Sunday, February 07, 2010

A tangle of capelin

I'm moving ahead on another fish piece using masa paper and a batik-like technique again.  I like the texture it provides and it seems to enhance all things piscean.  Or perhaps its just a phase I'm going through.

This images is from a reference photo taken during the summer of some capelin caught on the beach in Middle Cove.  The little fish come to the shores around the province every summer to spawn and many people like to eat them.  I find them a bit strong tasting so keep a few for photographs freeze some for use in gyotaku prints later in the year.

Either way, they're one of my favourite fish for painting.  They have a wonderful irridescence with silver and turquoise and pink.

This piece is a half sheet of masa glued onto a half sheet of Bockingford 140lb watercolour paper.  I created the colours in the background hoping to reflect some of the colours found in the fish.  It seems to work so far.  I'm working on the form of the fish as they lay all jumbled together in a bucket and hope I can do them justice.  I'd say its about half done by now.

I've added a little detail to the mouths and gill covers with pen and ink and am playing with a little bit of silver leaf paint to add some highlights.  I don't want it to overpower the fish, but hope that it will be a subtle flash of light within the painting.  I am toying with trying some real gold and sterling silver leaf gilding in some of these fish paintings, but I know I can't access it here easily and am not sure if i can manipulate it enough to be subtle or not. 

Something else to experiment with...


Billie Crain said...

I'm really liking what you're doing with this Masa paper, Jeanette!

Gambo said...

Glad you've got your communication channels open again.
Love the effect of the tangled capelins. Reminds me of the fishmonger's marbled displays of old at Folkestone harbour.
BTW the term a 'murder of crows' evolves from the fact that a group of crows will gather to kill one of their own when they are dying!

vivien said...

I really like this one - I wouldn't do too much more to it, I like it's lost edges and abstract quality and subtlety of colours

sue said...

wow--these are looking beautiful, Jeanette!

RHCarpenter said...

Beautiful work so far and I like the closeups showing that sparkle :) The masa paper seems to lend itself to these little fishes. I wouldn't do much more, though, thinking it's almost done -much more than 1/2 way :)

Jeanette said...

Thanks Billie, I`m enjoying it too.

Yes, we forget how much we depend on electronic devices Gambo. The jumble of fish was interesting to tackle.

Good, but macabre, fact about crows too.

Vivien, I`m scared to go too far, but not far enough with this one. I`m tentatively feeling my way along here hoping to know when to stop.

Thank you Sue.

Rhonda, I really don`t want to overdo it and hope I can control those famous last words `just this little bit....`:)

Olivia said...

Magnificent representation of the shine of scales. I like very much this very inspired painting.