Thursday, December 29, 2011


"Dragging For Gold" 12" x 24" oil/linen

This painting is another commissioned piece by a collector. The collector and his wife had been looking for several years for a painting of shrimp boats working the gulf. They said they could find paintings of shrimp boats sitting in the harbor or being repaired or a single shrimp boat, but not a group of shrimpers with their riggers out and nets down.

The couple had seen my work at Port A Gallery so the husband calls me to do a commissioned painting for his wife for Christmas. I did a 9" x 12" color sketch and showed it to the client in September and then delivered the finished painting in November with the promise that I wouldn't post the painting until after Christmas.

This was a fun project. While in Port Aransas in October I approached a shrimper that runs a bait shop in Aransas Pass. I have purchased bait from him for many years so when I asked if he would take me out on his boat and show me how the nets worked he was happy to do so. Then as I started to really get serious about the way the rigging is set up I realized that every shrimper has his own method so there are as many different ways to arrange the riggers as there are shrimpers.

The main shrimper in the foreground is the one I got to go out on. The other shrimpers are from photos I've taken over the years. The tricky part was painting the time of day because most shrimping is done at night and I wasn't up for painting a nocturnal. My client had a specific request to work some teal and pink color into the painting so it would go with the decor of their house. So I chose to paint this as an early morning scene right when the sun is coming up and the morning clouds are burning off. In reality these guys would have already packed it in and be heading back to the docks so some artistic license is used to make a painting. "Dragging for Gold" is a phrase shrimpers use when talking about pulling up their nets to find them full of gold colored shrimp.

Sorry about the poor photograph of the painting.

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