The Fisherman of Pokhara was based on a few photographs I took one afternoon, while walking around Pokhara, a city attracting lots of tourists for its hiking and adventure. Unfortunately, the visibility of the Himalayas was so limited that the only view was from the airplane during our arrival at Kathmandu. Despite this disappointment, Pokhara still had many sights and delights worth exploring. One of which was a moped ride through the streets that quickly became the most terrifying experience for me! Guess what? I wasn’t even driving - my friend was! Weaving through unpaved roads, side winding through cars, trucks, people, cows and a solitary goat made me think to myself: 'Uh, no thanks!'
After dinner, as we walked back to our hotel room, we strolled by the lake when I saw this man gutting fish by the side of the road. There were a few other fishmongers as well, and several customers stood around him waiting on their catch of the day, so there was fresh fish for everyone.
Walking past him, he saw me taking photos and gave me the biggest smile and made me wonder what was going through his mind. I’d like to think he was genuinely enjoying his profession. I’m not sure if his smile was for the love of what he was doing, because I took his picture or because he was happy to be alive. Regardless, the snapshot I captured was a beautiful moment in time. A moment for exploration through the medium of watercolors.
The Fisherman of Pokhara
watercolor on Daler&Rowney 140lb cold-pressed paper
11.7 x 14.5 inches
Initially, I was attracted by the simplicity of the scene. He had a basket, a tarp, a knife, and a block which I assume was for sharpening his knife. I watched him deftly scrape away fish scales while chatting with his customers letting us peek into his daily routine.
Even though I did a small, quick watercolor sketch of him prior to this painting, I wanted to expand this moment. I needed to spend more time over the folds in his shirt, the weaving of the fish basket, and of course the brightness and warmth in his smile.