This painting has to be one of my all-time favorites. The huge 60″ x 48″ canvas hold this monster bull mahi and its potential meal just below the surface.
As a gift to a good friend for Christmas this year, I found it terribly hard to give this painting up. I think the reason why it was difficult to part with this painting is due to a strong emotional connection I had with this project. I started out with just a simple sketch that I found to be exciting and vibrant. As I sketched me monster bull on the canvas there were several mistakes made to the proportions of the fish. I painted the base coat of green on the fish and couldn’t shake the feeling that the fish lacked depth and proper positioning on the canvas. It was then that I started to HATE this painting.
After some run (Barbancourt rhum for those keeping score at home) I decided to try my hand at several techniques I hadn’t implemented in several years. The multi-colored scales along the sides of the mahi are painted in a pointillism style using mostly cobalt blue and cerulean blue with a hint of bright orange to contrast and create a faux ‘iridescence’. I also took on the task of creating topwater movement that I hadn’t attempted in the past. It was after these two tasks were completed that I fell back in love with this work.
It’s interesting as an artist to look back on the creative process to understand the ebb and flow of emotion poured into a project. In fact, I believe I can safely look back on any painting I created over the last dozen years and find one time I despised what I had put on canvas. However, I find it reassuring to know that this is just one step in the creative process.