My great aunt used to paint underwater
Too Long; Didn't ReadMy great aunt used to paint underwater.
Piling on the weighty diving gear used in 1939 and looking like something out of 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lucie slowly sank below the surface, with palette, special paints and canvas in hand. She settled on the ocean floor, arranged her weighted painter's easel and allowed herself to become completely enveloped by another world. Red and white striped fish darted around fields of blue-green coral and blue-lipped giant clams. Lionfish drifted by, gracefully waving their dangerous feathered spines. Striped green moray eels peered at her from their rock crevice homes.
Lucie dived and painted everywhere. The Sulu Archipelago. Mexico. Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Hawaii. Borneo. Sometimes she was the first white woman seen by the Pacific villagers she lived with for months on end.
As a child, I was entranced by her stories of the unknown world below the ocean's surface, and the strange and wonderful cultures she met on her journeys. I grew up in awe of her chosen task: to capture on canvas the essence of a world utterly foreign to her own.