Watercolour painting of salmon swimming upstream to spawn

Watercolour Paintings of Salmon Swimming Upstream

Submission for exhibit called ‘NEXT’.

Like the salmon, we have all spent the last few years struggling to make it upstream. The flashes of colour and rippling water could be likened to a dance of life. The salmon story to me is one of victory, resilience, determination, and when they reach their spawning ground they have accomplished their life goal. What is next? Well I hope people would like to think that what is next is not more ‘trying to survive’ but rejoicing in having survived and the return to the dance of life.

Watercolour painting of salmon swimming upstream to spawn

Watercolour painting of salmon swimming upstream to spawn

Watercolour painting of salmon swimming upstream to spawn

I was trying to convey the way the silvery green (females) and bright red (male) salmon were broken up into intriguing shapes by the ripples in the fast moving water while swimming upstream to their spawning grounds.

red salmon spawning in Yard Creek, BC, Canada

The sketch where I was thinking about the piece. I was primarily trying to capture the broken movement (even considered a ‘pull tab’), the silvery quality (metallic card), the colours (bright orange males, blue-grey water, grey-green females, coffee sky), the shapes (salmon bones, fins).

sketches of salmon swimming upstream to spawn

I felt these paintings conveyed ‘what’s next’ in the world – after an upstream battle to continue to exist, a hopefully triumphant return to life.

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