San Fancisco Koi

San Fran KoiThis was painted to celebrate Shannon’s and Edmond’s 40th birthdays (just a month apart) and also to enliven their incredible new condo which resides just a block from Giant’s Stadium in San Francisco, California. Unfortunately, their 40th birthdays were actually in 2006… so I was about 10 months late in getting this painting to them. Luckily, I had to opportunity to hand deliver it to them finally this past June.

Their condo is decked out in simple yet modern tones of red, blacks and greys, a beautiful pallet that brings a engaged vibrancy to artwork of any colour that adorns the walls, but especially red. So I really wanted to paint them something simple, but engaging enough to pop off their walls with colour and contrast.

The Koi Fish is such a poignant and rich symbol, I feel it is a must for every household! The symbol of the fish transcends all folklore, religion, culture and corners of the earth. It is an auspicious symbol, and a double fish represents both happiness, good luck, and a harmonious marriage. A perfect combination for Shannon and Edmond’s vibrant apartment and vibrant life together!

Challenging Brilliance

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone
Nowhere is the dreamer
Or the misfit so alone


This was donated to the silent auction for the Foothills Academy in Calgary on October 28, 2006 at the Calgary Convention Centre. Foothills Academy is a school that helps children with learning challenges succeed in a positive and nurturing environment designed to specifically address their learning strengths and weaknesses.

What better symbol to encapsulate the amazing work this school does, and the “Misunderstood Brilliance” of the children that attend it than the Koi Fish. The Japanese generally associate the Koi fish with determination and strength of purpose. According to Japanese folklore, if a Koi fish successfully accomplished the insurmountable feat of climbing the waterfalls at a place called Dragon Gate on the Yellow River, the fish would magically be transformed into a dragon. Based on that ancient wisdom, the Koi Fish became a legendary symbol for perseverance and adversity, ambition and achievement. Because of the Koi fish’s strength and fortitude to overcome obstacles, it stands for bravery and victory against physical, societal and emotional barriers that try to hold it back.

[Read more…]