OK, everybody loves Bling. So, let me tell you her story.
Back when I was living in Dallas as a State Farm agent, they were pretty strict with what business I could write, so anything I couldn’t I would toss over to Jay Freeman, an “excess lines” agent. (Things like DWI’s, motorcycles, etc). I had met Jay in a scuba class I dive mastered for him, and he and his wife Rani have always been huge supporters of my artistic endeavors.
Anyway, Jay had taken a picture of a green turtle on one of his many dive trips around the universe and I just HAD to paint it. (And he let me). I do a lot of compositions of close up sea animal heads and Jay had taken a great shot. Here’s what he has to say about it:
“I took this Green Turtle photo in 1996 during a night dive on the main wall (2000 ft straight down) of Sipidan Island, Borneo Malaysia. This was our 2nd trip there, our first was in 1992. Back then, we were allowed to actually stay on the island and we could grab a tank and dive off the beach anytime we wanted (this was taken on a shore dive). Our accommodations were bamboo and thatch huts on the beach and at night turtles would dig their nests and lay eggs under our huts. Every morning Rani and I would walk around the island (it took about 35 minutes) and count the 30-40 new turtle nests from the night before. Divers are no longer allowed to stay on the island… since 2005 the island has been protected and all the dive operations are now based out of the islands of Mabul, Kapalai or Mataking and divers can only dive Sipidan by permit. Rani and I are truly blessed to be among the few fortunate people to have spent 2 weeks of our lives living on this magical island.”
I started painting in my new studio over a garage I had built after I moved to Stuart. The canvas was 60″ X 48 (one of the first times I used linen and I have used nothing else since).
Muralist Brenda Leigh got me hooked on “Disney paint”…. huge expensive cans of the paint Disney World uses for their outside sets and what she uses for her murals, which are practically pure pigments. This is the first painting I used them with, and the blues knocked my socks off. Well, the yellows and the reds did, too, but that pthalo blue was to die for. Sooooo rich.
I “decorated” the turtle’s neck with all kinds of mixes of the new paints…. purples, emerald greens, lots of white…. and the painting looked like the turtle was wearing jewels around her neck. I considered calling her “Bejeweled”, however my friend Robin Makowski (original chick that she is) came up with “Bling” and so she was named.
So, there you go. It DOES take a village…. Jay, Brenda and Robin! Thanks guys.
It took a while for the original to sell, meanwhile lots and lots of prints went out the door. Finally a client from literally 2 blocks away bought it for her gorgeous new home off of East Ocean. And there she hangs today.
Bling is available in prints (from a mini with an easel all the way up to the original 60X48″ size) as well as Tidbits, Little Dippers and Big Dippers.