Electric Crab (Killin’ Time, Part 5)

Ever since I started taking Saxenda I rarely feel like eating.   The stuff does a great job of killing my appetite and thus I don’t cook so much anymore.  I’m not sure how much weight I’ve lost but it’s pretty significant!  I haven’t gotten a Hello Fresh box in months!  Hard to want to pay for one when nothing really tastes good.   So, with all this spare time I have from not cooking, I continue to paint.

My friend who owns three beach houses she uses for rental properties has asked me to paint some things for her houses.  I’m really honored by that prospect and I’m excited that someone thinks my work is good enough to display.  I’m going to be able to put a little placard below each painting with my contact information on it so maybe I’ll sell a few pieces along the way?  I don’t really want to make much money off these–just enough to buy more canvases and paint.

One of the first pieces I have made for her is one I call “Electric Crab.”  Here he is…

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I got the inspiration for him when my friend showed me several paintings that she liked, and one of them was a big blue crab.  It was lovely, and something far beyond my skill level to paint.  I went online and found several colorful crab paintings for  inspiration and then just started sketching.

She asked me how do you start a painting?  How many layers of paint go on?  How do you know when  you’re finished?  In this case what I did first was paint in a nice background of pearlescent white paint with faint color splotches blended in for an interesting “sandy” background.  You cannot see in these pictures how shiny the background is, but it is my interpretation of wet sand.

Once that dried, I had to put pencil to canvas and sketch an outline.  At first I painted him with two claws, four legs and two backfins.  I later went and looked at pictures of crabs again and realized they have six legs, so I had to add in two more legs.  I started out applying layers of yellow paint, trying to mimic a neat watercolor painting I saw online, but eventually I just had to wing it on my own and start applying color in my own way, rather than emulating that artist’s work.

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At some point I put a blue outline on the crab and thought, “he should look electric” and then the name “Electric Crab” came to my mind and stuck.

This is a big canvas–30″ x 48″–and I had never painted anything so large before.  I enjoyed working on this scale because details are very easy to apply.

My friend likes this, but I confess I am still not happy with him.  However, there is a point you just have to stop, or else you’ll muddy up what you’ve done already and make a mess.

The local art gallery is having a show next month and I can enter 3 paintings for $15.  I’m going to enter Electric Crab plus two of my mermaids just to see what happens.  Since we are only 90 minutes from the beach there’s a pretty big demand here for coastal art, so maybe someone will like what I’ve done?