The idea for this surrealist painting came from out of the blue

A spiral staircase rises out of the ocean with a woman in a long, red dress standing atop it.

“Out Of The Blue” – 30″ x 40″, acrylic on canvas                           A spiral staircase rises out of the ocean with a woman in a long, red dress standing atop it.



Generally, right about the time I’m finishing up a painting, my mind begins to churn over the basic question, “What will I paint next?”

For artists who paint abstract images or focus on landscapes or portraits, perhaps the answer to that question isn’t quite as wide-ranging compared to what I choose to do.

For me, you have to have an idea in mind before you begin the painting process. And that idea might lead me anywhere.

Sometimes, different visuals will pop into my head. They’re totally random thoughts but if I find myself going back to the same one, I generally pursue it.

So for some odd reason, I had a spiral staircase in my head. I had done a painting before featuring a spiral staircase and I didn’t want to repeat myself.

Yet the image persisted.

So I looked for some spiral staircase reference material and came across a rather unique looking one where the steps appear to be free-floating, anchored down by three different beams at the top, middle and bottom of the staircase.

I liked it. But then, what to do with it? In the previous painting involving a spiral staircase, it rose out of the clouds and there on top of it was the man in the bowler hat.

I knew that wasn’t a solution. So then I thought, what if it rises out of the water in the middle of nowhere?

I sketched it out and liked the starkness of the image. So I committed to the concept and sketched it out on the canvas. And with this painting, I decided a woman should be standing at the top, looking out on the horizon. And why not have her in a long, red dress, just to add a little drama to the scenario?

It wasn’t much of a sketch. Just the staircase, the woman and the shape of a few puffy clouds.

I started in on the sky and as I was creating it, I really liked its blueness, knowing that there would be even more blue to come with the sea. When it came time for the ocean, it was done in different shades of blue, using five different blues overall.

All that blue was overwhelming. Which is when the title for the painting came to me, “Out Of The Blue”.

The spiral staircase rises up from out of the blue.

The woman is standing atop it, seemingly from out of the blue.

It’s a very simplistic, yet powerful visual.

Perhaps, in this, ‘Year of the Woman’, it represents women’s ability to rise up, seemingly from out of nowhere. Maybe she’s waiting for her ship to come in. Or maybe it’s a melancholy look at singularity.

Its beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In addition to creating advertising and marketing communications by day, I love to paint at night. If you’d like to receive regular updates about my paintings, you can sign up for my free newsletter:

Also, if my prices are keeping you from purchasing anything, know that you can order prints of my work on Artfully Walls. You can also order prints as well as get my artwork put onto a variety of items like iPhone covers, pillow throws, tote bags, greeting cards, coffee cups, shower curtains and a wide variety of other items by visiting my other website on Pixels. As if that weren’t enough, more items are now available on Vidaon an even wider variety of items – from umbrellas to yoga mats, clothing and jewelry to household items. I also invite you to follow me onInstagram to see work in progress from start to finish!