I should quote Alice in wonderland: ”I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” That pretty much summarizes my Cat Skull in a Jellyfish graphite drawing and oil painting.
It wasn’t that I consciously listed impossible things, it just happened to pop up during my morning yoga routine. Usually, I let these spontaneous ideas go, or file them in the Doodle folder of my brain, where I might revisit them for a quick little sketch. But this particular idea was so vivid and persistent that I found myself tracing its outline in-between the downward dog and tree pose.
A jellyfish floating peacefully through the ocean (or space, if you want to take the thought even further): translucent and silent. Its head encases a skull. It took me one more sun salutation before deciding it will be a cat skull.
You must be wondering what kind of music inspired me to think of something so surreal. It would have to be peaceful, right? The music I was listening to was all but calm, and not your average yoga or meditation music: Progressive Metal (Mastodon to be exact). I love doing yoga while listening to some heavy metal, and it relaxes me more than traditional meditation music (which has lulled me to sleep on a few occasions). It also helps with visualization, which is a great way to clear my mind of obsolete clutter and focus more on creativity. The images seem to float around me like a jellyfish would if it could float in space.
After completing my graphite drawing, I decided to do a rendition in oil, because the jellyfish idea wasn’t entirely done with me. This time around, I changed the shape slightly and added some bony cat ears. A soft blue bubble of jelly encloses the skull and brownish tentacles dangle listlessly at the bottom. The background is a slight gradient of greys.
My jellyfish knowledge is minimal, all I know about them is that you don’t particularly want to get stung by them. Not at all. (Thinking of Will Smith’s harrowing final scene in Seven Pounds) So I read up on these fascinating aquatic animals. Here’s just a few pretty interesting facts about them:
– They glow in the dark thanks to bioluminescent organs
– They can clone themselves or even reverse their ageing process (such envy)
– Some of them are immortal
– We can learn underwater propulsion techniques from them or even how to fly
– They don’t have brains, but they do have intricate nerve nets that make up for it
– Jellyfish like peanut butter (hehehe)
– Some of them look like clear plastic bags (which can easily be confused for a plastic bag by animals that consume them, with catastrophic results)
– They might take over the oceans (the jellypocalypse is nigh!)
I found such a liking to these deep-sea creatures, and I might revisit them in another artwork in future.