Strange Gliding Things

The “Strange Gliding Things” show by Troy Kehm-Goins / Troy’s Work Table is up at Puyallup Valley Dental Care for April, May, and June 2019. It consists of various members of the Inktopodes, from the small to the four newest members of The Grand Armada, and a recent series of Christian mystics.

All are created in watercolor ink, India ink, iridescent calligraphy ink, and gouache on watercolor paper; and all mixed media pieces created in a combination of painting and pen-and-ink techniques.

Here is the artist statement for the show:

Troy Kehm-Goins is a poet and artist residing in Puyallup, Washington. In his work, he seeks to discover the holy within the everyday and ordinary. His pieces of art are a mixture of watercolor painting and pen-and-ink drawing, with inspiration derived from Chinese calligraphic paintings, late nineteenth century street maps, literary and speculative fiction, the Fauvists, rock posters of the 1960s and 1970s, and, of course, octopuses.

The Inktopodes (pronounced ink-TOP-uh-deez) grew out of a set of poems written to wrestle with his mother’s seventeen-year-long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. Originally rather small in size, these paintings have grown larger over time as he explores the colors and patterns that are prevalent on the skin of octopuses and other cephalopods. Watercolor ink, India ink, iridescent calligraphy ink, and gouache (opaque watercolor) give birth to what Herman Melville called Strange Gliding Things.

And, of course, some inspirational quotes that inform the show:

“Every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it.”

—“The Mast-Head,” chapter 35, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville


“Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.”

—“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman


“[W]e glide adown the present, awake, yet dreaming, but the future or ours together—there the birds sing loudest, and the sun shines always there!”

—Letter to her brother Austin, A572 by Emily Dickinson

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