As I continued to cut up unsuccessful Shell Essence drawings to save the best linear marks for the Imaginary Shells, I realized that the negative shapes were as interesting as those marks which I was saving. So, I saved those too. I then colored those negative shapes with different tones of sumi-e ink. And, I got a surprise. Silhouettes left behind on the underlying paper on which I was painting the shapes had interesting compositional qualities. They spoke to me as a potential underlayment in the process of constructing the Imaginary Shell collages.
So as a start, I allowed the underlayment to suggest the linear and shape element choices. Then, I moved into layering them to create a greater sense of depth with light and shadow. As I worked on these pieces. I felt that water was playing a huge part in my perception of the subject. I was in the water and underwater. Again, I was back in time with snapshots in my head of where we spent family beach vacations.