Three Fishing Boats

Three Fishing Boats

Acrylic on canvas,

24 x 38 inches

2020

 

These are the unmistakable Maltese Luzzus: Maltese fishing boats.  As I travel, I have found similar boats in Greece and Sicily, however these are unique.  I chose to paint them from the back since that was the way I found them tied to the quay.  Some fishermen prefer to have their boats tied this way so that they can easily jump on and go.  This chosen angle is not showing them from the front where they have a pair of eyes where tradition has it that the boats need to see where they are going.  This tradition is believed to be handed down from ancient times by the Phoenicians, who were seafaring people, and made trade all over the Mediterranean, including on the island of Malta.

 

These fishing boats are known for their rich array of colors.  They are also given names, and Valletta is the name of the city where they are registered. The fishing boat in the background is called Jad, an invention of mine to dedicate it to my wife whose name is Jadranka.  She liked that!

 

The reason why I painted the fishing boats is because they are very colorful and they have an infinite set of shapes, one row of color over another, that creates the patterns I am after in this series of paintings.  The metal rods that stand at angles on the boats are for canopies to create shade when they are far out at sea.  For me they were another excuse to have more triangles in the painting dissecting it into more shapes. 

 

On the fishing boats are also covers: those are for protecting the inboard engines.  These boats are wooden and they require a lot of maintenance, especially because of the sun, rain and the salt found in the Mediterranean Sea that causes a lot of corrosion.  The reflection of the boats in the water creates some movement contrasted to the more static overall composition.

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