This is the first painting of a set of four works, of which I have shown the preparatory sketches in the previous post. Working at them I am conscious of the poverty of the area and the plight of those brave souls, the sustenance fishermen, who face the sea day by day.
My model shows two of the four crayfish he is allowed to catch for his daily quota during the crayfish season. It will be safer for the men to catch the monthly allowance in one single day, and not face the sea so often, but unfortunately such a system will be difficult to control. (Crayfish can become very scarce and must be protected.)
Crayfish holes are marked by experienced fishermen, who will put on diving suits and retrieve their quota. Older people and non-swimmers can catch theirs by netting from the quay that conveniently projects into the sea like it does at Yzerfontein. Everybody keeps a measure handy as undersized specimens must be returned to the sea immediately.
We usually buy crayfish in Velddrif when they are in season and available, so I decided to use the harbour at Velddrif as a background for the painting. Read more about crayfish on the West Coast in my post: Crayfish Coast.