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Japanese-style painting classes offered at Navajo State Park

By Joe Lewandowski
Special to The SUN

Novice and experienced artists of all ages are invited to learn about the unique art form of Japanese fish painting known as Gyotaku (guh-yo-tah-koo) at Navajo State Park, 9 a.m. on Monday, May 26.

Gyotaku was developed more than a century ago as a fisherman’s method of recording the size and species of his catch. Freshly caught fish were painted with a non-toxic ink and covered with a piece of rice paper. The paper was then carefully smoothed down and then removed to make an exact size copy of the fish. Once the print was completed, the fish could be washed and prepared for a meal. By using this technique, Japanese fishermen were able to both record and eat their catch.

The session includes learning how to use artist’s ink and professional rice paper with real fish and with fish reproductions, including fossil fish. No preregistration is needed.

Participants will gather at the Rosa Campground Visitors Service Building/showers patio. Children and adults of all ages are welcome to attend.

Class in the art form will also be offered on June 6, June 21 and July 4.

The program is free, but every vehicle entering the park must have a pass. The daily entry fee is $7, and an annual pass costs $70.

This story was posted on May 22, 2014.