Continuing with my theme of revisiting past dive trips (because who knows when I will be able to travel again), my newest series is devoted to the time I spent in Curacao back in 2015. During my very first dive trip in Cozumel in 2011, I met an incredible dive instructor who I credit for really teaching me to be the diver I am today. She said that her favorite dive spot was in her home country, Curacao; so, four years later, I decided to experience it for myself.
Curacao was my version of a candy store with a rainbow of colors both above water and below it. I experienced my first (and only) fluorescent night dive, which is still one of my favorite dives to this day. Not only was the soft coral reef a psychedelic display of neon greens and oranges, but the Caribbean octopuses were extraordinarily active. One octopus actually swam up to me mid-water and proceeded to hover while waving all of its outstretched arms for at least 10 minutes. I still have never seen another octopus behave like that. I have also never seen so many squid (during both morning and night dives). Curacao is very squidy and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with these highly intelligent and colorfully-expressive critters.
I did a lot of shipwreck dives, where the structures caused incredible darkness and shadows, as well as dancing beams of light. You will see my exploration of light and darkness in this new series.
You will also see a main theme of blues and reds in my new paintings:
Klein Curacao is a truly magical place with some of the most glorious ocean blues I have ever seen; specifically, I was mesmerized by the sharp transitions between the light and dark blues.
Shining my bright lights in the hulls of some of the shipwrecks revealed bright neon and metallic reds. Of course, the bold red lion fish also stole the show. There were also quite a few bright orange sponges and enormous orange star fish.
Overall, I absolutely loved Curacao and I will hopefully return someday.
Regarding my art during this difficult time, it is the only thing that has remained constant in my life. If anything, I have grown more appreciative that I have my studio to escape to and create in – a cave of a warehouse haven. Here, my paintings and I are completely shut off from the world. I have always worn a respirator when I paint, as well as a full suit and latex gloves (unfortunately, now everyone dresses like I do).
It’s memories like diving in Curacao that keep me going and inspire me to continue to create. I hope that you stay healthy, and that you are able to hold on to something that brings you joy (no matter how small it may seem).
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