BALLET OF THE SEALS ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2022
I am always envious of divers who are able to watch seals play beneath the waves. Not being capable of doing so, I am restricted to videos showing their joyful dance as they swim about. I can only imagine how much fun they are having and wish that I could join in their fun. The designs for the seals were inspired by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. As a big fan of Arts and Crafts designer Archibald Knox, I was inspired by his work in pewter and silver to include Celtic Revival-style entrelac for the internal details of the seals. I drew in the flowing blades of the bull kelp stalks while thinking of Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo's famous pre-Art Nouveau chair. The design of his chair back, with its swirling lines and bulbous tops, always reminds me of bull kelp flowing in the currents. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.