"Blind in One Eye" • Oil • Fishing Lure Painting by John Morfis

Painting: “Blind In One Eye”

"Blind in One Eye" • Oil • Fishing Lure Painting by John MorfisI’m really proud of the way this painting came out.  The fishing lure depicted in this painting was yet another popping plug given to me by my uncle Ted.  I enjoy when I get to paint an item that has personal significance.  This lure definitely fits the bill.  I grew up next to my Uncle Ted and we’ve always had a great relationship.  He taught me a ton about gardening and fishing.  Although I don’t fish anymore I look forward to working in my own garden as often as time permits, especially around vegetables.  My uncle has been growing his own vegetable gardens for as long as I can remember.  At age 39 I still stroll through his gardens with the wonderment of a child.  Everything seems to grow better in his gardens.

Now how about that painting?  Ahem…yes…let’s get back to it.

I actually painted this exact lure a while back and wanted to paint it again.  How many compositions can I get from a single fishing lure?  Time will tell…  It’s a huge striped bass lure made out of wood.  If you look at all my fishing lure paintings they all, for the most part, have their treble hooks on the left side of the plug’s body.  I compose my paintings this way because I usually like the cast shadows the hooks project onto the background.  For this painting I decided to reverse the composition.  By placing the hooks on the other side, the side which faces the light, the hooks had a less pronounced shadow.  In fact, the treble hooks cast a shadow on the plug in some spots.  You can see this if you look closely at the right side of the fishing lure.

Originally I didn’t want to paint this side of the lure because it was missing its eye.  This abnormality actually led to my title, “Blind in One Eye” which was not the cleverest of titles and doesn’t aim to function on any deeper levels (believe me).  Although, viewers of the painting are free to make up whatever stories they wish.  Although the wood on the other side of the fishing lure had some better weathering, with scratches dents, and wood grain showing through the blue, painted finish, this side has this great “red cheek” painted onto the front of the lure.  You can tell it was sprayed on in an assembly line fashion.  I enjoy finding those old-fashioned signals of hand completed production.  With my paint box in reach I used a little bit of cadmium red medium and some white and I was able to depict this red cheek fairly easily.  Next thing you know I was into chromium oxide green for the swivel hook clinging to the nail.

I like the challenge of painting these cylindrical objects.  It forces me to change the color’s value very subtly as the forms shift from the lighter side to the darker side.  I do this by mixing up a “string” of values within each color range.  I do a good amount of premixing on my palette using my palette knife.  It always seems like it takes a while but I’m always glad afterwards.  It’s nice to be able to dip my paint brushes into a variety of thoroughly mixed paints of various hues and values.

Let me know what you think of this painting (form is below).


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