Friday, June 02, 2017

Under Water


Under Water
Oil and iron oxide on canvas
48 x 48 inches
2017

When I first had the idea for this painting, I was reflecting on the rising sea levels along the coast I now live in Half Moon Bay, CA. In some areas houses teeter literally on the edge of cliffs, eroded from below from slowly encroaching tides. One street I walk on regularly is being steadily pulled into the ocean by the relentlessly pounding surf. Efforts to fill the ever-appearing holes in the road's surface seem futile, but efforts diligently continue. 

On one of my walks, the image of houses with people breathing through snorkels popped into my mind, and that seemed too intriguing not to paint. As I worked on this piece, something began to reveal itself. The idea of rising waters wasn't so unnerving to me. In fact, the water became calm as I worked on this piece. The people, however, seemed disconcerting to me. Toward the end of the piece, I understood why. I was internally grappling with a few questions.

How will people treat each other as things change? Because things will change. Scientists are quite certain of that. How will we respond? Will we take an attitude of me first, or will we work together to find solutions that help ourselves and each other? What will our solutions look like? Surely not breathing through rusty pipes! Hopefully not isolated, afraid and alone in our houses with doors uniquely identifiable, yet too small for anyone to enter or leave.
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