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Monday, May 21, 2012

The long slow road to the Sargasso (painting)

‘The long slow road to the Sargasso’ (painting)  © Peter Gander 2012
Scratching away white highlights with a scalpel
Going back a few years now, I posted a lunchtime sketch on this blog of ‘The long slow road...’, (see pic) with a link to The National Anguilla Club later picked up by a certain eel enthusiast from Cefas . (Hope you’re keeping up). Anyway, I was commissioned by the same person to produce the ‘Eel knot’ invite artwork and the above painting for the delegates of a Fisheries convention up in Edinburgh, Scotland, earlier in May. The original is a watercolour but I employed the fine skills of Michael Setek at in nearby Wye, Kent, to supply a number of giclée prints to hand out to worthy attendees. For any other artists in Kent keen on duplicating their paintings, especially watercolours (which aren’t easy to reproduce accurately) I’d recommend you check him out. Such is the excellent quality of the prints that you have to feel the original paper to check which one is the ‘real McCoy’!

The new painting (foreground) and the original sketch from 3 years ago amidst eely reference material
‘Eely happy’ print recipients, from left to right:
John Casselman (Canada), Mari Kuroki (Japan), Don Jellyman (New
Zealand), Katsumi Tsukamoto (Japan), Jim McCleave (USA) and Alan Walker
(Cefas, UK). Willem Dekker (Sweden)
The new painting remained very faithful to the original idea, changing little from my concept of a family and their belongings tied to a giant eel, travelling by night on their arduous journey to every European eel’s spawning ground - the Sargasso sea near Bermuda. In fact, I even kept the Biro element to lend an etching-like feel to the finished art. Also employed were a scalpel to scratch away white glossy highlights of the eels’ skin and candle wax to add texture to the flinty soil catching the moon’s rays. Winsor & Newton watercolour on The Langton Prestige 300gsm rough paper.


  1. That's great that! I love it!

  2. fantastic. i shared the post with artist james prosek who is working on eel protection.

  3. Thanks David & El P/Steve. Steve, the same client is supposed to be forwarding the leftover eel postcards to me, so I'll send one onto you in the states when he gets round to that!