trout romantic: artist's statement

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i moved to findlay street in the early spring of 2005, one block from john hendry park,

locally known as trout lake, which i affectionately call “my trout”. more a pond than a

lake, more man-made than landscape; it is there i began a journey, away from the

studio, reflecting on the water reflecting the willows.

populated by dogs, baby carriages, joggers, walkers, lovers, beach and bench sitters - i

sought something other - something quieter, more meditative. falling in love with

nooks and trees, despairing over all the green, staring endlessly into the pond, each

attempt a battle of being faithful to what is there (the realist in me) and pursuing a

more primordial vision of nature (the romantic in me).

i swear off the park repeatedly, returning to still lives (the touchstone of a painter said

Manet) like a long lost friend. taking a painters comfort and delight in the act of

looking, smelling, touching the tabletop world of vegetable, fruit or flower.

but still i feel the call of “my trout”, not to say the wild, because it seems whatever

wildness or nature is to be had cannot be had at the hot dog stand but must come by

way of deletion, omission, excision, oversight, not sight. a necessary blindness, as it

always is, in love, longing and desire.

the pull continues, the project not complete; a gradual unfolding, as urban reality

collides with romantic vision.

penny eisenberg 2007