Underwater Figurative Painting “The Thing With Feathers – Hope”, oil painting by Deborah Chapin

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Underwater Figurative Painting, part of the underwater portrait and figurative series of my Women Painting Women Book of Water collection, “The Thing With Feathers – Hope”, 30×36 oil painting on linen canvas by Deborah Chapin

Underwater Figurative Painting, part of the underwater portrait and figurative series of my Women Painting Women Book of Water collection, The Thing With Feathers – Hope, 30×36 oil painting on linen canvas. It happened that while I was working on this project thinking of peace and quiet contemplation the attacks on Brussels airport and Metro came about.   I looked at what I was doing and thinking how can I continue thinking and believing that what I am doing is what I should be doing?    And then it happened that an article in the WSJ (Wall Street Journal Online) by ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN  caught my eye.  “The thing with feathers”.  I started reading and I returned to my painting.  Right there was my reason for doing it.  You never know how what you are doing will fit in with what other people are searching for.   A reason for doing, a reason for being and what their work will in turn inspire and so on.   You can’t know how you will affect others but at least if you are spreading hope you known the results will be something positive


30×36 oil on linen canvas
Heavy duty stretcher 2″ bars
Gallery wrapped

“The Thing With Feathers”
Hope springs eternal. Or does it? Research shows that the emotion Emily Dickinson wrote about is a crucial element of our physical and mental well-being.   People who have a higher level of hope have healthier habits. Key to fostering the emotion is agency: the hopeful don’t just have a goal or wish, they have a strategy to achieve it and the motivation to implement their plan. Those who have all four of the components of hope—attachment, mastery, survival and spirituality—are more resilient. And when people lose hope, it is because they are focusing on obstacles. Yet psychologists have found they can teach people to gain or restore hope, using methods you can practice on your own. “You can’t control that you have a hopeless feeling,” says one neuroscientist. “But you can control your response to it.”… ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-emotion-we-all-need-more-of-1458581680


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 Carousel de Louvre, and museums through out the world See my Exhibition History
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.
For more information see

Exhibition History ~ Deborah Chapin

Artist’s Statement

I have painted every subject known to woman at this point, starting with marine art, coastals, seascapes, florals and landscapes en plein air (on location) I am now branching out to portraits and figurative work and add it to my skills and eventually incorporate it into my seascapes. I am excited to see where it goes and how it evolves. Currently I am taking on a project of underwater portrait paintings and figure work. I began this portfolio with the economic downturn because the expense and personal considerations made travel impossible. I have been painting water in all its various forms and moods for 35 years and this subject matter appealed to me because it combined something I knew well with something I was just beginning to learn. The objective wasn’t to do a photo realistic painting but rather to capture the essence of the subject and the spirit of the model. Water often represents the border between this world and the next but that need not be the dark side of that connotation and to my mind it is uplifting and full of life and movement. I am seeking to depict the inside dynamic of an individual using water to carry light and movement through the subject. What I’m trying to depict is the spirit of women, not as the languid object but instead as a dynamic, spirited, strong and intellectually thoughtful individual. Water is a freeing medium, releasing the subject from the constraints of the ordinary and from gravity it also doesn’t allow for “the pose” with the difficulty of control comes movement and life into the depiction and a certain serendipity which I have always found to be an inspiration. I use the natural light because again it the opposite of the darkness it represents life and vitality and enhances the strength of light patterns and movement lines.