Inspiration is a funny thing. I often wonder about how it is planted and how it germinates, but the most rewarding part is being able to watch it grow. This is true in both my own work and watching the work of others. From professionals, to young people in a high school art class, watching an idea turn into a reality is endlessly satisfying.
The road from inspiration to reality is often hard to navigate. The world can get in the way. Other ideas may distract and need to be dealt with before things go totally awry. Additionally technique must be practised so it doesn’t slow the transfer from mind to medium and causing endless frustration.
The process of this piece, “spawning grounds”, was no different. I have been wanting to revisit the idea of spawning Sockeye ever since my first Sockeye painting. But how was that going to look? I had no idea at the time. Since then I have begun doing underwater fish paintings, starting with the piece “winter steel”. Once that piece was conceived I knew that I wanted to revisit the idea of spawning Sockeye in that format. The idea of the large panorama shape never came until later. When and why I cannot be sure, it just happened. With many paintings and sketches in between I finally worked my way up to this, my most recent completed piece.
Technically the most challenging part of this painting was to achieved a colour scheme that matched reality underwater. Sockeye are too often painted bright red even though they are in relatively deep water which diffuses red light. Creating this more purple hue on the bodies allowed for a more unique and accurate representation. In addition if you look closely I added a small bull trout waiting to gobble down any eggs that escape the nest. I hope you enjoy the piece as much as I enjoyed the process of creating it.