Cosmic Surf

cosmic cosmos galaxy space surf surf art surfer girl


A behind the scenes look on Colleen's newest published original painting "Cosmic Surf"


Often I choose my painting ideas based on subject matter that I love and that is relevant to my day to day life. Once the painting is completed I will then reflect on it further, and can interpret a deeper level of meaning and expression. I began "Cosmic Surf" with a general theme/ layout in mind, as well as a "mood" that I wanted to portray. Once I got into the swing of things, the design process swept over me and surprised me with ideas and techniques that I hadn't experience before. This allowed me to create a unique and original piece that I feel stands apart from my previous paintings.

How did I decide what to paint?

Since I live right on the ocean in Honolulu, surfing is a big part of my life, so naturally I like to paint girls surfing or near the water. Many people have asked if the girl in "Cosmic Surf" is me, to which I reply no, but she certainly has elements of me in her. I chose to paint a crazy night sky/ galaxy because this past year I have been fascinated with looking at space photos (mostly from Pinterest) and observing the moon/stars in real life. I have been very inspired by some amazing astro-photography of galaxies and nebulas, and wanted to paint my interpretation of them. Also, since I haven't seen many surfing night scene paintings, I thought it would be an interesting combo.

What are the emotions/ feelings/ mood of this piece?

As I mentioned earlier, I like to think of a general mood or "vibe" of a painting when I am starting out to keep me on track. For this piece, some words that come to mind are: magical, mystical, ethereal, energetic, joyful, free-flowing and empowered. Once I begin the painting process, I keep my mood in mind and aim to allow my color scheme and design choices to reflect this.

What does the imagery in this piece mean to me?

When I view the completed "Cosmic Surf" piece now, I can interpret more layers of meaning than I was consciously aware of while I was creating it. As I reflect on this piece, I see the surfer girl as someone who is completely absorbed in this magical moment and seemingly at one with nature and all her surroundings. She feels powerful, free, and filled with joy. In fact, she feels so in-tune, so connected, that she is almost reaching out and swirling the ingredients of the cosmos at her fingertips. How wonderful to experience that feeling of being "in the flow."

I hope you enjoy viewing "Cosmic Surf" as much as I enjoyed painting it! To watch a time lapse video of the process click here.

To own the original one of a kind piece, click here.

To purchase prints & more of this image, click here.




Older Post Newer Post

  • Culprit Surf on

    Really cool artwork. Really love this painting! It would make a great t-shirt design for Culprit ( ). Have you ever considered turning your work into clothing designs?

  • Nikki Hulleman on

    Absolutely love it!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published