I received a book of handmade watercolour paper for Christmas. I love new paper, especially hand crafted, but am always loathe to start it. Its as if I need to make sure the first piece is fabulous and all the others follow suit, which, of course, never happens.
I also received a lovely new set of 36 Faber Castell watercolour pencils as well and they are the perfect marriage with the paper and my current set of old watercolour half pans. So then inspiration struck. I'll dedicate this book to Watermarks pieces.
I'm still refreshing my skills in watercolours so there will be the usual mix of good, bad and ugly, but they'll stay within the book and depending on how prolific I get, I may need a second book.
I've started out the book with a couple of watercolours which are indeed water-related. Fish! The first watercolour is a combination of a variety of fish species. To me it looks more like a mackerel at least in colouring and definitely more colourful than the average grey/brown tom cod that swims in local waters. The second is a pair of rainbow trout. Trying to capture the irridescence of scales and the sheen of the skin will take practice, but I love the colours that come through and that can be found in fish of all types.
Watercolour seems to be the logical medium for depicting water creatures or water itself. Even though I live on an island, I don't eat as much fish as I could and have a fairly severe allergic reaction to shellfish, which makes me wary of all seafood. I think the build up of toxins in the ocean play a strong role in the increased numbers of allergies experienced with shellfish and ocean fish at times too.
When John Cabot arrived on the shores of Newfoundland 500 years ago, cod was so plentiful that sailors could reportedly scoop them up into their ships with buckets. For Cabot and other early explorers and settlers, Newfoundland's cod was an oceanic jackpot that fostered a lucrative fish trade between North American and European countries.
In 1997, however, the Newfoundland fishery that once drove the province's economy is in a slump. In 1992, the federal government declared a moratorium on cod fishing because of devastatingly low cod stocks. Closing the northern cod harvest put 30,000 Newfoundlanders out of work. By 1993, all Canadian cod fishing was banned
There is, in most year, a week or two allowed by the Federal government of 'recreational' fishing in Newfoundland with a quota of 5 fish per day per person. This doesn't sit well with inshore fishers who maintain, as many do, that the death of the cod fishery lies in the hands of some countries who use large trawlers to harvest cod off Canadian waters as well as scrape up everything in their path, destroying habitat and other species.