Showing posts from September, 2012

The Spirit of a Shark

Richard Ellis's epic SHARK Exhibition at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which opened last May, has shown again the power of art to move people, and I am deeply pleased and grateful that my own shark story, along with four paintings, was included.
I began to paint sharks when I first encountered shark finning in 1994, when a ship full of shark fins docked in the port of Papeete. As a result of that experience, I went looking for sharks, tried to get to know them as animals and individuals, and began painting them as a way of encouraging others to appreciate and protect them.
What struck me spellbound about them from the first, was the way they would come and look. Those moments when a shark came to gaze straight back from just inches away stretched out for a very long time, and were nothing like the moments of eye-contact shared with other people or mammals. Sharks are different.
The shark's gaze conveys a spirit of considerable power which I tried repeatedly t…

GHOST . . .

One enigmatic shark I knew cruised endlessly, sensed rather than seen as he passed time after time through the vicinity. How often did I believe that he had gone, only to find him close behind me twenty minutes later, a ghost floating almost still in the cloudy light. 
I painted this in memory of those moments one reflective afternoon, years after he was finned. It is entitled "GHOST."