This Caribbean boatyard is actually in Barbados, where I once had the best piece of blackened tuna I have ever eaten! It is right next to Oistins, which has a weekly fish fry – both delicious and great fun – and an annual fish festival. Fresh fish is plentiful in Barbados: flying fish, little known outside the Caribbean, is their national fish. The long, pectoral fins of these fish resemble wings, so it looks like the fish are actually flying when they skim across the waves. Traditionally fried in a beer-based batter, flying fish ranks high on the menu in Barbados, along with king fish, mahi-mahi (dolphin fish – not to be confused with the meal) and tuna. Barracuda is also popular unlike in Antigua, where it is avoided due to the high risk of contracting ciguatera or fish poisoning due to the consumption by these fish of tiny toxic dinoflagellates found in the reefs around the island. In Barbados the risk is minimal.
I was greatly attracted by these colorful fishing boats in this typically Caribbean boatyard. I took a lot of photographs when I was there of various angles and groupings of the boats and I have often used them as references over the years, whether in watercolor or acrylic. The palm trees provide an obvious Caribbean setting, set off by the turquoise and ultramarine sea in the background. The oil drums are systematically used as garbage cans throughout the Caribbean and I include them in a lot of my caribbean paintings. In Antigua they were nearly all red at one time, some years back, but few are visible today, tending to be a rusty blue or brown.
Acrylic on canvas panel