Painting Montauk’s Catch In Watercolors

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A college friend of mine, who now lives in California, has started following Edible Long Island. She was an art major and is now a professional artist who happens to love porgies and blackfish. She sent me some images and a statement about her work, printed below.

New Jersey native and artist, Monica V. Loncola, has been drawn to the ocean’s edge all her life. A consummate beach comber, her studio is full of specimens she has collected over the years.

One of her favorite spots is Montauk, where she has spent several weeks a year painting the local catch in the quiet of the off-season. “It’s akin to having a kind of love affair with tidal life.

Seeing a fish that has just been caught is a bittersweet experience. In order to capture the true essence and see the vibrant colors, the fish must remain intact and fresh for as long as possible.

Colors fade by the minute. I paint using watercolor on a smooth plate illustration board. The chosen fish lies on a bed of ice next to my board as I work quickly from direct observation. Isolating subjects from their environment and rendering them floating across the picture plane is an approach I’ve gravitated to over the years. In some works I combine a variety of specimens that have a common thread linking them together while other works may have a single subject painted in a repeated pattern.”

Although marine life is not the only subject she illustrates, aquatic and coastal imagery is very high on the list.

To see more work by Monica, visit Gallery 1603, Surf City, LBI, NJ or visit her websites at or