In keeping with our website theme of travel/tarpon fishing/permit, we might as well mention one of the best gamefish challenges on the flats….Mr Barracuda. You’ll notice that I included a recent painting of a variation of my popular “Barracuda Bright”. This often overlooked ruler of the flats is one of the first few experimental paintings in my new “Bright Night” series. Prior to this painting, I did “Night Striper” which sprung from one of my original black and white fly paintings that Ive been doing for years. From the beginning of that series I was always trying to decide what I would do with those paintings to expand the fly painting concept.
I had a couple of those black and whites sitting around in the studio and one day I just started painting with black paint, filling in around the fly not knowing what was going to happen. I chose a crab fly painting that had been in the shop for a while because I could put a permit in the design somewhere. As my thinking progressed and thoughts came and went, the muse took over it was time to experiment and do studies on old canvases. There was a barracuda print at the Blackfly Restaurant that need to be replaced so I took that home and went to work. I would paint on it until I ruined it, paint anything I wanted until it was time to cut the canvas off and burn it. Sometimes when painting you can go from reckless abandon to “maybe I can save this”. Presenting “Night Cuda”!
After that exercise I felt I could move on with the experiment and try to decide how I was going to paint the permit that I had penciled in under the crab fly. I produced 3 little 8×10 paintings that I called “Conversations on the Boat” trying to figure that out. Finally after two not related to the series paintings had been completed (Net neutrality and Free Swimmer) I got back to the crab piece. The project changed when I decided to add the two remaining canvases to the center panel and create a triptych. New challenges hit me and I had to decide how I was going to incorporate those pieces into what I had already started. More weeks went by until the design came to me while driving. This project had now consumed at least six months of my time.
Now it was time patiently finish the three canvases, filling all the holes, cleaning up the lines, cover the thin paint and painting the edges of the paintings….. basically two weeks of detail work.
I’m done now and thinking of what to do next.