The sun peeked through the canopy of leaves as we lined the creek hidden in the woods. Within minutes, Rick caught a fish. It danced and flapped on the line, and as he held it up the sun made its scales sparkle.
I often find myself worried that I don’t spend enough of my free time dedicated to painting, but as I admired the contrasting beauty and ugliness of the fish, I realized I was wrong. l simply need to tap into my leisure time as inspiration for the studio.
Winslow Homer, a 19th century American painter, provides great historical context of this topic. He is known for his seascapes, but scrolling through his work I also found several paintings depicting fishing. Though he may not have as much name recognition as Picasso, his subjects are relatable to Americans today.
I think a large part of Homer’s success is due to the fact that he simply painted what he and the people around him loved; seascapes and an American experience. He didn’t need to manufacture a reason to love his work because the answer was in his subjects.
The fish bickered back and forth on the stringer, splashing around and adding a new layer to the sounds of the woods. I began to see more than just green in the leaves, and the creek carried my eye far into the distance, begging for the scene to be translated in paint.
When I got the chance to cast a line I wrongly thought I would at least get a bite. I may have proved that I am no great fisherman, but I caught something else from the creek. Luckily for me, bringing home inspiration smells better than fish.