Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Nature's Call"
Soft Pastel
26 x 17

Going through photos taken at Trapper's Creek of Kokanee going upstream to spawn, I was struck again by the patterns of color and shadow. The stream is crystal clear and the fish hang in relief over a pebbly bottom. That autumn day was magical at Odell Lake....the campground was closed for the season, but there were people quietly observing, not the fish, but the eagles in the trees waiting to pounce on the fish. For me, it was all about the fish. At first you don't realize that there are fish everywhere and then you see them. It's amazing and so pretty. And very quiet. These landlocked salmon don't die after spawning, but will return to the lake to repeat the cycle.
This is the kind of painting that paints itself. I just start and it flows. The deeper you look the more color and nuance you find. I would like to do this super large in acrylic. Oh, that would be fun.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

15 x 11 image
Soft Pastel

When I first started painting fish underwater I went and took photos of them at the High Desert Museum near my home. The shallow streams and a pond brought the fish into close view. Recently I rediscovered the delight of seeing the fish and being able to take photos of their movements and observe their behavior. The brook trout are beautifully colored and smaller than the rainbow trout. The colors of the rainbows and young steelhead are more muted but they look like velvet in the water. I love the way they seem suspended in the crystal clear water. The pebbles of the streambed are like little gems.