A long time Alaskan artist is heading in a new direction. Romney Dodd opened her new business, Romney Designs Studio on G street this summer and it is quickly filling with colorful fish. 

Dodd is a fourth generation Alaskan, well known for her distinctive plaid and floral patterns on ceramics, as well as handpainted Dansko clogs which were sold at places like Skinny Raven and Nordstrom. But recently, the ever-changing artist took a fishy turn.

Dodd said she had an opportunity to purchase 130 fish from a taxidermist who was going out of business. She saw an opportunity.

Dodd said, "I always use the term 'leap of faith' because who buys 130 dead fish?"

But it wasn't long before she was taking the old fish mounts and turning them into art.

Dodd paints the fish in bold colors and designs. They are definitely attention-grabbers. The finished pieces are sold for hundreds, even thousands of dollars to people who commission her work.

Dodd said painting on real fish can be a delicate operation. She puts a primer on before she starts and tries to let the texture of the scales come through. Sometimes she adds jewels and other adornments to make them shine.

She said the personality of the fish emerges as the design progresses and no two are ever the same. Adding, she's glad she decided to go for this new phase in her career as a local artist.

"It felt like such a good idea. It's been so much fun and it's been such a creative venture," said Dodd.

Dodd's G Street studio is open by appointment only. She said she plans to open to the public for First Friday events, possibly in November.

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