HORSESHOE CRAB CREATIVE SERIES

Each hand painted horseshoe crab shell is a unique piece of artwork.  Using water-based oil paints I create unique paintings, employing patterns and colors that are inspired by nature and world art. I have produced a number of distinctive series each evoking different primitive imagery. Below is a description of what inspired and motivated my different design series as I created them.

The natural shape of the shells bring to mind primitive masks, this inspired me to create a number of different design series evoking the masks of ancient cultures, including what I am calling Tribal Masks, Tribal Totem Masks, Decorative Masks, and Medallion Masks. The patterns and designs in my Masks Series are reminiscent of patterns and visual motifs found in ancient cultures. The symmetry and colors of the shell are echoed in the earthen toned balanced designs and the natural colors are resonant of the pigments found in early people’s works. For some designs I have added detailed ornamentation in a decorative fashion serving to highlight the shape of the shell, while others lend themselves to the use of mandala-esque motifs with more geometric shapes and repetitive patterns. Some of the paintings in my Masks Series incorporate the brighter and bolder colors found in nature’s palette. Oceanic art refers primarily to the creative works made by the native peoples of the Pacific Islands. Though their artistic conceptions vary throughout the cultures and regions, typically they carry themes of fertility, the supernatural, or elaborate geometric motifs and anthropomorphic imagery. Some artworks used designs that would be layered until an elaborate pattern was created thus inspiring some of the shells in my Decorative Mask Series. I have also created a more totemic, vertical design theme in my Tribal Totem Series. The mostly symmetrical designs are reminiscent of patterns and motifs found in the artistic styles of many cultures. The detailed vertical centers are evocative of totemic designs.

I have been inspired by a few specific cultures including the artworks of the Indigenous Australian people and the art of Oceania. The themes found in the “Dreamtime” art of the indigenous Australian people are inextricably linked with the natural world. Traditionally, for the Aboriginal peoples, their “dreaming” artwork might depict cultural and spiritual stories concerning the formation of earth and life. These ideas influenced my Dreamtime Series. My Dreamtime Sea-Life Series draws upon both by the “Dreamtime” artworks of the indigenous Australian people and the undersea world that is home to the horseshoe crab for its inspiration. These works incorporate repetitive and intricate details utilizing the colors and forms of the natural world.

The pigments and patterns in my Natures Pattern Series follow and highlight the natural markings and contours of the shell itself, many of the shells have variation in pattern and darker or lighter markings that I follow as the crab shell itself acts as a guide for the design.

Inspired by the natural habitat of the horseshoe crab, the designs from my Sea-Life Series describe the forms, patterns, shapes and myriad colors found in our oceans and seas.

These ancient creatures, inhabiting earth’s waters for over 300 million years also inspired me to create both my Ocean Impressions Series of impressionistic painted shells as well as the asymmetrical designs and flowing colors seen in my Primordium Series. These are reminiscent of patterns found in organic forms and evocative of the feeling inspired by the idea of the primordial soup giving birth to the building blocks of life. In this series I incorporate the breadth of colors and tones found in nature’s palette, juxtaposing them in unusual combinations

My Sea-realism Series is inspired by Surrealistic Art, particularly the artists Miro and Klee, I freely paint random patterns and designs evocative of sea-life on a blended background using the colors and hues found in nature.

My Tidal Series delves into imagery expressing the colors and forms of undulating ocean waters and shifting shoreline sands. Exploring at low tide inspired the contrast of ocean waters above and the shifting sands and sea life obscured beneath with undulating sea blues and tones of rich browns, pinks and ochers. As in my previous series, it is the natural habitat and history of the horseshoe crab that serve to inspire these painted shells.

My newest series is the Elemental Series exploring imagery expressing the elements of earth, air, fire and water.