Here is “Dragonfly and Fish,” a fun painting which shows a cross-section of an underwater scene.
You can see something similar in a lot of my “Tree of Life” paintings, with an underground cross-section that shows the roots of a tree growing downwards. Here, I show the parts of the lotus plant under the water in addition to the flowers and leaves above the surface. The water’s surface is bowl-shaped, giving the effect of a fish-eye lens.
This painting shows a moment of balance. Above and below, air and water, warm and cool. As humans, we can simultaneously hold within us conflicting emotions of sad and happy, despair and gratitude. One of the symbolic meanings I like the most about the lotus flower is the idea that this beautiful, clean, fragrant, wondrous thing grows out of such a low, slimy environment as the muck at the bottom of a pond. We can’t get away from the mucky parts of being human, but we can choose to exist like the lotus flower does, to embody love and possibility.
The air above is full of heat and sunshine, represented in warm orange-yellow tones. This large, gleaming dragonfly buzzes through the scene.
Under the water, surrounded by dreamy bubbles, is this little orange fish, its eye gleaming just like the eye of the dragonfly.
The water towards the bottom becomes a murky brownish red. The dark roots of the lotus plants spread out across the floor of the pond. Up close, you can really see the rich texture I created with a palette knife.
As much as I love the dragonfly and the fish, who seem to me to be looking right at each other from their different worlds, my favorite part of this painting is this gently moving wave at the surface of the water. It reads as refracted light and color through clear moving water, the cross-section of the water I wanted to represent.
But when you look at it up close, it is delightfully abstract.
This painting is so colorful it can light up a room.
The painted edges are 2.5″ deep.