"A Bolt from the Blue"
by Jack Saylor
oil on canvas, 30"x 40"
Featured painting of the 55th Annual Big Rock
Blue Marlin Tournament
This being my first painting of a blue marlin I knew that I wanted to do
something dramatic. Like so many ideas for my paintings come to me, this one
came right "out of the blue" in a tidal wave of images and emotions. I
immediately knew I wanted to charge the atmosphere with a powerful energy yet
balance that with a romantically beautiful time of the evening when the colors
become so rich and golden and our emotions and imaginations are often enhanced
by the memories of a magical day on the water and a relaxing drink.
I began with the notion of a beautiful yet ominous thunderhead in the near
distance (close enough to rattle the nerves). My focus was on the anvil of the
storm which is the part known to drop the lightning "bolts from the blue". The
storm really set the stage for the rest of the painting. The water which is the deep
blue/green of an early evening sea reflecting a storm sky, heaves and falls filled
with wind energy of the downdrafts and outflow winds from the storm. I was
tempted to paint a lightning bolt coming from the anvil cloud but instead I let the
fish become the "bolt" knowing that any seasoned fisherman would look at that
cloud and know a bolt could drop at any second.
My next big decision was whether to show the fish hooked up or not. I decided
to show the marlin free jumping versus being hooked up. I wanted this painting to
be about the incredible beauty of these fish, their power and their allure. I wanted
to portray the blue marlin in its awesome glory and full blooded color.
The title "A Bolt from the Blue" refers to numerous aspects of the painting.
First and foremost it suggests the "blue" marlin "bolting" to the surface. It also
refers to the fish "bolting" from the "blue" water. Another distinct reference is the
potential "bolt from the blue" lightning strike coming from the anvil cloud. The
idea for this painting hit me like a "bolt from the blue" and finally, the very
invitation extended to me by the Big Rock to be the official artist this year
definitely came like a "bolt from the blue"!