“the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.”
"Synergy", 30" x 40" Acrylic on Canvas
Synergy exists in many places throughout nature, but Coral Reefs are the poster child for collaboration. They are a compilation of thousands of organisms that are constantly battling for space to grow, but they grow so slowly that it takes thousands of years to form a viable reef! “Synergy” is an overhead view of the “Great Florida Barrier Reef” located in the Keys, and it represents the energy and nutrients the reef gives off, which flows into the oceans currents and is swept all over the world. These nutrients are key for life to flourish throughout our oceans, and supports the massive fishing industry that Florida depends on for economic stability.
Florida Keys Reef
- Third largest coral barrier reef in the world and the only one in North America
- Extends 221 miles down the south-eastern coast of Florida
- Home to over 6,000 individual reefs
- Contains over fifty different species of coral and over one hundred fifty species of fish, and more
- Supports a billion dollar fishing industry
- Supports a million dollar tourism industry
From the start, I knew what I wanted this piece to represent and why I needed to paint it. Here in Florida, we have the third largest Barrier Reef in the world, and what has surprised me is how few people realize its size, and the fact that we have the ONLY living reef system in the Continental United States. That’s a big deal!
As I started the journey of painting this piece, I prepared a mini painting that some of you may recall seeing as a daily painting. This informed the first decisions on what colors and shapes were going to be used.
I ended up flipping the piece horizontally for the final painting because our eyes naturally want to move left to right, and this movement from left to right represents a sense of moving forward and positivity.
“Synergy” is filled with a range of complimentary colors because this is the way I see the natural world; in a bright, whimsical, and ethereal kind of way. These colors create impact, and pulls your eye in. This was purposeful because "Synergy" is meant to be a window for you to look through and see our Barrier Reef, which deserves to be experienced and taken care of in the same way you would care for a piece of fine art. And just to put it into perspective, “Synergy” took months to create, the Florida Barrier Reef took thousands of years to create.
Thanks for reading! I hope you learned something cool today :)
I have compiled a list of the issues facing our Barrier Reef below. Immediately after that, there is a list of resources for you to learn more about these issues and the people doing their part to stop it!
- Coral Bleaching
- Coastal Development
- White Band Disease
- Pipeline Construction
- Run Off Pollution