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Fish Story Painting Has It’s Birth

Well into my ten years ago project to create one hundred art works came the idea for the Fish story. It was after the second photo shoot with a college woman who was known to a friend who got us together for that purpose. I’d run out of daughters for models and the grand children were young so I went looking for others and paid them.

Lindsay was just trusting enough to do a shoot with me, a complete stranger, so long as my friend and hers was there. She brought her mother too. The older ladies watched as amateur me and Lindsay gave it a go. I was new to it. I’d done shoots before, but I was inexperienced enough that I did the minimal directing of my subject.

Poor Lindsay’s beauty and willingness were largely lost because I was so green.

On the second shoot, she showed up with her friend and peer rather than her mother full of attitude. Her face, sublime when driven by the best moods, showed all sorts of turbulent feelings. Faces and expressions are a huge part of my art. Pretty ones. Calm ones.

I had improved as a director but was still poor at it and her attitude really killed it for me, but I was paying her so we kept at it.

My guess is that my unwillingness to take solid charge and direct with authority left her without much confidence in me. So she took over. If I didn’t have the face of an angel (she had that, but for the event she just didn’t have all the  pretty features configured for sweetness) to work with, I did some interesting poses. One of them struck a positive nerve. She seemed to be explaining something with  just the right amount of confidence and enthusiasm and mischievious intent.

When I saw it, I had the story I wanted. So the shoot was not lost. If one painting comes out of a photo shoot and it might never have come to mind otherwise, then the shoot becomes value received. This was good and I got right to work.

It was 2008 and I  was using a Nikon, recently purchased from a fellow at work. I’d never paid so much for a camera. So at the same time I was learning to direct a photo shoot, I was also  trying to master what I considered a pretty complicated tool. To this day I have that struggle.

So my photography in the model shoots was less than it could have been . I had a zoom lens. Between that and the settings and my timidity It’s a wonder anything came of any of those sessions.

The scene I imagined was at a fishing hole in the forest. The Land Rover is sitting away from the shore where in the distance you can see a fellow with his pole up and line in the water.  Lindsay is leaning with her shoulders against the side of the old Rover. Her legs are nonchalantly crossed and she’s playfully describing her catch. Her arms are spread to show the length of  a huge trout.

I found photos of my son and one of them perfectly fit the look of incredulous doubt but wanting to believe. So I dressed him in a fisherman’s vest and put a plate sized trout on a line that he held. With his other hand he’s reaching for the top of his head the way people do  when sorting through some surprising thing they’ve learned.

She’s describing her big catch that is bigger than his catch.

I liked the idea but didn’t get around to  painting it till now.

Last year I wanted my life back from restoring  a Lotus Europa which was looking like a life time project that could possibly take longer to complete than I have years left that I could fit inside one and drive it.

So when a  real peach of a Europa came up for sale locally I had a look. Led to believe that it was a fully sorted  and beautifully finished car, I paid top dollar. This would same me time and I could get back to painting and writing and other creative ventures in earnest.

Except that the care was a ruse. It was not sorted but in fact was so out of whack mechanically that it was only days before I was stranded. In the past year I’ve worked hard to get it sorted properly and have spent more time than I expect I’d have put into the first Europa project if I’d just kept at it.


I didn’t do art for the Europa Calendar. Instead, I was working on the car.

I didn’t do much art at all , now that I look back.

It looked as though I’d have the car back on the road in time for the All British Field Meet and I worked hard to reach that goal when another disaster struck. At last, I had it running well and not overheating. The strange sounds were gone. All was well. But then it started not wanting to  shift into second gear. Then it refused me reverse gear. Now it’s parked again, undriveable. New clutch. New brake cylinders, including the master. Newly refurbished drive lines. Many new other parts and major organs. I even restored the heater, if taking it apart, derusting, flushing, and painting then reassembling counts. That’s how I discovered the coolant leak in the tunnel. Still haven’t gotten to the bottom of that. It’s even when the heater valve is shut. As of yet, I  haven’t flooded the heater core, so there is probably still air in the system. If I had, then the tunnel eater pipes would be suspect first since the PO claims the water pipes are new Stainless Steel.

I sidelined the car and turned my attention to the field meet. I had little to show for the past year in car art. So I turned my attentions to that.

First I finished the old painting of the early morning Montana town by adding a Series Land Rover with driver and passenger rounding a bend in the snow.


Then I went to work on the Fish Story.

That post next.

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