Something rather odd (and distinctly creative) is going on under our oceans. Yep, wonders are literally being made 20 meters below sea level. What? How? Who? Why? Our thoughts exactly...
Let’s start with the why. You see, all true underwater painters have one distinct passion in common – an eternal love for the ocean and it’s inhabitants.
"All my life I've painted boats, fish, beaches and waves. But this time, I decided to take it further, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to see for myself, with my own eyes the depths of the sea" - Pascual Mimbela, a Peruvian underwater painter
Of course, not all ocean lovers are likely to follow the lead of underwater painters just like that. To attain this seemingly unattainable dream, you must possess a diving licence and have access to scuba gear. After that, grab some brushes, oil paint and a canvas (covered with waterproof adhesive coating) and you’re ready to hit the water.
Although the experience of painting underwater seems totally thrilling, it doesn’t come without a couple of challenges. First off, the divers only have 40 minutes to complete their work before the oxygen in their tank runs out, which means drawings can take up to several weeks. Also, artists usually need time to get accustomed to their new setting in order to capture all the hustle and bustle of underwater life. Normally divers paint between 2 and 20 metres below the surface, knowing that the deeper they go, the more the colours change or get lost (for example red can turn into brown or black). Overall, experts in this weirdly wonderful field claim that underwater painting feels similar to drawing on land, without all the extra bubbles and adrenaline rush that come with it.
"Underwater work has its own difficulties; cold sets in rapidly when you are not moving around, currents and surge frustrate, water quality is ever changing, fatigue saps concentration; but if you sit still in the one spot day after day you become part of the reef."- Roger Anthony Swainston, an Australian underwater painter
Although underwater painting seems like a trendy hipster alternative to making art on land, most of the artists say their aim behind this is to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving marine wildlife. Not only are they downright original, they’re also environmental activists.
Just like you probably are now, we were sceptical about underwater painting. I mean, how good can the results really be? We’ll let the works of Alexander Belozor help you make up your mind…