David Norcross

Live Fish, Dead Fish, Done Fish

I’m super happy to call this piece done. It has been a work in progress for a long time and I was finally able to spend some time finishing it up over the past couple of weeks.

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Live Fish, Dead Fish is an acrylic on wood painting of two fish. One wearing a Mexican wrestling mask and one resembling a Day of the Dead sugar skull. I’ve always loved the colors and imagery that represent these two traditions and particularly with Day of the Dead, I like the juxtaposition of ornate beauty with something as ugly as death. As for why I went with fish, this piece was originally intended to be part of a group show in conjunction with an annual fly fishing festival near my hometown.

To create this piece, I sketched out my images on thin plywood and then used a coping saw to cut them out. After sanding everything down, I applied a wash of acrylics thinned with water to create layers of color. The detail work is done using fluid acrylics. Finally, I applied several coats of varnish to help bring out the brightness of the colors.

As happy as I am with how it turned out, I also really enjoyed the process… even if it was a long one.

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