Theodore Heublein has been diving for 50 years, and for the past 20, has been painting underwater at the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. “People who come to visit and only see and paint topside are missing out on 50% of the reserve’s beauty and unique life,” Theodore said, adding that the Reserve “is a magnificent jewel, and we must care for it so that our future visitors may enjoy it as well.”
Theodore uses an oil mixture that’s biodegradable: “This is a critical consideration to painting underwater and without which I would not continue.”
“The paint mixture I use is a manual combination of tube oil paints and organic beeswax. I mix the paint and beeswax on the surface for use underwater. I usually have two palettes of color I take down. One is a weighted plastic palette and the second is a metal muffin tin that needs no weight.
“Working with buoyant canvases and materials underwater includes weighting considerations. Simply trying to place a weight on the corners isn’t the best solution. I use a system of zip ties and clips for the canvases and tools that are buoyant, and weighted net bags for the rest of the tools. My gloves are thin for dexterity.”
As a member of ‘Paint the Parks’, Theodore donates 10% of the sale of these pieces to the Point Lobos Foundation to help continue their work in supporting the park and the community.
About the artist:
“Whenever possible, in addition to photos I take while traveling, I make time to sit and paint on site. This infuses all your senses with the immediate experience and enhances your memories of the site. Paintings produced after the fact of these locations retain this working memory and enhance the piece. I have carried art supplies all over the world on my travels to create pieces onsite above (en plein air) and below (sous marine) the water.”
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