COCOS SERIES: New Red and Gold Paintings

These next 4 paintings in progress are my homage to the most heart-pumping dive sites of Cocos Island located at Isla Manuelita. I used reds, golds, oranges, and bronzes (mix of sparkly metallics, pearls, and solids) on canvas to convey my emotions while diving. The Manuelita mini-series is numbered 1-4 to match the order in which I painted them.

Manuelita 1, Cocos Series, 2019 – This is a very fast-moving painting. While I was painting, I was thinking about my drift dives in the Manuelita channel. While the ocean pulled me along, I watched a school of whitetip reef sharks, a cloud of mating bigeye jacks, and I ascended a bit to admire a large tiger shark patrolling the shallows.

Manuelita 2, Cocos Series, 2019 – When I mix paint, there is no going back. If I don’t use it all, it hardens completely and it’s wasted. There’s no going back once I start a painting. That’s how I felt when the divemaster told me to either get out of the water or dive down…to not just bob indecisively in the tiger sharks’ feeding grounds. I let go and dived down to witness a 14 foot tiger shark named Lagertha part schooling hammerheads as she swam towards us.

Manuelita 3, Cocos Series, 2019 – From Isla Manuelita, I could see the giant waterfalls of Cocos spill into the ocean. I had these waterfalls in mind as I painted, but I couldn’t help but also be influenced by Lagertha’s (14 foot tiger shark) stripes as she slowly circled me. Maybe it’s a tiger firefall. I just really love the fiery effects of this large piece.

Manuelita 4, Cocos Series, 2019 – For this last little piece, I really wanted to convey my emotional dichotomy that only happens to me while scuba diving…the peaceful-passionate-painful emotion. At Manuelita, I was in so much physical pain due to my pressure injury, but at the same time elated and at peace by the tiger shark and schooling hammerheads. The cool golds crash together with the hot, wave-like reds.


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