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Oil on Acrylic Monotype – 10′ x 4′ in 5 panels

This set of paintings is the fruit of my final assignment in Intermediate Painting at PSU. The goal was to incorporate a narrative. I chose the Selkie or Ondine, a mythical creature which sheds its seal skin to live as a human on land. It is said that if you can hide the seal coat of a Selkie, it will remain human for seven years.
I started with a sketch then I did a smaller scale painting before I began the large composition. Doing so allowed me to work out the kinks and establish a flow before painting the larger piece. I asked Crystal Zingshiem to lend me her torso for the yellow base layer and used a piece of bubble wrap to indicate a school of fish. I blocked out the background and Rachel, my teacher, showed me a technique for the gradation. The finishing touches were painted in acrylic and colored pencil. The final is 5 panels measuring 12″ x 24″, one-half of the larger painting. It’s called Space Explorer from a song by my friend Whim Grace. I played the song continuously while I painted the piece.

I asked my buddies Tess and Crystal to collaborate with me on the larger painting.  Crystal modeled for the end pieces and Tess became the odalisque in the middle three. The coral colors represent the seal changing into a human and the shiny metal bits refer to the fisherman who captures her in his net.

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