A Labor of Love
The "Tough" Part...
Securing the Trophy
You have to have a fish to make a fresh fish print! Make sure to contact us if you're looking for something specific. Going on a fishing trip while you're on island? Make sure to bring your fish in and we will make it into your own personal print!
(But Funner) Part
We start by prepping the fish. We prep the fins and scales to make sure everything looks as real as possible. Next we put the makeup on the fish. Using paints, we cover the fish delicately and slowly to be sure we don't miss anything. Next we add on the smaller details so you see every texture.
The Final Touch
The last, but most important part is laying the paper. We carefully lay paper over the fish while the paint is still wet. Then we peel the paper off slowly insuring it picks up all the small details. The final touch is the eye. The eye is hand painted to give it an extra sparkle to every piece.
For obvious reasons, we do not stockpile one-of-a-kind artwork. When a piece swims out the door, consider it extinct. We do, however, have an extensive selection of fish prints to choose from in our collection. Pete burns the midnight oil regularly to produce a continuous fresh supply of these beautiful but time-consuming works of art. Feel free to explore our Gallery, where we fondly recall the pieces that have already moved on to become cherished keepsakes.
But take heart -- all is not lost!
Thanks to Pete's tireless labors of love and his profound dedication to the art of Gyotaku, you can expect to find unique and precious new treasures here on a weekly basis. Please browse our In Stock page for current offerings -- before they, too get away. But if you see something that grabs you, contact me and I'll create the perfect print just for you!
Fine art begins with superlative canvas, and fish printmaking is no exception. Pete scours the globe in search of the world's finest papers to immortalize each stunning masterpiece. Exquisite specimens hailing from exotic locales such as Thailand, Nepal, and China complement his beautiful creations perfectly. All our premium, hand-selected materials feature acid-free, archival quality papers such as Japanese Soji and handmade USA choices, as well as beautiful selections from Thailand, Nepal and China.
One fine medium that Pete employs is rice paper, renowned for its superior performance and perhaps centuries of timeless beauty. Handmade by skilled Vietnamese craftsmen and constructed of ultra-strong natural Nepalese rice paper plant fibers, this lightweight material is as durable as its soft, natural color is lovely.
Long prized for the creation of fine paintings, prints and calligraphy, this rice paper is the choice of the world's foremost
Pete's Fresh Fish Prints & All of his Awards
Mako Day & Bluefin Blast
This big 235lb guy is the star of my all-time (so far) largest gyotaku print.
As beautiful as it was impressive, the trophy Mako Shark was caught by John Howard in August of 2013.
I was able to print this beauty with the help of some volunteers. Thanks to all involved in the day's event!
This shark was Pete's largest print subject to date, and he appreciated a little help getting the first print image.
After you've dressed for the evening (go casual and leave the heels at home), head out for some pre-dinner window-shopping, a drink and a snack. From your hotel, turn east on India Street, take a right on Center Street, a left on to Main street and continue down until you hit the water. When you do, take a right and then a left onto Old South Wharf, a narrow footpath paved in crushed clam shells. Stop at Pete's Fresh Fish Prints (17 Old South Wharf, petesfreshfishprints.net), where you'll find artist Peter VanDingstee's "flat taxidermy": paper imprints of just-caught paint-dipped fish. Finish your stroll at Slip 14 (14 Old South Wharf, slip14.com), a relaxed indoor-outdoor restaurant with a nautical vibe. Sit at the bar and order smoked bluefish pate (an island specialty -- just try it) and a spicy Tito's Bloody Mary.