Two Fish in the Pool

Close-up image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Two Fish in the Pool."
Two Fish in the Pool | encaustic and pastel

Two Fish in the Pool

Sleep-time dreams have fascinated me since I was a child. Often, I wake up with an adventure of some kind to write down in my dream journal. But when I awoke on a late February morning, I had no memory of a dream. Instead, I learned that I had been talking in my sleep. Intrigued, I created Two Fish in the Pool. In my slumber, I had said these words: “I put two fish in the pool. In the POOL!”

Sleep talking

Why two fish? What kind of pool? Why did I put them there? Did it remind me of anything or any place where I’ve been before?

I remembered a former home where we built a small fish pond with a waterfall in the back yard. We filled the little pond with a few beautiful koi and also some feeder goldfish rescued from the bait and tackle shop. It was very relaxing to sit by the pond, watching the fish swim around and come to the surface when we dropped food pellets into the water and sometimes chase each other. It was also a fantastic “in the moment” meditation spot: listening to the sounds of the water, the birds chirping, and the road in the distance. Combined with sweet aromas of water lilies and other garden plant, I would sometimes gently tap on my drum. If conditions were right, at a certain point it all melded together, like being in a symphony with the surroundings. It was such a refreshing experience and warm memory.


I also went googling to see what text, images, or ideas would strike my fancy. Searching for “two fish” led to me Pisces, the zodiac sign for people born between February 18th – March 20th. Since this experience occurred during this period, I decided to continue exploring this idea in my art studio:

Close-up image of an encaustic and watercolor painting by Janet Fox titled "From the Sea."
From the Sea | encaustic and watercolor
  • The images of Pisces showed two fish swimming in opposite directions. But as I created some mock-up pieces, what I painted was less direction-ally defined. For although the two fish are going in opposite directions, they could just as easily turn and chase each other in a playful or frantic circle.
  • I’ve often dreamt of water, either being close to the shore, walking in the waves, or completely submerged and in a different underwater realm. This painting focused on the narrow space, just below the surface of the crystal clear water.
  • A few of my other water-themed encaustic or mixed paintings include: From the Sea (shown), which has a similar vibe, Submerged, Seaside Dancer, Rain Drip, and Cool Water.
  • I also have two acrylic paintings, one of the beautiful southern Oregon shore and one of the Franz Josef Glacier on New Zealand’s South Island.

About Two Fish in the Pool

I used my favorite turquoise and copper orange family of colors in this 12″ x 12″ encaustic painting on a cradled board. After carving the scales, fins, and other marks into the encaustic, I filled in with more color. The finishing touches were those sleep-spoken words and, for good measure, a Pisces symbol ♓.

 For information about viewing or purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox.









Transformation of a Scarlet Boa

Image of a mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Crossing Over 2."
Crossing Over 2 | mixed media (sold)

Dreamscape… I’m in my apartment. Someone tells me to be very careful moving around because a scarlet boa constrictor has somehow gotten in. I creep slowly in a circular fashion through the living room, dining room and kitchen. I see it, coiled up in a corner next to a big basket. I know I must catch and remove it. For if it bites me, I will be poisoned and get extremely sick or die.

What is a scarlet boa?

With vivid and colorful dreams like this one, I enjoy researching the symbols and actions to explore connections that cross over into waking life. For example and to my amazement, I discovered there actually is a boa that’s partly red. Originally from tropical areas, the “boa constrictor constrictor” is also known as the red-tailed boa. Here’s a beautiful Wired photo of one and some interesting red-tailed boa facts from animals.mom.me. Many people have them as pets, as they are nonpoisonous. They can grow to more than 10 feet long, 50 pounds in weight and 30 years old in captivity.

As the name suggests, boas kill their prey by squeezing it to death. They are carnivores and eat small rodents, amphibians, snakes, and birds. They don’t eat people and are nonpoisonous. So within this dreamscape, what I thought I knew was not entirely correct and was, unnecessarily perhaps, causing me to be cautious and afraid. Nevertheless, I’m not a snake person and didn’t want to live with one in my space. But how on Earth did a boa, and a scarlet one at that, get inside my living space? Was it living in the blackberry patch outside and got lost?

The boa’s transformation

While previously working with this dream image, I created a painting of a large, coiled red snake. I placed it safely behind bars inside a cage. Recently, I cut apart this painting, transforming it into the three artworks in this post.

The first piece, at the top of this post, symbolizes the bridge from dream time to waking time.

The second painting symbolically moved the boa back outside. I put this one in a sunny blackberry patch, where I’ve seen other snakes.

Image of a mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Sun Kissed Blackberries."
Sun Kissed Blackberries | mixed media (sold)

Since it is springtime with new growth appearing everywhere, I recreated the boa in the third piece. This new bloom appeared. The blossom’s color reflects a glimmer of its scarlet past.

Image of a mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Scarlet Bloom."
Scarlet Bloom | mixed media (sold)

How would you make something scary safe?

  For information about commissioning similar artwork or, contact Janet Fox.

Seaside Dancer

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Seaside Dancer."
Seaside Dancer | encaustic

Relaxing at the seaside

Like many people, I’ve taken a beautiful trip to a sunny and warm seaside. I walked on the beach, scoured the sand to find shells and other tidbits, watched the birds in search for food, and felt the warmth of the sun and rhythms of the waves. I walked in the shallow water with family and friends, touching the refreshing coolness on a warm afternoon. I played in the fine sand building castles and covering up feet. And I watched countless others also enjoying the same beach.

The sunny seaside can be so relaxing, rejuvenating and fun. But don’t take my word for it. This article about a new book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols offers scientific explanations why looking at, being around, in or under the water can make us feel better in many ways.

Are you a dancer by the sea?

Here’s a challenge… can you try to NOT get caught up in the movement of this upbeat beach dance video? Of course the seaside also has days of cold, howling winds, rain, ice and deadly storms. But it is so much fun to dance at the water’s edge on a beautiful day.

Like many of my other paintings, I found inspiration for this piece at the water’s edge. This encaustic painting, “Seaside Dancer” captures a somewhat reflective tone of a solo dancer with a flowing aqua-marine scarf blowing in the breeze. It is one of several artworks in a seaside-themed grouping.

What do you like to do at the seaside?

 Feel free to add your note about this post or view others’ thoughts by clicking “Leave a Comment / Comments,” below.

  For information about purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox.




Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Submersion," previously "Submerged."
Submersion | encaustic

An invitation to see below the surface

It’s summer time. The hot, sunny weather beckons us to the fountains, swimming pools and seaside beaches to submerge ourselves to keep cool. Sometimes while in the water, something submerged catches our curious eyes and beckons us under the surface to take a closer look and maybe to pick it up.

The view through open eyes while under the water is quite different than through the air. With the water’s substance and lower levels of light, things can look quite fuzzy and solid objects can seem to ripple. Distances can seem harder to estimate and it may take a few tries when reaching out to pick up something.

If you poke around my site, you’ll see that many of my paintings have themes near or in the water. There are many ideas and articles about the significance of water in dreams. Psychotherapist and author Jeffrey Sumber, M.A., M.T.S., L.C.P.C.’s blog is a good place to start.

What is it, there, under the surface, that is obscured from above and calling me to descend to explore? Can you see what is submerged in my painting above, captured and just beyond a clear view?

Submerged people and things

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Submerged."
Submerged | encaustic
  • Some explorers, like Fabien Cousteau and the Mission 31 team, push the envelope with record-setting submersion.
  • Did you know? The Olympic torch not only traveled to the International Space Station, it was submerged-and stayed lit-in the world’s deepest lake in Russia ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

What do you find when you look through and under the surface?

For information about purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox. This painting, previously known as “Submerged,” was refined in June 2016.

Rain Drip (encaustic mixed media)

Image of an encaustic mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Rain Drip."
Rain Drip | encaustic mixed media

What Does the Journey of a Drip of Water Look Like?


We are water.
Mysterious beginning, starting small.
Raindrops, running into a stream.
Flowing, over rocks, through valleys; either muddy or clear.
Into rivers, now rushing, roaring.
Supporting life, destroying life.
Carrying what’s sometimes meant to be left behind.
To an ocean, calm and restless.
To who knows where?

As a contemplative teen back when, I penned this poem while sitting near the edge of a small waterfall near my home. I’ve thought back to these metaphoric words many times since then, especially when a rain drip startles me by hitting me in the eye or when I hear the sound of a dripping faucet.

Water is an estimated 53 to 75 percent of an average human adult’s body weight; it is essential to live. When I get very thirsty, the sensation provokes anxiety and an urgency to drop everything and find something to drink, now. But drinking too much water too quickly can kill by so-called water intoxication.

So like many things in life, finding a balance between the extremes is important. Do I drink enough, but not too much, water?

As a society, how do we value water? Do we take it for granted? Do we conserve it or waste it? Do we pollute it? Do we protect it? How do my actions contribute to those of the whole?

My encaustic mixed media art, “Rain Drip,” is a contemplation on just one droplet or drip of water as captured during its free fall on its way to puddles below.

Here are some others’ ideas about water; enjoy!

How do you relate to water? What does water mean to you?

  For information about purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox.


Water and a Cool Wave (mixed media)

Image of an encaustic mixed media painting by Janet Fox titled "Cool Wave."
Cool Wave | mixed media

Splash in the Cool Waves; Visit the Peaceful Water Spirits

Once upon a dream, a girl-woman strolled next to a stream. Or maybe it was a river, lake or ocean. The water was calm now, although sometimes it was not.

When calm, she clearly saw the fishes and plants below the surface; other times, all was a mucky blur. She liked walking in the shallow water, floating, swimming and splashing in the cool waves. There was much to explore on the shoreline while gently uncovering rocks and shells, too.

Mostly she went to these places alone, but one time her father spirit came to meet her. He invited her to go to the depths with him to visit the beautiful, peaceful blue flame spirits residing in the underwater realm.

She then returned to the surface, alone but with the kind of knowing that can’t be unknown.


Probably like you, I have had many dreams of being around, in or under the water. Especially when a dream is vivid or intense, it captures my attention. These are the dreams I most enjoy exploring in more depth, primarily through my art; an example is “Cool Wave.”

There are many ideas and articles about the significance of water in dreams. Psychotherapist and author Jeffrey Sumber, M.A., M.T.S., L.C.P.C.’s blog is a good place to start.

In addition to the symbolism of water, it is a significant part of what we are made of. It amounts to an estimated 53 to 75 percent of an average human adult’s body weight.

Like different water bodies, life’s challenges and transitions can be calm or not… or somewhere in-between. Sometimes in life, paths are clear. But other times, the path is unknown with no directional signs and requiring a leap of faith to go down a chosen path. Often paths have many intersections, side streets, diversions, detours, forks. Some paths are beautiful with roses to stop and smell. Others not so much. Most are unfamiliar yet ordinary.

In the dreamscape above, the father spirit appeared as a kind, strong and protective guardian accompanying the girl-woman into an unknown realm. Had she gone alone, she may not have found the spirits gathered there nor understood what they were. This dream experience was quite peaceful, both then and now.

If you have had dreams of water, what did they feel like?

 For information about purchasing this art, contact Janet Fox.