Mackerel School

At first glance, the many fish in a school of mackerel all look the same.  Closer inspection, though, shows the uniqueness of each.  Like human fingerprints, the bluish markings on their backs are endlessly variable in pattern and composition.  Reticulate markings composed of chevrons, bars, spots, and loops combine to form an infinite array of combinations.  This kind of reticulate pattern is one of my favorites from nature.  In fresh waters, brook trout also sport individual reticulate fingerprints in olive and yellow on their backs.

To capture the uniqueness of different mackerel, I photographed many and used the photos as models to paint the darker blue reticulations with watercolor on the lighter blue background of the inked impressions.

Size:  24 x 17 inches  (2001)

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