Sometimes its hard to adequately describe why I’m attracted to things. Or maybe it isn’t. Perhaps I can speak ad infinitum / ad nauseam about it ( hereby exhausting all my Latin) but the real question is will what seems seductive and symbolic and intriguing to me speak to anyone else in the same way? So here it is: the very idea of a lure is fascinating, the idea of a hook is skin crawlingly dangerous and graphically gorgeous. Red feathers that quiver and pretend to be something they’re not (i.e.: a tail fin) tickle my fancy. Mother of pearl – all rainbows and lusciousness. And that red dot – well that’s just asking for it. I thought it was added to represent the eye of a fish, but the more I read it seems to imitate blood (maybe that red feather does too). “Seeing red” seems to bring out the predatory impulse to strike at the weak! It looks like a target no matter how you parse it and besides, what artist doesn’t like to see a red dot?! All I know is I want the paintings in this “shell field” series to hover over the themes of survival and gluttony of danger and desire, of abundance and scarcity. Wish me luck with that!
Now I have to decide if I prefer the translucent red dot over a solid one.
OK now for the real detail!
Before there was plastic, there was shell. Victorians used to make fishing lures from the mother of pearl of large shells. The chatoyance of the layers of nacre glowing softly underwater like the scales of a minnow, the red and white feathers giving just the right flip of a tail and the red dot would have simulated the eye.
These lures are the subject of the new “shell field” painting I’ve started.
Hundreds more to go….