Companion pieces, the latest paintings developed in the studio this final week of March, 2014, intensely-colored variety of fish in a world of surrealistic turmoil, yet they calmly float and drift through the morass of unpredictable energy free from the perception of gravity, they live only in the moment.
[Special thanks to Maria Mendoza]
Kind of feels like an underwater jungle adventure, the dark water pulses with energy, these contrasting companions foray in the same direction yet seem a but disorganized, maybe there’s harmony in their future but it’s uncertain.
Perhaps this image ties in with the idea of that apocalyptic detonation that roils the surface, electro-magnetic pulse blasting through the water, a mystifying intervention for those living below.
A contrast of bright colors in the murky deep, is this fish inadequately camouflaged for its environment, wandering in strange waters, or safely alone?
What lurks in the forest of seaweed?
Again there is a dualistic appearance open to subjective interpretation in this piece, compositionally a certain proximity might bring feelings of anxiety for the introvert who witnesses a bunch of fish ganging up on the weirdo in the middle, while the actualized extrovert may see this as a lively conversation, a diverse school of fish talking about their situation.
Part of my fascination with these small-scale watercolor collage paintings is that they represent a vast expanse of ocean yet also appear to resemble an aquarium tank, the dualistic nature of this metaphor of containment is very appealing.
It could be a matter of attitude or perception, a Rorschach test for the viewer to see abundant space or confined space, brightly-colored fish in a beautiful environment or mutated fish in a hostile ocean.
Floating fish seems to be contained, trudging up the grade of the underwater landscape, but in reality free of gravity, the constraint of the boundary is only an illusion, the fish is free to traverse anywhere within its environment.
Another poignant image where the fish take on a personality based on their relationships to each other and their environment, it is dark and murky close to the bottom of the ocean, yet this pair of fish are close companions, drifting in a stable orientation in relative safety.
I am experimenting with the watercolor backgrounds, papers and environments, how they appear based on the technical aspects, such as pages cropped to a full bleed (image continues to the edge of the page) as opposed to the more ethereal treatment of some white space around the soft edges of the painted area as above.
These originals are available for sale and the framing would depend on whether you put it under a mat and cover the edges, or take an image like the one above and float it on a mat so that the edges of the paper remain visible, it’s a nice look that to me conveys the idea that the water continues beyond the picture plane into that dreamlike space.