Ghosts of Mother Ocean.

Ocean specimen plate featuring shells, urchins, drift wood, coral, sea star and urchin spines. Being curious, enquiring, studying. However not just to study in the general sense but visually studying an object, a specimen, a piece of Her; contributes to the expansion of knowledge. Knowledge in a way that provides connection, understanding and gratitude. Fulfilment to the sections of the soul in which feels the need to be grounded and understood.

Through the delicate weaving of life, memories and experiences are collected and embedded into the layers of our spirit. Along with knowledge, we apply these to our mind to attempt to decode what we think “the meaning of life” is to us.

If the human mind could be painted, the palette would expand beyond our universe, exploding into trillions of white specks. It could be possible.

Painting the shell plate in soft neutral watercolours.  Hand holding a piece of round coral over the area on the watercolour paper, which it will be painted.

Reflection is a significant part of my practice, of my life. It is excruciating, depressing, exhausting, enlightening and ground breaking. The feelings are fleeting and consuming. Rarely is an artwork created without a moment of tears or many tears. Every piece has a known crux right before it unfolds. And always surprisingly it is overcome and recreated.

Before I paint an artwork, it is completed stroke by stroke, over and over in my mind. It is painted over many hours, days, months and sometimes years, before I even pick up a brush. I am so connected to the piece I am painting, that I almost feel afraid to touch the paper. I know the feel, the palette, the subject, the composition, the structure and the essence, all before I even know if I am capable of actually painting it. It is difficult.

As a self taught artist, intuitive painting is at forefront and speaks strong. I wonder for my own self, whether this is why I never seemed to learn technique, application or colour theory. Why it never presented an opportunity, even though there were many. I wonder often, would this have been a hurdle in my practice. A hurdle I most certainly would have created myself.

I have an obsessive streak that can be hard to tame. Perfection and fixation are so apparent, they are stifling. Yet painting allows the space to control the mind in a mediative state. To let go and let the mistake happen before the eyes and continuing to make the mistake anyway. To allow intuition to take over. I often step back and can’t remember painting parts of an artwork. It’s a state of mind that needs to be entered for me to experience and trust.

Original painting of ocean specimen plate  Close up of watercolour painting featuring soft coral on shea oak, small pipi shell, helmet shell, round coral piece and sea star.

Creating “Ghosts of Mother Ocean” was a difficult experience physically and technically. It reflects my life. Complex with guidance, self taught through stubbornness. From very early in my life I felt very connected to nature. It’s a common story and a beautiful one.

My fascination with the earth, the ocean, insects living and dead, ocean skeletons in particular, animals and of course birds. My experience with all of these wonders, holds a story, a memory, people who I have lost, people who I have found, connections to the earth I have lost, connections to the earth I found, rivers of desperation, oceans of love, limitless skies and dreams I hold tight.

On the other side of the spectrum, this piece reflects Her. Mother Ocean. The voice that I hear frequently. The cries of sorrow, loss, rebirth and love. The reflection of inner self. A symbiotic relationship between both inner voices.

She scatters her Ghosts across the sandy shore. In a deliberate fashion to draw attention. To speak loudly of what cannot be heard in the decibels of general life. Creating chaotic patterns of knowledge for those who dare to learn, to dive into the story, to invest in the chaos. Yet there is calm, delicate balance, purposeful composition, consideration and intent.

An artwork of inner self, intertwined in the masses of life. Wrapped in the muted palette of composure, knowledge and wisdom.

“Ghosts of Mother Ocean” - Skye Prudence

Hand holding archival print of watercolour painting of ocean specimen plate.  Framed archival print hanging on wall with a smaller shell painting and daisies illustrater in black ink onto paperbark, framed in a floating glass frame. Creating a gallery wall.