“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.”
Jacques Yves Cousteau
Every time, creating underwater paintings, I wanted to convey not only the beauty of the underwater world, but also the sensations that human experience while diving. Lightness, weightlessness, relaxation. People who have never dived think that dive gear remains heavy underwater and that scuba divers are suffering from water pressure. How can I show the freedom and ease that awaits us underwater? Just to portray a swimming diver? No, this is not enough. I wanted to share my feelings with my future art collector. Inspired by this idea, I started working on the painting “Harmony”
When I saw Nina, the divemaster, I realized that I need to have her as my underwater model. I was impressed by the color of her hair and the sense of calm that she was emitting. I offered her to meditate under the water, without a mask and diving gear. She had only a water tank. We took 2 dives together with Nina, and 2 dives I did alone.
If you are underwater and relaxed, then very soon your breath rhythm goes in sync with the tide, the heartbeat of the ocean. The sea takes you as your own and accepts you in its midst. You are surrounded by some curious fish. This was exactly what I wanted.
For this painting, I chose a shallow spot among the seagrass. At the end of the dive, Nina put on the mask to look around and saw the baby of a stonefish, a very dangerous species. By that moment the little “stone” was already on my painting.
P.S. Artist Olga Belka thanks the diving center “Sea Danser” in Dahab for the provided conditions for underwater painting.