Sea Turtles’ Path

Painting is a very personal journey for me with each painting evolving as mysteriously as a dream and as tangible as smoke in the air. My paintings are born with an aspiration, turning to a story – one that envelops me like a cloudy mist of space and hope. Eventually I reach a point where I simply must get it out into solid form.

The dream is based on inspiration that can hit suddenly – usually I will be outdoors walking the dog, hiking, biking, driving alone – it happens during a moment where I am completely internalized or focused on something else. When it comes to me, the inspiration almost seems surprising, wonderfully happy, like an unexpected visit from a good friend. I will look up and see a sunbeam crossing the water, a view across the cliffs across the ocean, a sea scape, a mountain range, a rock, a feather…many things.

Taking the feeling with me – I harbor it, think about it, turn it around in my head many times. I start with the bare canvas – pulling it out, prepping the surface, touching and stoking it with my fingers. I literally will sometimes carry a plain canvas around the house, setting it down from place to place, room to room, for days – checking light and shadow – forming further the image in my head that I must paint. Sometimes the feeling needs more than one canvas and a series of paintings live inside of me as translucent as shadows. It is all part of my strange process where nothing actually makes much sense. There really is only feeling until the paint is stroked on the canvas.

The Sea Turtles Path is one of my dream paintings where inspiration came from a walk on a beach in Kauai.   Barking Sands is a wild and beautiful place, a place where turtles swim far offshore heading up the Na Pali coastline. It is a place where only experienced surfers dare to play. The sand stretches far into the ocean and waves come rolling, massively, onto the beach forming patterns and shades in the sand. The air is full of mist, the sand squeaks under the feet and the power of nature is larger than life.

The painting now hangs in a place where an avid diver and researcher of sea turtles, Greenland sharks and strange creatures of the deep, makes his home. It is the absolutely best place I could possibly image for this piece. A place of dreams.

Painting is a very personal journey for me with each painting evolving as mysteriously as a dream and as tangible as smoke in the air. My paintings are born with an aspiration, turning to a story – one that envelops me like a cloudy mist of space and hope. Eventually I reach a point where I simply must get it out into solid form.

The dream is based on inspiration that can hit suddenly – usually I will be outdoors walking the dog, hiking, biking, driving alone – it happens during a moment where I am completely internalized or focused on something else. When it comes to me, the inspiration almost seems surprising, wonderfully happy, like an unexpected visit from a good friend. I will look up and see a sunbeam crossing the water, a view across the cliffs across the ocean, a sea scape, a mountain range, a rock, a feather…many things.

Taking the feeling with me – I harbor it, think about it, turn it around in my head many times. I start with the bare canvas – pulling it out, prepping the surface, touching and stoking it with my fingers. I literally will sometimes carry a plain canvas around the house, setting it down from place to place, room to room, for days – checking light and shadow – forming further the image in my head that I must paint. Sometimes the feeling needs more than one canvas and a series of paintings live inside of me as translucent as shadows. It is all part of my strange process where nothing actually makes much sense. There really is only feeling until the paint is stroked on the canvas.

Sea Turtles’ Path is one of my dream paintings where inspiration came from a walk on a beach in Kauai.   Barking Sands is a wild and beautiful place, a place where turtles swim far offshore heading up the Na Pali coastline. It is a place where only experienced surfers dare to play. The sand stretches far into the ocean and waves come rolling, massively, onto the beach forming patterns and shades in the sand. The air is full of mist, the sand squeaks under the feet and the power of nature is larger than life.

The painting now hangs in a place where an avid diver and researcher of sea turtles, Greenland sharks and strange creatures of the deep, makes his home. It is the absolutely best place I could possibly image for this piece. A place of dreams.

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Sea Turtles’ Path – 36″ by 48″ oil painting on canvas – with Chris Harvey-Clark, Greenland Shark Researcher and Director of Animal Care at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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