The Sea Life Series came to be because I was playing with Sculptamold on a craft project and I started to notice how easily it could form coral-like shapes and formations. This led to a series of abstract pieces where I utilized the Sculptamold to varying degrees and worked with different techniques to create the "sea" in each painting.
All of the paintings in the series are meant to give a sense of being underwater. I spent a lot of time looking at images of coral reefs while I worked on these paintings in order to help develop my color palette.
Sea Life 1 is almost a pure color field, with a few small coral-like elements. The color field was created using a glazing technique utilizing various shades of blue and green. There is a sense of light shining through the water, not to far from its surface. There is a crisscross texture created by the underlying layer of gesso that is intended to give a feeling of currents and eddies in the water.
Sea Life 1, 2016, 24 x 24 Inches, Oil & Sculptamold on Wood
Sea Life 2, 2016, 24 x 24 Inches, Oil & Sculptamold on Wood
With Sea Life 2, I became interested in creating a work that was somewhere between a painting and a sculpture. I thought I would like to create something that couldn't be entirely photographed. I used the "back" of a wooden panel. (Since I treat and gesso my own panels, there isn't really a back. The back is where I decide it is.)
I liked the idea of the coral pieces growing outside the edges of the painting, as though they couldn't be contained. The painting part of the work is much more energetic and chaotic than in Sea Life 1. I used some metallic and iridescent paint as well. I was thinking of the sense of energy and motion that a coral reef would have, of a place that is teeming with life.
In Sea Life 3 and Sea Life 4 I made the coral formations a much more prominent part of the artwork. In the sea areas I utilized a small sponge to add texture to the variegated greens and blues. I used deeper colors to suggest a little more depth to the water. In each of these works I wanted to give a sense of motion, of the movement of undersea life.
Sea Life 3, 2016, 24 x 24 Inches, Oil & Sculptamold on Wood
Sea Life 4, 2016, 24 x 24 Inches, Oil & Sculptamold on Wood