Ultramarine - Beyond the Sea - Rachel Anderson
Dolphins of Atlantis, and Spies of the Mermaids, what is it that you Sea - when you look upon a Dolphin?
To the Reefs of the Oceans, in the Caverns of the Seas - with a thrust of her Tail, sat Ultramarine. To the Corals of the Reefs, in the Plankton of the Caverns - with a brace of her Hands, swum Ultramarine. To the Tranquil of the Blues, in the Cream of the Pearls - with a look upon her Face, glanced Ultramarine. In the rise of the Bubbles, with the hint of a Structure - two Paths to the Soul, knew Ultramarine. I like the fact that this artwork makes use of several layers, with the added twist, that these layers are used to play with the focus. First, there is a lighter layer, which is used to light the scene - which is in stark contrast to the darker layer, which is used to ground the scene. Yet, it is only when these two layers are combined, with the first detail layers - that of the Corals, that we begin to appreciate this focus effect. I feel that this affect, is at it's strongest, at the base of the Mermaids tail - and that this affect is in stark contrast to the area of sharply focused coral, that's located to the north west, of the start of her tail. You may ask why Rachel (aka the artist), decided to play with the focus of her background? My answer would be, for one simple reason: to help simulate underwater caustics - the bending of light, as it passes through water. It's an effect that I feel adds to the clarity, of both the Dolphins, and the Mermaid. It's an effect that plays with the shading of the Dolphins. It's also an effect that helps to highlight the whites of the Mermaid. Yet, it is not the only affect at play within this artwork - for there's also the shape of the Mermaids tail. It's shape has been chosen to help pull you into the right-hand-side of the image - which itself, is combined with the rise of the Coral cliff, to help suggest the height of the Mermaid. There's also the areas of pink Coral, which have been used to help bring balance to the scene - especially in the lower left. This is also true for the dominate white within this area, which balances the whites of the Mermaids tail. I found myself thinking of Atlantis, when I noticed the rock-like structures on the left - although admittedly, these are more of a natural construct (as opposed to pillars in white). In any case, the undersea structures, have been used to bring clarity to the Dolphins - through the contrast of several well defined blues. Such clarity is also sought, within the finer details of this artwork - especially upon the head dress of the Mermaid, which I feel helps to suggest a Regal look. Such fine details, have also been used to help the scene feel more dynamic - especially through the use of rising bubbles (plus plankton). Whilst there's amazing detail within this blurry background, it still serves as a means to an end - for it does not distract from the quality of the Mermaid, nor of the Dolphins. Overall: I am impressed by the contrasting effects that are found within this artwork - and I have found myself wondering at the expression on the Mermaids face. I feel that the Mermaid is a Queen, and that the closest Dolphin has a knowing look within his eyes ... Perhaps he knows, where the Gates of Atlantis can be found? Or perhaps instead, he's just looking at you? As you ponder to yourself, what it is to be - Beyond the Sea?
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