MADISONVILLE, La. — Leslie Charleville is an artist who brings a centuries-old art form called Gyotaku to the bayou. It's one that she'll demonstrate at the Grand Isle pavilion at this weekend's Swollfest Fishing Rodeo.
"Gyotaku literally translates in Japanese to 'fish rubbing," she explained. "It was a means of documentation back in the 17th century. It was the way fishermen documented the size and species of their catch. So I print anything from shrimp all the way up to blue marlin, bluefin tuna and literally everything in between. I do a lot of alligators."
I found that the first thing I need to do is get the fish nice and dry, get some of that slime off. Now what?
"You take a little paint and you will start painting the fish. You'll paint even with the fins in nice even layers on the fish. And you'll always move the brush in the direction of the scales. Now just go ahead and keep brushing it on. You can even go over the eyes cause you can take the paint off the eye afterward. You can kind of dab it to remove the brush strokes and the paint from the eye," Leslie explained.
If you're interested, give it a shot. Gyotaku - it's a lot easier to do than it is to say!