Thursday, August 18, 2005
Louise Fishman is a landscape artist of the interior world.
At home in Manhattan, she paints large-scale abstract pieces that capture in line and color the energy of living on an island with 1.5 million people.
Closed off in her studio, it can take her weeks to focus that energy onto the canvas.
But this week, as she worked with a team of printmakers at Riverhouse Editions in Clark, the calendar dropped days like leaves in the fall, and her usual contemplative state was turned into something of a reactionary one.
Her work became a simple process of input and output.
When she stood back after two weeks over the printing press, she was surprised to see the Elk River running through most of her work.
All day, the sound of the Elk River outside came through the windows of the Riverhouse printing studio. When she stepped outside for a break, she would sit on the porch and watch the river roll by.
Blue, a color that hadn't dominated her work for a while, filled many of her prints.
"The work I made here is about this place -- the light, the sky, the effects of the altitude, the trees and the river," Fishman said.
Although the subconscious driven "Elk River Series" is beautiful, the most profound work she made was the conscious pieces she made using some old cardboard printing plates made years ago by her mother. She titled the series, "Mom and me."
Fishman's 89-year-old mother is also an artist. She lives in a retirement community in Florida, and even though her eyesight is deteriorating, she continues to paint and grow as an artist.
Fishman found the plates in a pile of other things while visiting her mother, and she asked to take them.
"I see this as a collaboration," she said. "As I work with these plates, it's impossible not to think about her. She's an inspiration to me."