“Why is Everyone Green?”


This is the most commonly asked question I receive regarding my recent body of work featuring those submerged and swimming.

Clever answers abound, including, but not limited to:

“They’re Martians!”

“She ran out of skin tone colored paint.”

“This must be what people look like through goggles.”

Regardless of what form the conversation takes, I like that my work gets people thinking and talking and possibly leads them to linger just a little bit longer in this day and age of constant rushing.

Family Portrait: Hydrated (2014) • 36" x 48" • Oil on Canvas • $525Family Portrait: Hydrated


The Real Reason for the Green?

Quite simply, I have always loved blues and greens together, particularly the phthalocyanine varieties.  When faced with the skin tone decision on my first piece of the series, “Family Portrait: Hydrated”, I chose to depict the skin with a green tinge as skin appears slightly this way underwater and it would be more fun to paint green skin than tan skin. I was also in the midst of painting different fruits and vegetables in palettes very unlike themselves so the progression was pretty natural. In addition, I liked the effect and over all feel of the pieces  and felt I had such a broad range of hues and shades to explore in this application that I have kept going with it.   You may notice that some pieces are very saturated and others more subdued. I have found myself toning things down the slightest bit, but  to the untrained “Submerged” viewer, they all look pretty green.


When painting the multiple figure paintings, I have entertained thoughts of the green skin tone being a great equalizer amongst man. The attempt at “Everyman” in underwater portraiture, if you will. I have the intention to expand subjects to encompass more varied ages, races, body types and swimming abilities with the green skin tone serving as the common denominator.  But that’s in the queue along with a great number of other things…. up next is some exciting portraits of individual collegiate swimmers and teams with young club swimmers right around the corner!

See you in the water!




“Why is Everyone Green?” was last modified: October 23rd, 2014 by jenfishjones