Share My Head

BEFORE BREENING


AFTER BREENING

Text says,‘Text says,‘The fish I’ve killed share my head…They have nowhere else to go!’ ‘Acrylic on oil? on canvas about 9.75″X 11.75″

I use to fish obsessively. I fished in fresh water for decades, goin’ bassin’, crawling the plastic worm over the lily pads til it plopped down to a waiting lunker, who, if I was lucky, would tail dance across the water. Then we moved next to the ocean and I got a boat. I’d wake up my still drunk friends at 2 am and force march them to the boat. We went out that early to gillnet pogies, 10 inch fish that we caught to use for bait. We used them to catch bigger fish, stripers, which then had to be 3 foot or more to keep.

Anyway, after a number of years of this, I started to feel sorry for the fish. You haul a 3 foot striper into your boat and his heart is beating, his gills are flexing, and his eyes are scared wild! It’s our nature to fish and eat fish, but I’ve lost the heart for it.

When I saw this original I thought of European cave paintings, of honoring the fish we hunt. Then, as I began to muse and remember the fish I killed, I figured my head should be there with them on the canvas, so they could swim around my brain. Boo hoo hoo! I mourn you! You were so delicious though!

Albino Ahab

AFTER BREENING(forgot to do a before photo)

Text says,‘Albino Ahab Sails the Deepest Whales In Search Of The Great White Cavefish!’Acrylic on oil? on masonite about 12.5″X10.5″ including painted frame.

Mrs. Breen, knowing my weakness for Captain portraits, recently picked this up for me in Rowley. I was feeling kind of Melville when I started the painting, but it seemed if we were going to have a large albino water creature it should be a sightless cave fish. So then I made the Captain sightless too and put him in a deep cave, which got kind of biblisized into a Jonah-ish whale gut.

As my paintings are usually teeming with eyes, I tried to resist putting any eyes into this work as an experiment, although maybe the empty eyesockets on the skull spider cheat a little.

All in all, an inoffensive whimsical breen if I do say so myself!

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