“no, but i’ve seen a moth ball!!”. i was going to begin this with something dramatic, like “phoenix risen from the ashes” or some such, but i shall leave stuff like that for peeps like tim robbins– instead, i was more thinking of taking something out of mothballs, and whadda ya know, this is the kind of intro that you are going to get this afternoon.

but more about the de-balling of said moths later. in 96 i did a small pen and inker, a simple piece really, just an idea– a sunset in a semi-abstract manner, which languished in my portfolio for quite some time, until recently, when it suddenly sold. i know the picture i have of it above is crappy, but it is the one i have. however, someone else also had her eye upon it, and so i volunteered to do a painted version of the piece, which i just finished up a couple of days ago.

this wasn’t as easy as i had anticipated– the pen and inker had a matrix of white paper– even when i made my super-densely bunched points there was always white along with the colors– and so my color progressions had to take this into account. a little hair-pulling occurred here, denuding more of my scalp, but i struggled through and got it down. in fact, the painted version was vastly superior to the ink one, it had a much better sense of space and motion to it, and it gave me an idea to at some time do a much larger version of it, employing some changes i was champing at the bit to do, but was unable, as i was more copying the original (but yep, i cheated a little and did some different things anyhow– ya gotta play god, doncha?)– i think i could make a pretty decent painting here, given the time and energy.

wedging this painting in between all my recent diving was a bittuva magician’s job in itself– diving several days straight and then trying to induce my nitrogen saturated brain to jump back into the groove on demand and create– i wasn’t always successful– there were days when it went very slowly, but i finally just got it centered in my brain and got jiggy wid it. i delivered the piece to the client last night and she was thrilled, making me a happy camper.

the diving has been very very good, and i have been lucky to have had a lot of great clients– thanks, y’all– you know who you are!! lots of green moray eels and turtles, as well as all the smaller creatures– banded coral shrimp, tiny crabs revealed when you lift the edges of sun anemonies, the nudibranchs, squat anemone shrimp, sun anemone shrimp looking like almost transparent skeletons– whew!! lots of small fish too– just yesterday i saw a perfect drumfish on san francisco reef– it still had a tetch of yellow on it, as it was just out of the early juvie stage, but the diaphanous streamers were still undulant, long and unnibbled by other fish. and of course, then there are the eagle rays, and they come at dramatic moments, magestic and stately and ever so graceful, they dip and wheel like elegant dancers.

jeez, but i am a blathering fool– let’s get back to those moths and stuff!! a couple or three years ago i began a series of paintings of lily pads– i say i began it, as it stalled after a certain amount of time, and this piece pictured above– the first in the “series”– sat moldering on my easel (well, what i was using as an easel at the time, anyhow) for months, i unable to put a single stroke onto it and annoyed as hell about the whole deal. i was thinking about what i wanted to do next, and my eye fell upon the edge of this piece– it was stuck behind some other pieces where i was sure not to see it, but for some reason it stuck out for me right then, i pulled it out and put it onto my new official easel, and i just knew what i had to do with it– i’m going to repaint the lighter water areas, and the shadows of the trees in the upper half of the painting– well, i am JUST GONNA GET RID OF THEM!! they have always bothered me anyhow, and besides– reality is overrated at times, better to go with what feels good. i guess that lots of mistakes have been made with that particular attitude before, i’ll just have to see if this is one of them– wish me luck please!!

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