If you ask an artist which is their favorite painting, they will usually say the last one that they painted. That’s usually true, but in this case, even though it’s not my last painting, I truly think this is my current favorite painting. This image haunted me for a while before I realized it was time to give it a try. You may recognize the underlying image of “Turtle Grass” which I painted many years ago. “Turtle Grass” was from a photo that I took while managing the Turneffe Island Lodge in Belize. I stood on the bow of the boat and shot straight down into the grass on the bottom. The water was so clear that you didn’t really see the water, just some of the ripples in the water and some minor reflection.
That image had been printed as a giclee on canvas and the ink somehow began to have oxidation spots in it for some reason so I just put it aside in the studio not wanting to throw it away. When I had the idea for the ray painting I knew I had the canvas hanging on the wall. Once I had the ray blocked in on top of the printed grass, I then proceeded to totally repaint the “Turtle Grass” with a little extra color and dimension.The next step was to position the white spots so that they gave the illusion of depth and roundness to the ray. I kept thinking while painting the ray of how much the imagery of the ray reminded me of some of the African mudcloth designs I love. Even though this painting is a little darker pallet than what I’m used too, I am really happy with the way it turned out. I look forward to seeing who ends up with it.
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