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Gone Fishing

Antique Fishing Lures

"Give me liberty or give me Death" Patrick Henry

This is what Independence Day is all about. We should be very respectful and appreciative for the freedoms that we so enjoy everyday.

Then there is July 4th. Fireworks, family reunions, barbequing on the grill. This is the celebration that most of us do on this holiday, or to quote Erma Bombeck, "You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think it is overeating, but it is patriotism."

It's about family, community, traditions, and in my neck of the woods, it also includes being out on the water. For many that means "Gone Fishing!"

On my coast, there is some form of fishing taking place for every season of the year. If you tell someone you are going fishing, their first response will probably be, "are you going out front or in the back?" Which translates to mean are you salt water fishing or fresh water fishing. If you fish here you probably do both. My father had two tackle boxes, one for salt water fishing and one for fresh water fishing. The equipment is that technical. My painting today is about salt water, deep water, out front type fishing. I haven't ever done any deep water fishing. I am more of a back waters "kinda girl". I like to see the land. That is not to say I have not certainly enjoyed the bounty of the fresh catch of my friends and family who do go out front. There is nothing better than fish just caught and fried, or as they say, so fresh they seem to be "hopping out of the skillet". Fresh speckle trout, redfish, or snapper...people come from all over the world to experience these delicacies. It just doesn't get any better!

One day as I was walking through an antique shop, I saw a display of antique fishing lures. You could tell they were salt water lures because of their size and also because I had never handled anything like them They had multiple hooks attached and were brightly colored with grotesquely painted faces. As I looked at them, not with a fisherman eye, but an artist eye, I could see the beauty of each one. Their faces were each painted differently with vivid expressions. They made me think of Japanese Kabuki Theater Masks, colorful, scary, slightly grotesque, but fascinating. You could see they were much loved and well used objects. They just made you want to touch them, but carefully. There hooks were still sharp and lethal.

While talking to a friend about my paintings, I mentioned to him that I would like to paint some of these antiques lures, but didn't know where to locate any. I wasn't really wanting to become a collector of them, and it seemed they were quite prized and sought after. He mentioned that he had a few and to stop by his store and he would show them to me. When I went by, he went to the back and brought back an antique tackle box. As he opened it, we started bringing out each one carefully ( I mentioned their sharp hooks). Even in the box, they had a tendency to have the hooks get tangled with each other and they kind of came out attached to one another. Some were even attached to some netting that was in the box. Which was the case for these three that I painted. We examined each one, and as I listened to him tell me about them, I knew how special they were to him. It reminded me how having a passion for something just seems to transmit out of you like radio waves when you share it with someone willing to listen. You see something as simple as a small antique fishing lure in a whole new light. The passion of seeking the joy of a fresh catch brought home has, is, and I hope always will be alive and well in my community.

So from his passion to mine, I hope you can feel the radio wave from my passion and the beauty I saw in these much loved objects in my painting, Antique Fishing Lures.

Happy 4th of July and may we all give thanks for the freedoms we are blessed to have by being Americans.

Thank you for connecting,


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