Koi carp feeding

Water lily leaves curl and yellow towards the end of summer. The marks of insect and fungal damage to the leaves reminded me of island maps, with the koi carp as exotic leviathans rising from, and disappearing into, the surrounding abyssal depths. Acrylics on paper, 23 x 30 cm.

£150.00 £50.00

I visited the rather ramshackle Ventnor botanic garden, which had an ornamental pond full of large koi carp. The fish were used to visitors and swam round breaking the surface in search of crumbs. The site had once been a hospital and I imagined the patients being wheeled around the pond, or sitting in the sun and watching the reflections break on the surface of the pond.

I liked the inky blackness of the water and the contrast with the bright colours of the fish. The hard reflected sunlight almost hurt the eyes. Water lily leaves curl and yellow towards the end of summer. The marks of insect and fungal damage to the leaves reminded me of island maps, with the koi carp as exotic leviathans rising from, and disappearing into, the surrounding abyssal depths.

In some parts of the world, huge sums of money have been spent trying to eradicate Koi from waterways. People buy them for ponds, decide to get rid of them for some reason, and put them into a local waterway. Once there the fish revert to their natural colours (those of the Amur carp) and ruin water quality by constantly stirring up the substrate.

If you like this painting you might also like these water lilies, or perhaps this impressionistic view of willows overhanging a pond.

Sold unmounted.