the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, humans. These connections imply a responsibility for caring for each other and sharing the planet.”

Sowing the Dragon's Teeth, 14x14 ln.
I also embrace the importance of caring connection to the world around us and revere the human past that defines us.  Much of my imagery is inspired by those layered stories that have defined our culture.

When asked about my interest in myth I often reply that it was Western Myth that gave my bedtime its ritual and its closure.  My mother and my father in particular, liked history.  H.G. Well's "Outline of History" and Homer's "Iliad and the Odyssey" were my bedtime stories.   So, myth is personal and the world beyond my bedroom door first made sense, was made familiar, through myth.

The world we live in is by any definition multicultural, but the United States embodies, embraces and is founded upon western ideals and it's stories.  It is not just our idea of Government and Democracy I refer to, but also our culture's stories, entertainment and products that are reverberations of Greek and Roman myth.

From the heavenly skies above, (Venus, Neptune, Mars, Uranus, the Pleiades, etc...), Greek and Roman myth reigns.  The vehicles we drive, (Comet, Mercury, and Saturn etc...), the products we wear and use, (Ajax, Trojan, Nike, etc...), and the company names that we all recognize, ( Amazon, Oracle, Delphi, Odyssey, Orion, etc...), all, each, conjure those old, old "stories we tell ourselves."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The HepCat Club

The Vashon Allied Arts retail gallery, the Heron's Nest, is reopening after an extensive remodel April 5th and on Vashon's First Friday Art Walk.  Earlier today I dropped off art and art cards. Here are some of my HepCat Club boxed  card sets they will be selling.

The images were inspired by jazz and bebop musicians like Oscar Pettiford, Herbie Mann, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Lester Young, and Joe "King" Oliver.

I grew up listening to King Oliver.  My Grandpa Ed had a great Victrola in his billiard room.  While we grand kids abused his pool table we would listen to records like Wille, the Weeper.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


This year I have been printing about, painting, carving and thinking about "center" as concept and source for imagery.  This is not a new subject for me to explore but a recognition that all of the stories I am drawn to, make art about, have at core the search for center. 

Within mythic story, center is generally a tribally circumscribed place, a point of connection between sky and earth where cardinal directions meet.  Whether that center be Delphi or Delos, the Temple Mount or the Black Hills, it is the same symbolic center.  It might be called Omphalos or Axis Mundi, Bindu or Bethyle  but details and superficial observations aside it functions as the still point from which all objective reality is a manifestation.

Spiritually it is the point we search from and for which we search.

My image “Center” is a mixed media bas-relief, 13 x 10 in.

Friday, January 4, 2013

White on White

I just returned from a nice First Friday night out on Vashon.  Bergamot Studio's themed show is White on White this month and I was delighted to have three mixed media collages included in the exhibit.  Above and at center are "The Challenge," "Threshold Guardians" and "Center." Each represents an aspect of the Hero's Journey.