Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Attraction of Fishing

My initial concept for this painting was to create a “floating room” as if it had just drifted onto the sand at the edge of the water. I have always loved the image/idea of mermaids and all the mythology and folklore that go along with them. I have done several other paintings with them, including the painting “Water Music” in which a mermaid is sleeping in a chair listening to a pianist. While I was working on that painting I did a drawing in which the mermaid was stretched out on the top of the piano and the shape of her body and tail and the long shape of the grand piano just seemed to fit together like the pieces to a puzzle.  In composing this painting I became intrigued by how the shape of the back of the mermaid also reflected the rhythm of the dunes in the landscape behind her.  The title comes from a quote I read from a filmmaker in which he said  “life can both be explained in the same way someone might explain the “attraction of fishing”. I interpret this as our desire to go forward in life is motivated by not really knowing exactly what we might catch if we keep casting our line.  In the painting there is a fisherman in a rowboat, fishing with his dog. There is an interchange of dreams here. It is possible that the fisherman is daydreaming that he may catch a mermaid, and the pianist is dreaming about fishing as he plays, and thus the mermaid has materialized on his piano. The dogs in the painting are not dreaming, but instead they are enjoying the simple bliss of a comfortable chair and the pleasure of being out in a boat in the water, unencumbered by the more complex dreams and desires of their human companions.  The heron in the foreground with the fish is frozen in the moment, one foot in the “real” world and one foot in the dream world of the “floating room”.  The painting is 30" x 42" oil on linen.