Saturday, September 5, 2015

A thirty year old image finds a canvas.

Before I moved to Texas I used to scuba dive at Shark River Inlet in Belmar New Jersey. We would dive for lobster with the Incoming tides which would often be late at night.

One evening there was a particularly intense moon shining through the surface of the water. I looked up from thirty feet down and saw the most amazing ultramarine blue I have ever seen. There were fish silhouetted against the moonlight.

I never forgot the image but never tried to paint it either. I just had it sketched and tucked away, which is what happens to many of the images that have been sketched and seem to linger for years.

In this series the clarity of the image finally made itself known. I am using all of the things I have recently taught to a student about depth and visual cues to not only allow the viewer to look deep into the distance but also up and out of the water.

It is like a dual perspective only instead of lines and vanishing points you have color values, contrasts of light and dark and the changing sizes of images to create the view that you are on the bottom of the ocean.

This particular painting is not even close to being finished but I believe it’s on the right track. I am most unclear with how to capture the fish silhouettes. I will add bubbles rising to the surface with careful attention to allow the viewers eye to follow into two distinct distances.

Hopefully when I am finished the viewer will not only feel the silence and wonder of being deep beneath the ocean but also the feeling of being contained by nature. Hold your breath we’re going to the bottom of the sea.

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