Oil/Encaustic on Panel, 36″ X 36″
Ltd. Edition Print
This early painting in this series was a departure from the portraiture/encaustic realism I’d done for a while. I had just acquired the book Art Forms in Nature which is both biographical and full of the gorgeous drawings Ernst Haeckel did in the nineteenth century from his travels worldwide. The joy of interpreting and painting his drawings of underwater specimens, flowers and insects was exhilarating and laid the groundwork for the series which continues now.
Indonesia radically changed my life. On a dive with fast moving current, 40 feet below the surface in crystal clear water with sunlight shining through, I wedged myself behind a huge coral head so I could be still long enough to watch the schools of fish. There has to be some divine creative force who could create such a funny shaped, wild color combos and designs, multi-finned, curious parade as that which I witnessed. I cried in my mask!
On another dive, the elusive yet curious octopuses would briefly appear and if I was slow moving, barely breathing bubbles, and perched myself nearby, there were many occasions where they would venture a tentacle out and explore my hand or arm. I could watch them change color, change patterns and textures on their skin and just as fast, become flat and disappear between the colonies of coral reefs. So out of these mystical experiences, this piece of art was born and on many of my other pieces you’ll recognize my deep respect for our oceans.