Wooden Bobber painting - by John Morfis

Wooden Bobber Painting

Wooden Bobber painting - by John Morfis

If you are at all familiar with my artistic work you know that I’m no stranger to fishing lures.  I’ve been having a grand old time making paintings of fishing lures for quite some time now.  Most of the lures I paint are either mine from several decades ago or come from family and friends.

And of course the older the better!   The lures silly, not the people.  Ha!

Well I came across this old wooden fishing line bobber in my childhood tackle box.  In a world of pervasive plastics, it’s nice to engage with something made of wood.  It usually makes for a more timeless work of art in my opinion as well.

With no hooks to paint I was slightly relieved but then I noticed the subtle but important woodgrain texture that was visible.  Even though the wood is painted it still has a slightly raised woodgrain texture.  The trick was to paint the texture realistically as it wrapped around the float’s cylindrical form and not overdo it!  This is one of those rare instances in which I thinned out my paint a wee bit with linseed oil.  As you can probably imagine I used very small brushes for the majority of the main subject matter here.

I really liked having that plastic bead above and below the bobber.  There are two of them in fact and they transmitted light through them like a cheap jewel!  It added an extra focal point, or two and was enjoyable to paint.  I played around with some really saturated reds on my palette and just went for it once I was comfortable.  At some point there was some quinicridone in the paint mixture.  Those quinicridone colors are incredibly saturated… very high chroma indeed!

I actually didn’t have to fuss with the translucent red beads.  I just looked at them and painted what I saw.

Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?

Well yeah, but it usually doesn’t go that smoothly.  There’s always a fair degree of struggle and fussing with all paintings.  Any painter who tells you otherwise is either lying or is the best painter ever!


  1. What are the dimensions of this painting?

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