Taking on the Jellies

I love aquariums. I can spend hours just staring at fish and underwater creatures until my eyes go numb. If I visit a new city, the first thing I look for is an aquarium and try to drag whoever is with me to it.

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These jellyfish are from an aquarium I visited in San Francisco last year.
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My crappy iPhone takes wonderful crappy photos. But it’s all good. I basically need just the form.

And although I like all fish, my favorite is the jellyfish. Thriving on this planet for more than 600 million years, the jellyfish is beautiful, deadly and mesmerizing.  Their slow motion and trailing tentacles make for a hypnotizing dance that lulls you into a false sense of comfort.

They are truly alien and deadly. Completely translucent, they have no head, no heart and no brain and yet they can kill their prey in seconds.

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Almost all of them were “upsidedown”.

I have taken ALOT of photos of these wonderful creatures over the years and I’m finally going to paint them. Or at least one of them, lets not get too crazy. At first I was going to use one of my largest canvases but now I’m thinking  I might paint it on board. Which means I need to head to the store. I’m also dabbling with the idea of using acrylic since I can get more precise in my mixing. Not sure yet.

As always, I start off with a sketch.

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One of my first sketches. Its hard to make tentacles translucent.

Now most of the time, you don’t know if jellyfish are swimming upside down or right side up or left or right. In the ocean, or in this case a tank, there is no point of reference or distance for that matter other than yourself or the other fish around them. So I’m hoping that this painting can be hung in any direction. Slightly abstract, yet still recognizable. It will give me the flexibility of making it a horizontal landscape or a vertical portrait. I like this quirk because it can breathe new life into a painting that you have been staring at for years. Turn it upside down. BRAND NEW PERSPECTIVE! I do this with my abstract paintings all the time.  Which is probably not correct, but who cares! It’s art!

Dory freaks out


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