My 2D underwater fish scenes are very exceptional and vibrant arrays of colorful fish creating a unique underwater scene. By having the fish scene as two dimensional there are shadow effects that help the scene to pop out, so to speak, to make it seemingly alive. I do this because I love life underwater, plus it is very soothing and relaxing for me.
I begin my creations on glossy paper with pencils, magic markers, Watercolor markers, ink, color pencils and more magic markers. I do not complete the creation on glossy paper. I take the unfinished piece to be color copied on acid free paper. I continue to add more colors to the fish with ink and color markers to achieve my desired image. I want to do this because I want to bring out the colors more than what I had originally applied. Then I cut as many as I need using an X-acto knife.
My next step is to look for my canvas which is usually a shadow box. This allows me to create a two dimensional fish scene. I usually find these unfinished frames in a local art/ craft store. I clean the frames and stain them island water blue. I apply the water-based stain with a soft cloth and then I wipe off the excess. The more I repeat this process the darker the stain. These frames give me a half inch of play space, which means there are two or three layers of fish adding depth and movement to the scene. I also use a deeper frame created by a professional framer which gives me three to four inches of play space. This added space allows me to attach four or more layers of fish and other underwater elements.
The final step is to attach various layers of fish with small strips of foam core board and glue. I use foil twist ties to slip through the foam core and allow the underwater unhabititants to "float." I hope to let the viewer have the experience of having the fish scene to seemingly come alive before them.
I was born in Pittsburgh. My development as an artist started in Kindergarten. I had awesome art teachers and mentors throughout grade school, middle / high school and college. I attended summer art camps on Saturday morning art classes at Carnegie Museum for five years. During high school, i went to Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday mornings for four years to continue my art education. I graduated from LaRoche College in 1990 with a B.S. in graphic design.
It is my hope that you will enjoy these scenes as much as I have had in creating them. How did I come up with the idea for these 2D fish scenes? I have no idea. But I do know that I have many more 2D fish scenes to create. someone once told me that in another lifetime I may have came from a town called "Lemuria," which predates "Atlantis." I was a lucky kid who was fortunate to look through many windows in my playroom. I learned to be in awe of these fish scenes that are developing before your eyes.