Artist: Deep Hawaii Art
Title: "Florence" The Valentine's Octopus Gyotaku
Medium: Original gyotaku - acrylic and Prismacolors on rice paper
Size: 36" x 29" (paper size); Octopus length 16.75"
Lāna`i artist Kristin Belew painstakingly painted this life-size Gyotaku of an Octopus with acrylics and Prismacolors. For this piece, Kristin formed a heart with the tentacles to commemorate Valentine's day.
Gyotaku is a traditional Japanese style of fish printing where each original piece of art is taken right from the fish. Kristin applies acrylic paint to the actual octopus then presses rice paper onto the specimen to receive the paint. She then adds in details!
Fun facts from Kristin:
"In Hawaii, Octopus are referred to by their Japanese name which is Tako. The Hawaiian word for octopus is He’e and the species most commonly harvested is the Day octopus, however this print was made from a “Night Octopus” or “Ornate Octopus” (Calistoctopus ornatus.) Night octopus are active at night and are rare to find and even more rare to catch. This species has distinguishing rows of white dots down its head and tentacles. It is also a much more aggressive animal than its day time counterpart and is known to bite when handled and can even deliver small amounts of venom. Although octopus is a very popular and sustainable food source (listed as “a good alternative” under Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program) for many people living in Hawaii, it is one I choose not to harvest for myself. I absolutely love these creatures and cannot bring myself to kill one, but I am not opposed to others doing so for sustenance purposes. Thus, this tako was “borrowed” to create this print. We created this print with the tentacles forming a heart to commemorate Valentine’s day. Florence is named after Florence Nightingale, an amazing nurse who served soldiers in the mid 1800’s who was also known as “lady of the lamp” for her diligence to continue caring for her patients into the night. Some quick cool facts on octopus: They can change their color, texture and pattern in 3/10 of a second and they can open childproof pill bottles. Octopus can have as many as 240 suckers on each tentacle!"