Saturday, July 17, 2010

Salt cod

Herring study 1

As and when I get fish, I'm printing them.  One of the challenges of this project is actually getting my hands on whole fish here.  Its a lot more difficult that I imagined it would be.   There is lots of fish in stores but its usually filleted with occasional whole fish found.  So I'm venturing further afield into the commercial fishery world and hope that I'll have more luck there even if it means some lengthy trips to get them.

The recreational food fishery begins on July 24 which means for a few weeks people can fish for ground fish but are limited in numbers caught daily and all ground fish are counted as part of the catch.  In 1992, the federal government put a moratorium on the northern cod industry in the province, throwing 30,000 fishermen out of work and making it impossible for people to catch a fish for food.

Today, a local lobster fisherman brought a classic Newfoundland staple - salt cod.  These are cod that were caught in the previous season, salted and dried and are a cultural icon of the province.  Salting and drying cod was the only method of preserving it many years ago and today the tradition remains in some smaller communities.  Its also a throwback to the Portugese connection too, where bacalao is a staple food.  The Portugese have had a strong fishing relationship with Newfoundland for hundreds of years.

I will keep a couple for eating and the other, now soaking in water to rehydrate, will turn into a print.


Anonymous said...

That fish skin is gleaming. What a wonderful job Jeanette. This post reminds me of the fish store we had in Sausalito, CA where I would go down the hill, and with the show of my hands how big of pieces I wanted cut for dinner. Usually Salmon. I have to say, I have limited fish taste.

Billie Crain said...

That first image is a print? Wow! What medium/mediums did you use other than ink?

Jeanette said...

Salmon is one of my favourites too Robin. I find some fish too strong tasting for my liking.

No, this one isn't a print Billie, its oils done in Artweaver, as a prelude to a larger oil painting. I like testing colours and shapes first before I get into the main piece.

Anonymous said...

Our blog names are similar but our styles are completely different.
I think your work is wonderful.
X David, NYC

Jeanette said...

Thank you David.

Olivia said...

Wonderful fish Jeanette !!! One again?

Caroline Bray Art said...

This Herring study is stunning! You've managed to amke it's skin shimmer and glow on the painting, I'm really impressed. I'm delighted to have found your blog and I'm very much looking forward to following your progress.