Squids – Hung out to Dry – Oil Painting

The abstract painting below is one of my very recent artworks, completed in a combined abstract realism /surreal style. Calamari is a pop...

The abstract painting below is one of my very recent artworks, completed in a combined abstract realism/surreal style.

Calamari is a popular Newfoundland meal. But, we mainly call it squid.  Only the outer tube section is used for many of the traditional Newfoundland dishes. 


A common Newfoundland meal is to stuff this with dressing, and cook it in the oven for awhile. This is known as “stuffed squid” and is very famous in this province.

Some other dishes using squid are:

Dried Squid – Squid that is salted and dried by sunlight. A common scene here is to see it hung on clotheslines. (“hung out to dry”)

Squid Rings – This is similar to onion rings. The squid is cut into rings and covered in a batter recipe, and fried in a deep fryer.



Squid – Hung out to Dry
18” X 24”
Oil on Canvas
© Graham Matthews Abstract Art

As one can see, the title is a pun and plays on two different meanings.

Dictionary.reference.com gives the definition of “hang out to dry”:

Abandon someone to danger, as in The squadron withdrew and just let us hang out to dry . This expression alludes to hanging wet laundry on a clothesline. [Slang; 1960s]

Squid is literally “hung out to dry” here in Newfoundland, to make “dried squid”.

But, the phrase is commonly used these days to describe someone who is abandoned or left alone, when they are in danger or need help.

I have often felt left alone in the past when I needed help. The squid, in this abstract painting, suspended in midair gives an impression of helplessness. The painting expresses some of these feelings.

The use of reds and deep hues, along with a “cramped” sense of space further enhances this. The squids look like they are exposed and helpless, unable to do anything about their predicament.


My heartfelt thanks to all my readers for taking the time to read my blog, and view my paintings!

I hope you all have an amazing successful new year in 2012!



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Graham Matthews: Squids – Hung out to Dry – Oil Painting
Squids – Hung out to Dry – Oil Painting
Graham Matthews
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