Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Odd place to find a lobster

In the fishing villages of Connemara, Ireland, they say: ‘is fánach an áit a bhfaighfeá gliomach’ —"You'll find the lobster in the unexpected or neglected places."

When I'm looking for a subject to paint, I sometimes think of that saying. I have a hard time "finding the lobster" in the popular painting destinations where artists gather to paint picturesque views.

Instead I'm inspired by the odd, out-of-the-way places. An odd place to find a lobster. Sometimes the subject emerges when I see a weird juxtaposition of forms, a revealing effect of light, or a cropping that brings special meaning to a perfectly ordinary scene.  


Greg Preslicka said...

I'm like you and am drawn to the not so obvious places. I like your saying "Finding the Lobster". Must be a east coast thing. Not many lobsters here in Minnesota. I like to think of it as finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Wonderful little painting. I am impressed how you were able to keep the value of the sign and building dark and tight. It really conveys the brightness of the sky. My tendency would be to open up the values with more contrast and lose that effect.

scottT said...

It's funny that subjects we think of as picturesque now weren't always considered suitable subjects for painting...the waterfront or the old barn, etc. Sometimes when I see an McDonalds or a gas station in an urban setting I think of your paintings. I have always thought that one job of the artist is to help people see what they miss in the everyday things.

Karen Eade said...

What a lovely post, thank you. “Finding the lobster” is a saying that will now always stay with me. I find the “conventional” painterly scenes very intimidating as I always feel others will have done a better job than I could. So much better to just think - find your own lobster!!
Is this a very limited palette painting? I was trying to figure out what colours you used.

Susan Krzywicki said...

You are so completely the Lobster Hunter!

Virginia Fhinn said...

It was not so long ago that lobster was an undesirable catch, so I think this might be a recent saying. When my mother was young it was embarrassing for them to take lobster sandwiches to school because it was a sign of poverty, and fishermen would chuck back lobsters if they caught them in their nets. In my great grandfaters time they were even superstitious about the "devil spiders". So... even a lobster turns out to be a proverbial Lobster!