The big boy in the Grotto series contains an amethyst crystal as large as the palm of my hand. I used a wooden panel 30" by 12" by 3" with a hole cut into it to create a cavern...oysters shells are attached to the back to complete my grotto and allow the "flow" to run down the painting and into the grotto. The amethyst crystal covers most of the hole and also creates a ledge looking over the "water". The gesso on this panel is highly textured using a piece of tree branch...it is cool the way the paint has settled into the lower spaces. I also used the branch to print under the golden area giving it a very rich look. A wet look on the blue was created by a thin coat of high gloss gel.
This is my first attempt at creating a grotto blue color. I will have seven paintings on the tour with different versions of my interpretation of grotto blue. See blog entry for more on this.