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He Kicked a Coral

He Kicked a Coral

72” x 48” Mixed media, oil on canvas.

This painting comes from a personal adventure of mine. When I was 19, I studied abroad in Thailand. My dad and mom surprised me by coming to visit, and buying us a four-day stay on a live-aboard dive-boat. We dove four times a day, and ate Thai food in between, suntanned on the deck of the boat, and met divers from all over the world.

We dove in the Andaman Sea, amongst the Andaman islands, and experienced the most glorious reefs and sea-life. My favorite were large red corals and sea fans--they were spectacular and bright, framed by an expansive blue background of the great beyond.

One morning, I was diving with the group, and we followed each other single file. As we swam along, the person swimming in front of me accidentally kicked over a coral with his fin and I watched as this tall, proud, pristine, red coral fell over sideways and drifted through the water column toward the ocean floor.

“Noooooo!” I screamed into the blue abyss in helpless horror. Only the sound of bubbles came out.

Thailand was the place where I became most inspired to create oceanic artwork. Thailand was also the place where I realized that our reefs are so vulnerable and affected by human presence, even by those who love and respect the ocean. We all have a footprint, and in this case, a fin-print, whether we are aware of it or not.

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