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Fish #36 Round Ray Rajella fyllae ~ Maris van Nijhuis
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 30 cm
The rajella fyllae is part of the Elasmobranchii family, or rays and sharks. The round ray comes in anything from ash gray to chocolate brown on its rough upper surface, outfitted with large thorns in irregular rows. It has lighter colors on its lower surface and has a maximum length of 60 cm. You can run into this ray in the Northeast Atlantic, from Spitsbergen to southern Norway, southern Greenland, Iceland, Faeroe Islands to Shetlands, the western coasts of the British Isles and Bay of Biscay. It prefers to swim in deep water and feeds on bottom animals. The round ray is harmless to humans and is of no interest for the fishing industry.
I selected this species first of all because I remember that when I was a young child my father was bitten by a sting ray -a different variety than the round ray here actually, which has its habitat in Southeast Asia. This made a big impression on me, as he was stung in his ankle and had a deep wound, which healed very slowly. Later in life, when I was traveling in the Caribbean, I managed to overcome my fear and swam in between large rays during a boat trip off the coast of Belize. For this painting I thought of the deep waters of the North Sea, and couldn't help but think of oil rigs -not the most environmentally friendly companions for fish. I included a young ray, since one of the most noteworthy facts I found about this species is that the young of the round ray tend to follow large objects....such as their parents!
About Maris van Nijhuis: Dutch painter and sculptor, specialized in oil and acrylic paintings. Maris grew up in The Netherlands and has lived and worked on 3 continents for the past 18 years, while traveling to over 50 countries. Maris' works are inspired by nature and an appreciation for the beauty and intricacy of everything around us.
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