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Inspiration behind my Sailfish

Inspiration behind my Sailfish

It’s funny how a mid-west girl ended up so close to the ocean her whole life…

I don’t know how that ever evolved.

But, I do remember being a teen…and looking across the lake I grew up on and telling everyone around me that there was a great big world out there and I knew for sure that I was going to see it!

After college, I was off to Miami for a few years, then Hawaii for 14 years and now NW Florida for the past ten. I’m always near the ocean. I can’t say I made it a point to always live near the ocean though…it’s just where I’ve always ended up! (Maybe it’s because I’m Aquarius?)

So, it’s natural that my art tends to stay sea-like. It seems when I paint I’m ALWAYS trying to capture WATER; the look of the palest aqua with ripples in it. That’s probably while I’ve always gravitated towards resin and glass! It’s the closest I’ve come to pulling it off!

Along with water comes the beautiful sea creatures that inhabit it! I’ve probably made ten million little sea turtles, 5000 octopodes (according to some website..that IS the correct spelling of the plural of octopus!) and many more generic FISH…out of glass. One day, a client of mine suggested I try making his fave fish…a Sailfish or Marlin (The sailfish has a signature sailing dorsal fin. It opens when the sailfish feels threatened or needs to be particularly agile. The Marlin has a less pronounced dorsal fin – but it still used for similar reasons.)

SailFish-Partial-300x225I, of course, LOVED the idea!

I started out studying their shape and colors and came up with a quick sketch. I draw it out loosely on my canvas…I only draw out the body though…the rest I can eyeball. I start with tail fin first. I want to make sure I get that shape just right. When selecting glass for this, I use either a deep blue semi-transparent glass, or a deep blue mirror.

Then, I move to the dorsal fin which I LOVE…I cut up thin strips of dark blue glass and lay them irregularly along the top of the body. I use a lot of glass here because I want it to look JUST LIKE the real thing! Then, I fill in the other fins and look for a nice rod for the sword-like bill. When those elements look good, I fill in the body.

I start at the top and use a lot of cobalt blue chunks, then some clear chunks with flecks of orange in it…and at the bottom…I’ll use white and/or clear chunks to denote it’s belly. That gradation of color is what gives it depth!

After I’ve got it all filled in, I search for the perfect eye! And then, it’s time for resin!

Peace Love Glass,
Mary

SailFish