Jason Hawkins column: The Dream Fish Project

Jun. 03, 2014 @ 05:57 PM

Apparently, I don’t just think about fish, I dream about them, too.

It began about a year ago, during what I believe was a dream — I was fighting this pink fish and nothing seemed to work. Every time the fish was near the boat, it would casually swim away and return when I was nearly exhausted.

A few days later, the image of a pink Blue Marlin stayed with me, longer than anything pink needs to stay with me. I had some scrap wood and, as if my plate wasn’t full enough, I decided to make a fish like that in my dream.

After much trial and many splinters and an honest share of errors, the pink fish became a blue fish with yellow stripes and for a birthday present, my youngest son became the owner of Dream Fish No. 1.

In the weeks the followed, I gathered worn lumber, distressed lumber, discarded metal and tin roofing and I amassed a generous collection of paint colors. Subsequent gifts for co-workers and family members and friends became these weird fish that I patterned after something I seek and yet are finished and decorated by something flavored by a dream.

A few months later, I learned of an opportunity to take a bold, ginger, slow, apprehensive, perhaps, step forward and was given space at a local coffee shop in Hillsborough (Cup A Joe on King Street), to display my art.

Over the course of about six months, I collected pieces of wood and metal and somehow I carved an extra hour here or and a sleepless night or five and this week, that which I created from a dream, is on display.

I don’t know what defines art, and I’m certain there are experts that are much more gifted in recognizing art from a dream. Yet, when I pulled the last splinter from my thumb and looked over the pieces on the wall, I immediately thought about the influence the outdoors and fishing has on this dreamy soul. For I believe that each adventure in the outdoors is a fresh canvas or exists as a raw product, waiting to be shaped.

For this writer, human, angler, and dreamer, there is a level of self discovery found through fishing that is appropriately not best described in words. This discovery is a state of mind. This discovery is an emotion of bright and colorful.

This discovery, perhaps, is a pink fish on a wall because once, a pink fish swam into my dream.

If you are interested, the art show will be up through the end of June.

Enjoy your time outdoors.

Email Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com