HORSESHOE CRAB CREATIVE SERIES
Each hand painted horseshoe crab shell is a unique piece of artwork. Using water-based oil paints I create designs, 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. I have divided them into series to describe what inspired and motivated the designs 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, decorative masks, and medallion masks.
For some designs I have added detailed ornamentations in a decorative fashion serving to highlight the shape of the shell, while others lend themselves to the use of mandalla-esque motifs with more geometric shapes and repetitive patters.
I have been inspired by a few specific cultures including the “Dreamtime” artworks of the Indigenous Australian people and the art of Oceania. The patterns and designs in these series are reminiscent of patterns and visual motifs found in these 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.
The themes found in the “Dreamtime” artworks 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.
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 sometimes anthropomorphic imagery. Some artworks used designs that would be layered until an elaborate pattern was created.
While still suggestive of ancient masks, I have created a more totemic, vertical design theme in my Tribal Totem series. As in my Tribal Mask series, the earth tones used are resonant of the pigments found in ancient cultures and are in keeping with the natural color of the shells.
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.
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.