The pearl diver
by Arturo Laime
60 x 90 cm ( 23,6 x 35,4″)
Oil on canvas
Gernsbach Black Forest, Germany
© Arturo Laime
About this artwork
The painting The pearl diver is a reflection of the search for something precious. Maybe I created it as a way to deal with the looking of meaning and transcendence in my life. I was inspired by divers of ancient traditional communities of Australia and Asia. Even if the pearl divers have been now almost completed vanished with the arriving of the industrial pearl farming, they provide a powerful image. The act of going alone into darkness of the ocean, in search for an organic jewel, is for me a beautiful symbol of persistence, devotion and courage.
It is also interesting to notice the hidden urgency in this painting. The diver carries a knife, and is ready to cut the pearl out of the oyster. Getting the prices, therefore, comes with a cost. I realized this detail after I completed the painting. Sometimes elements of an artwork are made by subconscious forces.
For this artwork I started making many digital sketches until I found the right proportions and pose for the diver. I used no photographic reference for the movement of the figure, to keep the painting spontaneous and expressionist. Then I transferred my sketch into the canvas, and added some acrylic modelling paste to add some texture. Many layers of oil painting were added, and the fish came into the composition as and afterthought.