SOLD, commissioned (180cm x 85cm (73" x 34") Acrylic on board)
© Craig Bertram Smith
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For the most part the open ocean is seemingly lifeless. But creatures here live a nomadic existence traveling many kilometers every day from one feeding ground to the next. And where the seas are teaming with life on one day, they are desolate the next.
Sailfish are just one of the many pelagic fish that travel great distances in search of food. But they are arguably the most spectacular. Besides being the fastest fish in the sea they are also one of the most elegant. Sailfish have specialized hunting techniques. Traveling in packs, they herd bait fish from the depths to the surface. The bait fish are then kept together in a tight rippling ball as the sailfish, with their characteristic sails extended, circle around from all directions. Each fish then takes turns to snatch fish from the peripheries. They often slash their bills through the shoal disabling individuals to be snapped up.
This epic phenomenon is something that has fascinated Craig and was the inspiration for what is his biggest painting. Other species often gather to take advantage of bonanzas like these so he added a few dorado or mahi mahi. An obvious choice, given their spectacular ability to “flash” yellow and blue when excited.