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Laurel Henn - Featured Artist Sep. & Oct. 2022

Fish Feelings

I originally planned on creating these fish as relief prints, with woodblocks or linocuts, similar to the tree series I wrapped up earlier this year. After brainstorming and sketching furiously I came up with so many fish ideas that I didn’t know which to do first. I often get this frozen panicky feeling sitting in my studio with too many directions I want to go, too many projects I want to tackle. It’s quite hard to move on from the frozen mode, it’s like an artist caught in headlights and you can’t look away let alone move.

So I forced myself to switch gears and embraced my fish idea using a different printmaking medium that I love but is not as popular as my relief prints. By using a monoprinting technique it would allow me to create my fish more speedily, and would satisfy my brain that was even still producing more fish ideas. It would also allow me to work in a sketchy loose style I love and don’t get to do that often. Also I could do several of a single idea, and change each one a little, or a lot. All in all it would allow me to play with each fish in a way relief printing would not.

So I stopped staring at the headlights and got right to work. When time and energy align it’s amazing what can be accomplished. What I’m sharing here are only a few of what I have so far. These fish are roughly a foot long printed in a monoprinting technique called trace printing, and then painted with artist grade watercolors. I have more fish in process on my studio bench, some are larger and each one with new ideas of where these fish might have gone, or what they might make us feel.


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