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Flight of the Jellyfish


I found some miniature frames and as a lover of small details, I was excited about the challenge of creating palm-sized paintings for them. I also wanted to practice using a type of paint that was fairly new to me: acrylic gouache. Acrylic gouache (pronounced ‘gwash’) dries in a chalky, matte finish. I find that it dries so quickly that it’s rather difficult to blend like other paints can, making it challenging to use if you aren’t used to it.

These mini frames were so light and airy that I also wanted the artwork that I made for them to feel the same. My imagination tends to run wild while looking at almost anything, so I can’t stop myself from getting inspired when looking at a beautiful scene and having some sort of surreal element pop into my head. This time, while looking at some photos of beaches at sunset, I imagined colourful jellyfish taking flight, out of the ocean and into the sky!

This was it – the perfect, dreamy subject matter for these dainty little frames.

As I worked through the challenges of using gouache, I created each scene with different jellyfish flying at different times of the day when the sky is especially dazzling. In the end, I felt like I had a better understanding of this new type of paint. Just like the jellyfish that doesn’t resist the ocean’s currents (or in the case of these paintings, the wind?) I learned that I couldn’t resist the nature of this medium. Instead, I had to go with the flow, adapt, and adjust the way that I painted, to suit it. I learned a lot through this little project and had the great pleasure of sharing these pieces with others and sparking their imagination through the dreamy, palm-sized seascapes.

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