Thursday, June 26, 2014


Who wouldn't want a swordfish bill hanging on their wall! It would be a good conversation piece for your office.

One day, I was expressing an interest in making extra money. Living in Key West is not cheap. It was suggested that I paint on swordfish bills and sell them. I had never heard of doing such a thing, but when I found out what they sell for, I said, "I'm in!"

Preparing the bills for painting... well, I'll just say it's a stinky job and a long process. Chuck and I are both painting, and we have had positive feedback with our finished product. The hard part, is coming up with a design that prospective customers would fall in love with and be compelled to buy. My question to all of you guys; if you were vacationing in Key West, what would catch your eye? Would you want something that reminds you of your time in Key West? And what would that be: coconut, palm trees, fish, beach, boats, sunset on the water...tell me.

The surface to paint on a bill, is limited in size. Most are only 3 inches wide and they average 36 inches in length. I also want to try and make swords from bills. I've seen pictures of this done, and I think it is really cool. My only obstacle is the grip. I would prefer to buy a grip, but am having difficulty finding such a thing. I may have to build one from wood. It can be done, but I would like to have it made from metal. If anyone has any ideas, I am open to suggestions.

Years ago, I played around with oils, but never acrylics. Acrylics are a better medium for the bills, so I am learning the ways of the acrylic paints. They do not blend like oils, and I get frustrated because it doesn't come out like the picture I have in my head. Maybe it's my talent lacking, not the fault of the paint... nah, it's the paint.

Click on the image to enlarge the picture.


  1. Pretty cool. You might be on to something. We are headed overland to Port Townsend; showing the boat this year and doing a little northwest cruising.

    1. Good for you guys, I'm sure you are ready to be back on the boat. Fair winds!

  2. Try pastels, I recently did a swordfish bill with pastels and framed it in a shadow box. You will have a lot easier time blending colors.