Abstract oil painting “Freshwater fishes” series

Background story

During Covid lockdown in 2020 while we just relocated to Minnesota, my son and his dad got bored staying at home. They were eager to go outside and explore. At that time, bikes were sold out, community pool was limited, no school and no summer camp. So they figured out a new passion, fishing. In the beginning they were like all rookies, trying this a little bit, trying that a little bit. They soon focused on some YouTube fishing channels and built up their gears.

The first year was somewhat disappointment to the boys. I didn’t expect anything. Then, the second year the fishes started to come in. I had to recall how my grandma cleaned fish when I was little and tried to pick up that skill again.

And this year, hoho, I would say this year they are somewhat experienced. They have fishing friends group, they have all kinds of handout from DNR, they know which lake has better water quality and they get themselves a kayak. However, that means I need to do more cleaning work. My kids observe fish anatomy class provided by myself, including how to identify tape worm. I think my grandma will be proud. 🤣

By the way, during cleaning process I found variety stuff in their stomach such as smaller fish, fake worm and crawfish.

I bought my son a Minnesota fish poster and according to him, he has caught over dozen different species. His favorite one is Largemouth bass, his dad’s favorite one is Walleye and my parent’s favorite one is Rainbow trout.

Digital sketch

It is hard to determine the painting style once I get the idea of painting fishes. I try to avoid realistic shape and shift to more abstract style. After the “Backyard birds” series, I would like to try my fishes in the similar way. Because people are so familiar with fish, even without an anatomy class, our brain will identify it less than a blink of eye. So, again, I give enough unique feature for each species. For instance, shape of dorsal fin, body pattern and tail structure.

The time lapse videos of these digital sketch can be found here.

Our photos

Well, in the end, I would like to share some of our snapshots. I hope you enjoy this post. 😘

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.