“Caught”- a New Painting

We have spiny lobsters in the Caribbean unlike the New England version that have the large claws, ours are mostly leggy with the meat found in the tail.


Caught 9X12 oil on stretch linen canvas

The size of the fish and lobster is getting smaller as the overfishing continues to be paradoxically problematic. It’s a source of income for fishermen as well as a pride of heritage. And a desired food source for people who appreciate fish over meat.

How to justify the balance is elusive.

As is the color adjustment on this blog. In life, this piece is much more vibrant and contrasted. Even with tweaking on Photoshop, I can’t get it right.

And while some living things have the natural desire to escape, others seem to prefer wanting IN, as noted in our local newspaper recently:


Let us in or we’ll shoot?

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21 Responses to ““Caught”- a New Painting”

  1. Melinda Says:

    What a beautiful painting. The conflict between the need to fish and the need to rest from fishing must be quite difficult. Balance is always hard to find, but not impossible.

    What kinds of tweaking do you do in Photoshop? Sometimes I adjust ‘levels’. Sometimes I work on ‘hue saturation’ and at other times, I merely work on brightness and contrast. Oh, yeah, there is the ‘magic wand’ that comes in really handy too.

    The energy and atmosphere do come through quite well.

    Funny. Very funny news article. Love their typo too.

  2. w1kkp Says:

    You are on a roll, Bonnie Mirren. (I always think of you on that tractor now!)

    Can you catch lobsters by hand in St. Croix?? That would make swimming interesting for my grand nieces and nephews who declare they love nature until they come in contact with it!

    You should have illustrated Studs Terkel’s tome on “Working”! A marketing idea, perhaps, for St, Croix? Was this ME making a marketing suggestion? I’ll go now.

  3. JoAnn Sanborn Says:

    Lovely painting with such vibrancy. Yes, it does come thru, although I’m sure the original is even richer. The claws may not be large, but his body language is still showing some respect.

    If we don’t find balance soon it may be too late, but there’s no consensus for change. I’m hopefully, always, but geeze, let’s get moving. Dominant species on a dying planet?

  4. Donald Diddams Says:

    This is a brilliant painting, in more ways than one! The fisherman’s gesture, the colors, the tilted horizon — a real winner! On the other subject, I notice that the folks who attempted to break into the prison had cut a WHOLE in the fence. Interesting bit of word art there.

    As for the color translation on the blog, it is most likely the paint-to-digital translation mediated through your computer monitor (and your readers’ monitors). Trying to compensate by over-saturating colors or boosting contrast can help, but doesn’t really make it right either. I have never seen an image on a monitor that matches the depth of color and vibrancy of real paint, pastel or ink. So until we can all invest thousands in high-end monitors, we’ll just have to accept the images in posts as appetizers, not the main course!

  5. Marian Fortunati Says:

    I love Donald’s comparison of your paintings on our monitors as appetizers, not the main course!! So perfect!!
    I saw this posted on FB and had to visit first before moving on to blogland.

    The gesture, movement and, as always, the way you create with form, color and brush are inspirational. One of these days I’m going to have to come by and see the real thing… As the previous comments all say we’re sure it’s even more spectacular in person.

  6. Carol King Says:

    I love the sky, water and the colors on his white t-shirt.

    Lobsters skeeve me. Really, who was that first person who said “oh, let’s try and crack this thing open and eat it” YUCK.

    However I DO NOT SAY YUCK to your painting. I say it’s terrific. But please just make sure when I’m swimming down there in November I don’t come across these in the waters of Carambola while Judy’s getting knocked down by waves and her bathing suit is coming off.

    Another beautiful painting Bonnie!

  7. Nancy Moskovitz Says:

    Totally agree with all your fans – another great painting! On my monitor, the brightest spot is on the lobster as it should be. So the important stuff is there.
    I also have exactly one painting that will not reproduce anywhere near accurately online. Fine on the monitor. Transformed online. I thought it was those particular colors, all yellows and greens. But your colors are different, so who knows??? The painting in question is Melrose Morning Mood if you’re curious. I even put a disclaimer in the text.

  8. Joanne Says:

    As always, Bonnie, your painting is wonderful. I so like the pinks carried throughout sky, shirt, hat, skin, sea, sand to unify the whole. I also appreciate the way you have directed the water and waves to draw the attention to the lobster. And then there is the way you have directed our eyes to flow around the painting with the angles of the lobster and the man’s arms! The cropping of the man and lobster is great!!! You are so sophisticated in the planning and execution of your paintings! Love, love, love them….

  9. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Melinda- everything you mentioned in Photoshop is everything I do. ( have to try that magic wand ).
    As you’ll see in later comments, we all benefit from each others questions and answers.
    Thanks for stopping by again.

    Pat-funny about your grand nieces and nephews. These spiny guys are caught in deeper waters in lobster baskets dropped down much further than you’d be swimming.
    Fish and lobster catches were very much bigger in size even a generation ago.
    And yes, you’re a marketing giant: of philosophy!

    JoAnn- I sometimes think the food chain is an upside down pyramid. We may be bigger but not always more enlightened or aware. I know you see many of the same things in Florida.

    Don- good observation about the tilted horizon. It added to the wind swept atmosphere of shoreline.
    Yup, that typo is just another example of the brilliance of the St Croix Abyss, er, Avis.
    I think we’re all in the same disadvantaged or better yet, equally altered position in posting our work here.
    Appetizers- good analogy.

    Marian- thanks so much. You know that my dream for the next year is to have a handful of blogger friends come down for a paint -a- palooza. Would you come? Really?

    Carol- if lobsters were that close to shore and that easy to catch? They’d be extinct altogether. Not to worry.
    I”m guessing that first person was very very hungry…..

    Nancy- the hat and the lobster are in the same value of brightness but I could not adjust the darkness of the sky without dimming the skin tones. I recall reading that disclaimer on your site.
    It’s beneficial that we’re all aware of this anomaly and take it in stride.

    Joanne- wow- you made this a real highlight for me. Thank you, really.
    I experimented a bit with the underpainting here and did it in a very bright wash of burnt sienna acrylic to get it dry faster.
    It also doesn’t cause muddling of top colors which in many places are complete compliments with all the blues and greens.
    I left random sections poking through which actually worked to tie in the hat and lobster to the whole.

    Thanks everyone for leaving such thoughtful and helpful comments.

  10. planetross Says:

    I’ve probably only eaten lobster twice in my life. I usually buy crabs at a fishmarket near the beach I visit in the summer, bring them back home, and devour with enthusiasm. In Japan, the crab brains (or part of them) are a delicacy … so while the locals enjoyed the heads, I munched all the legs.
    It’s a nice ecosystem sometimes.

  11. Marian Fortunati Says:

    You decide you’re going to do it… make suggestions about where we can find a place to stay… and I’m there in a flash! What a fun idea!!

  12. wrjones Says:

    I like the painting Bonnie. You really get the natural poses.

    Our world is so polluted and over fished, hunted, farmed, I’m afraid the future generations will look back on us with envy at all we had and hate for all we ruined.

  13. Jala Pfaff Says:

    Great sense of movement plus physical balance.

    Well, everyone could become vegetarian like me…

  14. Jala Pfaff Says:

    P.S. The Husband is also vegetarian.
    P.P.S. If The Husband and I come to visit this winter, will we be able to eat well without killing anything that has parents and/or a face?

  15. Wreggie Says:

    Hi Bonnie! I love the local lobster and I have become quite good at locating them. I just watch them and don’t grab them.

    Is there a local lobster watching society?

    See you in September.

  16. Nava Says:

    I love the dance of colors in this one, Bonnie.

    This painting reminds me how we much were looking forward to trying coconut crab while in St Croix, and how we never fund a place that served it.

  17. Bill Sharp Says:

    Dynamic composition and I like the nice grays you’ve mixed.

    I’m not going to comment on the state of the environment or journalism. Too depressing.

  18. wrjones Says:

    It’s been a while. You might consider changing the title to “Caught an Old Painting”.

  19. Eldon Says:

    Hi Bonnie, I wonder if all the tweeking is worth it. I guess we’ve got to try but all the other monitors in the world are experiencing the same thing you are. Coloritis. And when I think I’ve got something looking right I print it out and find I’m not a bit closer to having the color right as I was before. All I can say is I like your painting very much on my monitor. 🙂

  20. Kelly Gloger Says:

    I love the photo of the alien faced “Akee” fruit. A fruit you have to know when to eat it. When harvested at the right time and cooked it taste like scrambled eggs.

    Harvest at the wrong time an eat it and you’ll be pushing up flowers for future farmers markets!

    The painted donation box has been a real hit with the customers!

  21. Anthony Says:

    Bsssss, I do love your Art, always creative, refreshing and insightful.
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    Love Anthony

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