31 January 2009

A Very Active Aquarium.

This order comes from Susan Woehrle in Minneapolis. She requested a very active aquarium with fish, a diver, a crab, a castle, coral, and lots of bubbles; all very colorful. I was pleased to oblige. With this one I didn't show a lot of refined taste. As I was mixing the pink, I realized that I had never made the color before (for anything). When I got into this one it became a little addictive. I actually had troubles getting myself to stop painting. So many more things could be added. (Right now I'm regretting the absence of a sea horse, but I don't know where it would fit). I emailed Susan yesterday and asked her to tell me more about herself and aquariums, mostly out of my own curiosity. (Sometimes I pretend like there is a social science edge to this project). She mentioned the calming effects of watching fish. It can lower your blood pressure. She remembered a fish tank in the waiting room of her dentist's office when she was a kid that made the experience more palatable. Unfortunately, I don't know how soothing the painting I made is. The pink and orange gravel is a little crazy making. Does nothing good for my blood pressure.
For me, I think the calm comes from looking into a world that seems completely detached from ours. It puts things into perspective. The fish all have there own little watery concerns and seem oblivious to us in their quiet little microcosm. We are only existent to them during feeding time and then we must seem like rain.
The decorative divers and castles a add a strange literal narrative for us that the fish are oblivious to. However, I must be part fish because I don't completely understand the narrative either. I get that the divers are supposed to be fortune hunters that are scavenging for treasures from sunken boats, but what are we supposed to make of the castles. Do they suggest that are fish are swimming in some long lost sunken medieval Atlantis or that there is a kingdom of sea-monster-people underwater that are waring with our fiddler crabs for primacy? Anyway, aren't the fish sometimes trying to eat other enough of a narrative?
The castle I made was a composite of several I saw online on aquatic supply store websites. I do realize that mine looks something like a quaint Alpine Ski Lodge with minarets. I put the skull on front just to add some intrigue and some stairs in front to keep the legless mermaids out.
I hope you like it, Susan.


Susan Woehrle said...

Oooh, I love it! Good work, I can't wait to get it in the mail.

On a side note, I have always loved bright colors and I don't see anything unappealing about the pink and orange.

The castle looks like it was carved out of an existing choral formation, which is an interesting interpretation. I was thinking more of gray stone and a portcullis for the castle, but this works, too.

It looks like you made anemones and I like the starfish.

Kevin said...

with friends like this who needs anemones?

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