Deep Blue



First day in the art space, a warehouse in Sausalito, California.

We arrive after a long drive up through San Francisco. Aria’s sea lion is way in the back, so we have her brought out to the light of day, and dust her off.

Here’s Aria Luna pulling off the plastic (ugh, we know… more plastic…)

Deep Blue unwrapping

The painting begins

Aria Luna may still be pint-sized, but she’s perfectly capable of painting a 6-foot statue of a sea lion. Can’t reach her head? No problem. There’s a reason all kids learn to climb trees…

Deep Blue first paint

Double time

Painting can get tiring! But instead of complaining, Aria Luna adopts the two-handed brush technique.

Two-handed approach

Meta art

Art begets art. Struck by the patterns her brushes created when she dipped them in the water, Aria Luna insisted mama take a picture. Here is a single swirly moment frozen in time.

two brushes in blue paint

Naomi’s sea lion

You know the best part about being in a group exhibit?

Meeting the other artists.

Here’s Aria Luna with the lovely Naomi, whose sea lion Aria absolutely loves.

Naomi's Sea Lion

Painting the herring

Aria paints a small school of Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii, one of the sea lions’ favorite snacks.

Painting the herring

A sea turtle takes shape

We told the story of the yellow margin moray eel that Aria painted on Deep Blue’s left side.

The sea turtle was inspired during that same trip to Maui. On her very first day snorkeling, just a few yards from the shore, Aria Luna came face to face with a large green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). And since green sea turtles share some of the same water space with sea lions, they just had to be a part of Deep Blue.

Pro tip: Use chalk, not pencil, to outline elements on an acrylic background. Chalk erases a lot more easily and cleanly.

Outlining sea turtles

Artists skateboard, too

What kind of painting session would it be if you couldn’t have a little fun?

Painting the herring

Climbing trees again

Climbing on top of Deep Blue was one of Aria Luna’s favorite activities. Good thing she only did it when the paint was dry… here she is with Deep Blue’s body almost done.

Next up, we paint the rock!

Atop Deep Blue

Painting the rock

Shaping the landscape of Baja California and Mexico, where the sea lions travel all the way down from British Columbia.

Lot of work still left to go, but at least Aria Luna finally gets to rest her arms, and sit down.

Painting the rock

In the studio warehouse

Aria Luna focuses on Deep Blue’s rock while another artist works on his sea lion.

In the warehouse