Why I paint memories of my dives

Diving and painting the ice tunnel in El Toro cave Dominican Republic

I loved rocks and geology long before I started diving. As a kid, family road trips were made more fun when I could identify what type of rocks and formations we were passing along the highway. I dig rocks!  And I enjoyed dry caving and have crawled around in underground tunnels on my travels. I never imagined I would one day enjoy caves that were completely submerged and water-filled. That just seemed like lunacy to enter a water-filled cave when I found out that cave diving actually existed as an activity.

My meditation

Diving for me is as close to a religious experience as I've ever experienced. I'm hyper-present. I can hear my own breathing. Every fin kick is deliberate and streamlined. I know the movement of my limbs. I can feel the water passing around me. My body, mind and spirit come together. I wish more people could experience that - in this way, underwater - without gravity to weigh you down.

Expanding my circle - of friends and of comfort

Whether it's in a wreck or in a cave, I'm incredibly appreciative of how much diving has given me. It's given me friendships with people I would NEVER have met otherwise. It's given me the confidence to know better what my limitations are and more importantly what I'm capable of. It's brought me experiences that have tested me. When I got certified 11 years ago I just wanted to go see Nemo in its anemone home periodically when I was on vacation. Now, every time I travel, 99% of the time, it's to go diving. It's shown me what consistent effort and commitment can bring as far as new skills and learning. I certainly never imagined I would willingly WANT to learn more dive theory and don even more heavy gear to progress further in my diving. It's brought me to places I would never have known about were it not for diving. 

Reflecting

Every so often while painting a dive, I'm reminded me of how far I've come; to feel gratitude each time I recall a memory from a dive; to encourage sharing of stories and asking questions about these precious places. I want to capture all those possibilities and instances in paint and be able to share that with everyone. I want my art to spark questions and conversation and make more people-divers and non-divers alike-aware of these magical places. 

This is why I paint what I paint.