Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Copper Fish

I have been sporatically participating in the 30/30.
I've been trying new pen and ink paintings and have learned alot.
But in between my postings there I have been working on my large piece.
I have spent many days on this in January so I thought I'd share what Ive been doing.

I live in a family of fisherrmen.  
My husband, his brothers, my brother and my son all fish, 
mostly off the coast of New Jersey.  
Over the years I have seen many photos of their catches laid out on the newspaper
ready for cleaning and fileting.

I also have this collection of copper fish molds, both new and antique, hanging in my kitchen.
The idea of a set up with these molds on comics came to me a couple 
of months ago and kept nagging at me to do something about it.

"The Catch"
Watercolor, 15" x 28"

What I hope will be interesting about this composition is that the molds vary from very shiny to dark and tarnished.  This first painted mold is one of the antiques.  I may adjust color as I go by toning down the orange in the copper.  But I'll save that to the end when I can compare one to the other.

A word about the comic pages the set up sits on.

As I started this piece I began to wonder about wether I might run into a copyright 
infringement issue here.
Is it ok to outright copy the comic page as it is?
My son is a lawyer, so who better to ask?
His opinion is that the subject is not transformative enough for my protection againist a lawsuit.
Even if I could argue that it was, it does not prevent the comic authors from bringing the suit.
And I also thought the authors are fellow artists and in the end I did not think it right to outright copy their work onto mine.

Although it looks like a page from the Sunday paper, it is all made up by me.
Now, I know my limits, I am no comic writer.
So the cartoons are all my own invention but if you look closely at the writing I have pluged in some of my favorite art quotes and made up little senarios with my family.
The date on the paper is actually the date I started this painting and the 
authors names are family members.

Craziness, right? Yes, it took forever, but was fun and I feel more comfortable doing it this way.
I'll work on the lemons and parsley next and move on from there.
I have a long way to go!

A new progression added January 28th.

Moving along and finding this really challenging.
From the tarnished, dull antique molds to the bright and shiny newer ones, this is certainly keep me on my toes.  The variations in the copper coloring and the wavy highlights require me to slow down and think through each step.

I'm hoping this will become a viable competition piece.
If not I'd be very happy to display it in my breakfast room!
But I am getting ahead of myself because there's a lot more still left to do.


  1. Insane! But in a good way! How cool for your family and friends to be such a part of your work! This is going to be fabulous when you are done! It is already. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you so much Shelia. Comments like yours help keep me going!

  2. This is amazing!!! I love the comic strips, I enlarged it to see it better. I love the idea of the copper fish tins too, they will look beautiful against the colorful backdrop. I can't wait to see it finished!

    1. Thanks Celia! The coloring on the copper is really tricky. When I'm done I'll share all my color receipes.


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