Surreal Paintings Capture the Mystery of Undersea Environments

by Diana I

What do you see when you look into the ocean?

The Magic of the Undersea

If you’re standing near the shore, you likely spot some starfish, crabs, and seaweed as the waves tickle your feet. When you venture out further, more sea life is found out there, ranging from jellyfish to plankton.

Now you’ll want to keep going. When the water gets even deeper, you might spot some eels, octopuses, and other incredible creatures that thrive in low-light, high-pressure environments.

When you see the work of Robert Steven Connett, you’ll envision yourself in these environments while enjoying surreal elements that have Dali-like influences. His vibrant acrylic paintings have dozens of different life forms, making it a unique experience.

You Can Find Everything from Rhinoceros Beetles to Praying Mantises

Connett is a self-taught artist who works out of his Los Angeles studio. He focuses on providing life to the creatures that live under the water’s surface between the plant life growing there.

You can also find him exploring the lives of creatures that find a home between the grass blades in your yard.

For Connett, these micro-environments are endless inspirational resources. He is fascinated with life that comes from oceanic origins, especially when focusing on the finer details of his brushwork.

It can take the artist up to 2,000 hours to complete some of his most complicated compositions.

When you see the final result, you know that the efforts are worth the investment. The kaleidoscope of different colors and shading help you pick out all of the fine details that go into Connett’s work. Even though they have a surreal feeling to them, you can also spot some incredible scientific information incorporated into the portrait.

About the Artist R.S. Connett

Connett was born in San Francisco in 1951. He got involved with art early as a child, learning how to draw and paint. He continued making it a hobby throughout his adult life, even while working as an insurance agent for over 20 years.

He decided to leave his initial career after a fire destroyed his art collection and home in 1995. That’s when he moved to Los Angeles, got married, and decided to pursue art full time after a few job attempts fell through for him.

Connett now sells his art globally, with pieces seen in numerous museums and galleries.

“I often get asked why I choose to paint what I do,” Connett said in 2019. “The simple answer is that these subjects fascinate me. I paint because I enjoy seeing my imagination come to life.”

Connett describes his paintings as a sanctuary that his imagination forms. He says that the effects of climate change are so devastating that he feels compelled to create a different world for his existence.

“As I watch our planet losing up to 100 species every day, I feel a dark despair,” he said. “Why I was young, life was plentiful and abundant, or so it seemed. My paintings are not only my oasis, but they are also my way of remembering the way things were.”

If you have one of his highly detailed works to enjoy at home, you’ll get a sense of the safety and security Connett puts into every brushstroke

How Did the Artist Develop a Talent for Depicting Underwater Scenes?

As with any artist, Connett discovered that he had a love for painting underwater scenes with surrealism and realism early on while learning different techniques. Once he found his natural talent for the medium, he explored the various things one could do with acrylic paint in his adult years.

Most of his original paintings are already sold, with framed originals ranging from around $1,700 to over $24,000 available as they come under production. Considering that he can spend over 2,000 hours on a single painting, the pricing is relatively generous.

It’s not only painting that you can find the artist offers. Connett didn’t start using acrylic paints until 2004, which means some of his earlier works use items like mechanical drawing pens to create fantastic results.

At the time of this publication, Connett has three available for sale. One is a tick with an outer space background, another is called Water Spirits, and then Hypnagogia is a rare option that includes some human figures in the work.

More information is available through the artist’s online store, and you can also follow him on Instagram to keep track of the latest projects. Connett also accepts some commissions.



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