|"Gastropod with Shell" oil paint, 2014|
A few weeks ago we had a little snail friend who kept showing up on our front porch (much to the delight of our dog Zoe). I know that a snail is really just a gastropod with a nice spiral shell (those without shells are commonly referred to as "slugs"--eek!), but nonetheless I think that their little squishy bodies are visually interesting and full of texture. The shell almost looks like a large hat that doesn't really belong, which in my opinion makes the snail a whimsical creature. Of course the actual colors of our snail, along with most of the snails that I've seen, are significantly less vibrant than the ones I decided to use in my painting--but this is part of the whimsy! Moreover, while we're still having beautiful sunny summer days here in Colorado, I just wasn't feeling the neutral colors and pale "pukey" shades of green that would have been a more realistic snail color palette.