Captain of the Food Chain

PREBREEN

This is the first painting completed in my new studio! I put up a Sea Captain wall but had this Germanic bearded man who was odd man out. He was almost a Captain. He was old and had a beard. But he had a furtive, guilty look, not the confident, wise or simple curmudgeony look usually draped on an old salts mug.

A fishing net stretches like a spider web behind the Captain and catches fish I have either caught or eaten (striper, bluefish, squid, herring, lobster, clam, although the last two I’ve taken liberties with in the rendering as they are not usually cycloptic organisms.) I admit I have not eaten or caught the blind cave fish in the bottom of the painting, I just added them arbitrarily. I changed his pipe into a scythe and he holds out his hands, which have fish blood on them. This is not an anti-fishing painting, as I love to fish, but does deal with the ambivalent feelings I do have towards the activity! He is a killer of sea life, it is natural, but he is not comfortable with his role. Time to go to The Clam Box and grab a bite!

POSTBREEN

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, go HERE.

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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!