Darragh's Mackerel - a painting by Mary Wallace ©

....I felt the urge to paint mackerel.

Darragh 28 August 2011 jpg

Darragh's mackerel -  a painting by Mary Wallace ©

4 March 2012

Today I went for a walk to The Raven with Brendan & Tio. We are blessed here in Wexford with miles and miles of golden sandy coastline and so a walk to the beach - which beach? there are so many to choose from - is a favourite. Today it was The Raven.

I got to thinking about a day last Summer when I went fishing with Brendan just a couple of miles out from The Raven. Although I love to be on the water, I have to be honest: the thoughts of spending hours bibbling and bobbling about waiting for the fish that might never come does not hold huge appeal. For some reason that day I said 'Yes; I'll go'.

We were out beyond the Bar Buoy at his usual fishing spot. It was a glorious sunny day and I was enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face; daydreaming and lost in thought; dazzled by the sparkle of the light on the lilac blue water and feeling drowsy.

Brendan roused me and asked if I'd like to take a line. At first I resisted thinking I wouldn't know what to do if I felt a fish bite. With a little more encouragement I finally plucked the courage to take the rod in my hand. It took quite a time but eventually I felt a little tug which got stronger and I started to panic. 'Brendan! What'll I do? ' He talked me through my first catch; our first catch of the day. I landed seven sparkling mackerel.

We went on to take a grand total of forty-one fish. This called for a feast and so friends and neighbours were called in to join us. There's few things that can compare to the taste of freshly caught mackerel on the barbeque. With Wexford Queens - we're famous for our potatoes 'round here as well as strawberries and sunshine!

For years I have been taking photos of Brendan's mackerel catch with the true intention of painting them. It wasn't until I caught my own that the painting came about. Last Summer we tragically lost my nephew a few weeks short of his twenty-first birthday. He loved fishing and so as his birthday drew near I felt the urge to paint mackerel. This painting was my birthday present to him and to my sister. Happy Birthday, Darragh. XX