Fishy Cento

Fishy Cento © 2002 by Suzann Thompson
20-1/2″ x 27″
Knitting, quilting, crochet, appliqué, embellishment, hand-spinning; many different fibers, acetate backing and binding, beach glass, beads, buttons

Fish are not good models. They move around too much. I eventually cobbled together a pretty good sketch of two of my daughter’s fish, and they appear in this piece. I couldn’t decide what sort of background to use in Fishy Cento. A black background seemed too dark and stark. People think of water being blue, but I didn’t like that idea either.

My friends Betty Spence and Helen Neale and I met for a coffee one day during my struggle with the background color. Helen had been to the National Gallery in London. She told about a painting of a horse, which had a golden background. No pastures or barns to distract from this horse-oh no-just the horse, surrounded by gold. Bingo! I had my background color. Thank you, Helen!

‘Cento’ is an interesting word. It can mean ‘a patchwork garment’ or ‘a collection of verse.’ I wrote some fishy verse to use on this wall hanging, but as the piece progressed, I could see that the poems wouldn’t fit into the picture. They’ll have to wait for Fishy Cento 2.