Seaside Soul – Commissioned Inspiration

Another segment of my artistic endeavors recently includes a designed invitation and an acrylic painting inspired by that printed piece.

Last month, I received a client referral to help a small business owner with print collateral. In addition, she asked if I could render a small and casual invitation for a party based on a series of parties for the NCMuseum of Arts.

The party series is a Cultivation Event to promote the expansion of the museum’s facility -and what a grand expansion it will be! Because the party would be held on the coast, I was thinking it would be a simple beach icon (I’ve got plenty of those!) thrown at the top with her information affixed below. While talking further with my client, she had the idea of using a clam shell (due to a private family joke) and it was then I realized that she needed something more… something powerful, bold, colorful.

The result: Tumbling clam shells in waves applied in a pop art style. I wanted more color but wanted to save on ink, so by repeating the clam shells at the bottom of the composition, overlapping them, and then reversing out the lines, I also reduced the opacity. The effect allows the clam shells to appear like coral and the two major elements (tumbling clam shells & coral) give depth to the invitation -as though you’re swimming beneath the surface. The font and copy also lend themselves to an undulating current beneath the sun and sky. As the eye reads the highlights and details of each bullet point, it jumps as though they are rhythmically moving to the ebb and flow of the underworld.

Pretty casual, eh? As you can see, my designs have a great amount of detail that can get overshadowed by simplicity.

After creating the invite, I was compelled to transfer this idea to canvas.

Seaside Soul: A New Pop Art Series

48″w x 24″h

This Spring, I had been working on a similar calligraphic series for a manufacturer and with my client’s idea of the clam shell, the two ideas morphed into a delightful theme. Reacquainting myself with acrylics, I got serious with the idea of creating a pop art series based on this evolution of my calligraphic style. While the photo doesn’t due it justice, the juxtaposition of alternating glaze and flat work imbues a richness within the composition.

I anticipate moving forward with this series to conjure even more elements from the shoreline: lighthouses, birds, fish, more shells and whatever I can dream up. Excited to have been inspired to begin this new series in acrylic -I have grand ideas to transform this into sequels to highlight animals, objects, seasons, and events.

Please join me as I continue to build on this colorful and bold new series that remains true to my calligraphic style. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Update: Video of Painting
A time lapse video of me creating an acrylic painting with antics from Bacchus. It’s a bit crude for my first attempt and I promise I’ll get better at the video approach!


This piece: 48″w x 28″h

It’s a bit crude for my first attempt at video while painting; I promise I’ll get better. Also, I didn’t get the footage in that includes my outlines -it was 3am and I was up against a deadline. Enjoy Bacchus!

5 thoughts on “Seaside Soul – Commissioned Inspiration

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