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Happy World Ocean Day!

JUNE 8, 2012
Just in the knick of time - 100 posters arrived today from the U.S. State Dept. They are not distributed in the United States because of some old law that does not allow the US to advertise itself, so only embassies around the world receive them, which makes these a rare item to own.( so if you want one, send me an email...They are artist signed, 100 in the edition, 40. plus shipping.)
Having been a scuba diver for over twenty five years I was thrilled to get this commission back in February.  I had 3 weeks to complete the work which included a lot of research and some new experiments with the clay, including an elaborate underpainting, more loose washes and letting go of some of the detail by scraping out areas of elaborate work sometimes. 

Here is the image 3/4 of the way complete. After laboring over the turtles back I scraped it away as the animals began evolving in the wave. I used the vehicle of a wave in my last assignment with the U.S. State Dept Earth Day Image and found it to be a successful way to maximize the amount of animals I wanted to put into the piece.

2007 Earth Day image. The subject was animal trafficing for this piece and with the same awesome art director Diane Woolverton.

I have alot of reference collected in my sketchbooks which I always carry with me onto the boat when diving along with a set of watercolors.  During the dive I try to paint a picture in my head to preserve the memory and then do the painting immediately after the dive.  Here are a collection of some sketches including one from my very first dive in 1987 watching my dive buddy and husband George descending. I'll never forget that suspension into sinking below, discovering an entire new world into the ocean frontier.  The reef alive, vibrant and filled with swarming creatures and plants is not so disimilar from witnessing a rainforest dripping with moss, clouds, mushrooms and wild animals.  So many things are difficult to realize until we actually observe them up close. 
I was so saddened on a recent trip to the Caribean to find the results of carbon monoxide bleaching the coral life in waters that were way too warm.  We have an interconnectedness with the ocean that is profound. 
Funny capturing that 80's look complete with gym short diving attire!

coral reef and slugs, brine shrimp, urchins in the Red Sea 2008

more from the Red Sea. The mussell in the center was about 2-3 feet in width and the giant mushroom coral was at least 12 ft across.

Spotted ray

From the tidal pools near San Diego

The Rhone dive was one of my favorite dives-famous for its sunken ship near Virgin Gorda. How amazing the mimic of nature, where all living creatures share forms.

From a very recent trip to The Baths in Virgin Gorda-the fantastical granite rocks breathing life on it's shores.

Embedded with histories formed within every portion of our planet, we must nourish her. Use mass transportation, ride your bike or walk to the store, turn off lights, recycle, clean up shorelines - a simple way to celebrate World Ocean Day everyday!

Digging deep prior to painting