Sunday, June 13, 2010

Folks and Fish # 1

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.


  1. Love this one Marie! Interesting info on the Fishermen's lives... Your blog looks lovely, beautifully organised and everything easy to see and find - great!

  2. It's funny .... crayfish here are much smaller... Those look like rather small lobsters. We have Pacific and Atlantic lobsters which are very different. Those look more like our Pacific lobsters.
    It's going to be an interesting series!

  3. I love the expression on the man's face, the detail on the boat, the different blues in the painting - BUT my favorite are the clouds and your sky! In the US we have an artist famous for painting light - Thomas Kinkade, I think you are SA's painter of the skies! : )

  4. I guess the crayfish are somewhat of a treasure, and with the ship in the back, it looks a bit like a treasure was found.

  5. I especially love the sky and ship in this piece, Marie. Something about the fisherman looking down conveys the hardship and the preciousness of his catch. So well done and a piece that tells a story. It doesn't get much better than this.

  6. Thank you, Maree. I hope people can find the older posts easily, so I appreciate that remark!

    Thank you Marian,yes we have the big ones here!

    Helen, it is strange that you should mention it,but I grow more and more fond of painting the sky. This painting was planned without clouds. But then I looked out and there they were, just asking to be painted.

    Karen, thank you, I received both your comments and deleted the surplus one. I just love this new idea of yours to see the dark ship as a treasure ship!

    Thank you, Sherry. His face shows hardship and humbleness and I suppose gratitude for the catch. Thank you for reading into the painting all my intentions!

  7. Hello Mary. Very nice to see your first painting in the series. I was so looking forward to it. These insights into your beautiful country are amazing. The work is exactly how I expected. Very true and brilliantly executed.
    Your article today, leads me to think about. Of course it is good that regulates fishing and other outdoor activities. I just wonder why it is always the poorest, are the most affected, while huge companies destroy nature on a large scale with almost no penalty or fine for the very funny (with regard to their wealth). Which can hardly serve as an example for other events.I do not know how in your country, but we still have no tendency to create employment opportunities for ecologists studied. I think it's very important to minimize the risks associated with any industry. Well, I know, because my daughter graduated in ecology and environmental protection, and she and her classmates did not find a place in this field. On the other hand I am a chemist and even though they fail to do this profession a long time, with the addition of knowledge, I found the job much easier if I had been looking for.
    This leads to the rise fanatical groups of environmentalists, without appropriate training. Which can only harm the ecology.
    Sorry, I was so mired in the problem. As for my current and very much alive.
    Perhaps all the people will soon realize that without nature we are nothing. Just a big zero.
    PS: Last time you asked me about my name.
    My first name was Jana (I think it's something like Jane in English), my middle name Alexandra. I only use it for blogging.

  8. I love the varieties of blues in your sky, ship and throughout the entire painting. This is lovely, Marie.

  9. Marie, as I had thought, the sketch has very well evolved, with a touch of soul stirring feel to it, especially posted with the insight in to his life.The flying birds and the clouds add some drama too!

  10. What an wonderful series you are painting, thanks for sharing the info behind these paintings, makes for very interesting reading.

  11. Hi Jana, if you call me Mary it is not wrong, but just the English version of my name. I understand your concern, but here the answer is not easy because the big companies provide lots of jobs and also play a role in feeding the nation especially those who does not live on the coast. There is no easy solution!

    You and your daughter are both highly qualified , she must look up South African companies and maybe there is a role for her to play in the ecology!The young can still move around.

    Thank you, Claire. I must admit that my biggest concern is not color in a painting but harmony and unity between the colors, so if you say this I may be succeeding.

    padmaya! I should get you to write my posts, "drama" indeed!!! I love it that you found the "soul stirring" in my work.

    Thank you, Diana! It is really quite enjoyable to work in series!

  12. Such a wonderful and interesting painting. I love how you give so much background information about your painting, always love reading your posts. You are preserving history.

  13. This series is going to be superb Marie! I've had no computer for a week - mine died so have a new one now and was so fantastically thrilled at your last post. Thank you and I will be up there again - if not soon, then definitely when the weather warms up!

  14. Barbara, by living here, I find that there is almost too much info one can give! Thank you for for the super comments.

    Liz,your fans are waiting patiently..... I am glad you liked the post! I had to mention your posts, because for me,you placed the whole blogging experience on a level where people really can relate to each other.

  15. I really like the composition in this one Marie and the ship in the background is very well done. I always love your addition of the birds which adds to the atmosphere of the scene. Beautiful turquoise blue keeps the eye moving around the picture. A wonderful local scene.


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