This is a special kind of commission. The kind when you feel like you are going to learn a lot about yourself as an artist and person, how creative minds can connect through an idea and make thoughts and dreams a visual reality. It has been such a pleasure getting to know this person I have never met, and creating a work of art that he hopes will become a family heirloom. Jeremy Tidwell is an ocean enthusiast, a pelagic soul. He writes about his thoughts and musings, but has been keeping them from the world until now...
His request was for me to read his personal work and see where it led me. The following excerpts are from his journals, accompanied by progress photos of his commissioned work of art. I will post a part 2 with the finished work of art as soon as I finish, but I thought you would all enjoy this little insight.
"Standing quietly and staring at the open ocean from the bow of my boat, I can the hear breeze, warm and kissed with salt, gently whipping the palms as it rushes over the weathered dock and across the wide green blades of St. Augustine grass, stirring the sand where the grass does not grow and carrying the heat from my sun soaked skin.
A dozen or so thin wispy clouds scatter over my head to make room for another summer evening storm building to the south across the incessantly hypnotizing deep blue water of the Atlantic Ocean as magnificent lightning flashes against the distant horizon, creating a thunder so lazy it’s bass note barely reaches my ears.
Far to the west, where the storm clouds have not gathered, the quickly waning sun has painted the sky in wonderfully thrilling shades of red, pink and orange as it surrenders to one horizon until it once again triumphs over the other."
"The boat pitched steadily from bow to stern while I was underway, and it cast the ocean’s spray aside as it conquered each wave it met. When I paused, what had been a steady pitch, gave way to a slow steady roll as the waves continued beneath me, passing the boat through each trough from one peak to the next.
With the sun glowing overhead, my unclothed back became hot as I leaned out and removed my sunglasses to peer over the side, making what I saw below the hull of my old boat that much more intense.
On the ocean, in the space where the light is refracted so beautifully between the surface and the depth at which it is consumed forever by the abyss, great stories unfold for open minds. Mine is a tale of pirates plundering great ships, treasure lying across the sandy bottom and battles which must have been hellishly amazing. Mine is a tale of mermaids hiding just out of our view among vast brilliantly colored coral reefs, and it is a tale of life beneath the waves for the world’s most fabulous creatures and unbelievably beautiful fish. It is a tale that unfolds in the deep blue water illuminated only by the sun’s refracted light in reality, but painted with history and fantasy in those minds of those who stop and direct their gaze beneath the surface." - Jeremy Tidwell.
Thanks for the beautiful inspiration, Jeremy.
This project was for a 7th grade class, but can be modified for many different ages.
After drawing self-portraits and portraits of their favorite celebrities from photos, we had a class discussion about why people were famous, what they would do if they were famous, and what kinds of people they thought should be famous. Students also got into the responsibility that goes along with being famous and how certain celebrities have let them down, or not used their fame and money for bettering the earth, (which they all agreed was really important).
The Palm Beach Maritime Academy is focused on marine conservation in all of their subjects and after being inspired by Justin Riney and the Expedition Florida 500, they decided to find some people they could call marine conservation heroes for the school to follow and learn more about. Students researched people and chose one that they were the most excited about, and then began connecting with their new heroes through social media networks like instagram and twitter. We began to notice how exciting it was to have all this GOOD news in our newsfeeds whenever we checked, and how it inspired us to also do more for the planet! It was such a positive experience for everyone as we connected with so many incredible role models.
Next, the 7th grade was taught the basic elements and principles of graphic design and how to use them effectively to create individual posters for our school. Many students chose a specific color scheme, created contrast and used color, lines and font style to create emphasis in their posters. Each student creatively laid out their composition to go along with the theme of the person they chose, and the result was a wide variety of posters that our school is now enjoying!
I really want to profusely thank the individuals that inspired my classes! You are now celebrities in our school and have been the topics of discussion in and out of the art class, as students aspire to do something great with their lives too!
If you would like to see more examples of this project, click this link to my Carly Mejeur Marine Life Faceboook page! It's so fun be
Carly Mejeur is a floridian artist, inspired by her ocean hobbies and travels. This Blog is for news, events, and just for fun. Click here for the artist's Bio.