Jill Andrews Wright posted on Facebook yesterday that she saw my jellyfish print on canvas recently and found that it called to her so strongly that she now finds herself obsessed by jellyfish in art. I appreciated the compliment so much that I got to thinking about why jellyfish call to me too.

Jellyfish are believed to be the oldest multi-organ animals in the world, possibly existing on Earth for the past 500 million years. They use a muscle to pump their way through the water, and that makes them — on a very basic level — is similar to a human heart.

For my part, I have been obsessed for years with painting hearts. I have paint during the month of February for Valentine’s Day and to benefit the American Heart Association and From Our Hearts of Lee County. Beginning May 15, 2011, I even painted a heart every day for a year. Each was an original acrylic on a 6×9 inch archival mat board and titled by date. Even now, hearts appear with regularity in my artistic production.

Perhaps it is the love I feel when I paint hearts that comes through my renditions of jellyfish, as well. Or maybe it is just my deep respect for all of God’s creatures, especially the sea life we’re blessed with her in Southwest Florida (although most beachgoers and swimmers fear jellyfish more than they respect them).
Whatever the reason, I’m always gratified and flattered when a painting connects with a viewer. I appreciate, Jill, hearing how it connected with your.