From my studio I can see Kabeljoubank where the snoek hang out to dry with Table Mountain in the distance. If the motorists racing past on the R27 will only spend 15 minutes to drive to this rocky outpost, they can observe a centuries old West Coast custom of drying salted fish in the open air and seabreeze.
My models are not the owners of the fish, but are helping to turn and guard them for a small daily fee. On my first visit two years ago they were timid in front of the camera and extremely shy of the easel and paints set-up. Now, for a small modelling fee, they hold out the snoek so I can observe the lovely pinks of the wet fish and the blue and turquoise colours when the sun reflects the oil in the fish. They remember me from before and even tell my what I forgot to take note of the previous visit.
The painting, I think, is my least favourite of the "Folks and Fish"set of four because of the bright sunlight and deep shadows. I much prefer the cloudy moods of the West Coast for my paintings. Readers can find more about snoek in two of my older posts: Snoek drying on the fence, and Smoorsnoek prepared in a country kitchen.