It’s unusually cold in Florida but this is not a complaint. I’ve been hearing about the bitter temperatures in Montreal, and I’m grateful to be able to stand outside even with several layers on.

Today I painted a few of the shrimp boats that I could see from the dock. For these grey days I’ve been using lots of opaque paint to make my soft greys: Lavender, Naples Yellow and Cerulean Blue combine in the nicest ways on days when the cloud cover is low and there is not much contrast in the scene.

I’m learning a lot about the life of a shrimper, too. Many of them come over to chat while I paint, which can be distracting, but also fascinating. Today I talked with a guy who described in detail how he beheads the shrimp — five at a time in each hand — and then showed me the scars on his fingers to prove it. These guys who work the boats are paid by the pound, so the faster you knock the heads off, the more money you make. But being successful on the boat takes more than beheading skills. You need to be a good cook as well as have sewing skills to repair the nets. If you’re interested in learning more about the shrimp industry in this part of Florida, have a look at a PBS documentary titled “Pink Gold Rush”.

17 Comments on “Anchors”

  1. beth says:

    These are beautiful


  2. Sue Ferrell says:

    The whole thing-from painting to chatting with the shrimpers—is fascinating to me!


  3. Gordon Lyman says:

    You immerse yourself in life through your art. I love your blog.


    • Gordon, the part of this where I get to meet people on location, learn about what they do, etc, is what excites me most. I’ve had so many amazing conversations with people all over the world. Art connects. Glad you’re enjoying it. Thanks so much for letting me know.


  4. Denise says:

    Love the colors in this sketch-it looks “cold” enough to star in a New England ( or Montreal) scene. I’m going to make a note of this color combo. Thanks for the “gift” of your blog!


  5. Marie-Claude Fortin says:

    J’adore , c’est magnifique !!!


  6. loisajay says:

    I’m up here in the FL Panhandle and we are in the 30’s at night–too darn cold! I love to watch the shrimp boats come into port. They photograph so beautifully. Glad you are able to talk with the boat captains–not an easy life.


  7. Your boats are so good with interesting compositions. I have made a note of the color for a soft gray. Although I was only looking at fishing boats on our marina the other day. They were bright red so definitely a different color scheme. I wanted to sketch them however found the view so busy. I need to go back again. Thank you for posting boats. Have a wonderful Christmas!


  8. joantav says:

    I love sketching shrimp boats when I find them. Their rustiness and equipment are great details to bring the paintings to life. I think it is always fun to have the crew of the work boats come over and comment and talk about their lives on the water. This is really nicely done, Shari!!!


  9. TonyU says:

    Love the inventive soft grey mix. Suspect there’s a few shrimpers with as many fingers as your boats!


  10. Jeff Gold says:

    You’ve created such wonderfully subtle hues in all that “gray”. The background is minimal and yet so convincing, a few horizontals and a few dots and you have a bank of houses and speaking of anchors, that row of houses acts beautifully as an anchor to give strength to the foreground and to add depth. Did I mention the water surface? Stop me or I’ll go on forever!

    Liked by 1 person

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