2- Series of Contemporary Art in Book of Water – Underwater Portraits Beginnings

Art Gallery Portfolio, verticle Underwater Portraits: Finished Portrait ~ Cameron Break Through by Deborah Chapin

To continue  this portfolio began in this series of Contemporary Art with underwater portraits of Cameron portrayed here in the liquid mirror. See “Break Through” 16 x 24 inches, oil painting.   A young, enthusiastic swimmer  Cameron has an effervescent presence.  Cameron was a particularly pliable subject since she was so comfortable making underwater portraits.  She had no problem halting her breathing while holding a natural expression although she frequently puffed out her cheeks to make a face at me in jest . There were several challenging aspects to doing these portraits, one of which was your’s truly since for the first two years I couldn’t figure out how to sink. For this reason sometimes my models were below water while I was frustrated with not being able to stay below water.   Gradually however through a number of revisions in my own gear and my own breathing I began to sink and this led to the next level of work in the underwater portraits..  This was the first painting in the series.   I painted it primarily as a landscape portrait, rotating it only after each session

starting with the grisaille portrait drawing in sienna and continuing through the mid tone stage to development. I don’t draw out the water as you can see because that isn’t my way.

I started the underwater portraits with the reflections since that was a continuation of a theme throughout my career. I have done a lot of reflections starting with my marine paintings

Windward Passage, reflection example in Marine Art, by Deborah Chapin

Windward Passage, Grand Central Galleries

almost all painting required some concept of reflections or bouncing light and color on the surface of the water. Advancing as I went through landscape paintings to eliminating the horizon line and just depicting the reflections with the only reference to reality being either wildlife or plant life.

Color Beads, Original Sold at CMRussell Auction, by Deborah Chapin

Color Beads



Business Card

This series of portrait paintings is new work to my portfolio. In my youth I was a competitive swimmer and so am very comfortable underwater although it did require learning some diving skills to stay underwater since I am naturally buoyant. After about 2 months of practicing however with weights I managed to sink. I also worked at expanding the time underwater through controlling my breathing until really the limitations now are equipment rather than my breathing.

About the Artist: My Online Studio is an extension of my studio. When you enter you are entering my studio but without the housekeeping. I offer fine art in original oil paintings on linen and also canvas prints of favorite original pieces. Most of my originals in the past 20 years have been painted en plein air ( on location) I have lectured and made film presentation at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, exhibited at the Louvre, and museums through out the world see by exhibition history at Deborah Chapin’s Website Studio

The next 30 years I expect to be doing a combination of unusual water portrait work and collector’s favorite, my beach scenes with people. If you have questions feel free to ask.

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