And now for something different: Beautiful photorealistic paintings of swimmers in the ocean by Australian artist Martine Emdur.

When we first came across these works by Australian artist Martine Emdur in a recent copy of Belle Magazine, we were amazed by what we thought were underwater photographs. It turns out that the assumption was wrong, and that these beautiful images are really photorealistic paintings!

It feels like the large oil-on-linen works depict humans as aquatic beings, suggesting that we belong in the ocean. Martine states: “The scale is key, I want people to stand in front of my paintings and get the feeling of being immersed. And I think about the temperature of the water even more than the light. The temperature is everything in my paintings. I love a warm-blooded body in a cool body of water. I love the light and warmth from the sun streaming through the top of the picture where the body has pierced the surface and then all the shadows give the sensation of the cold, more mysterious water below.”

Anna Johnson, who wrote Martine’s artist biography, adds: “This work is highly sense based. It can make you shiver or melt or feel a very human vulnerability in the face of shadows, depths and uncharted perimeters. The sea embraces and engulfs and Emdur seeks to engage the eye in the same dynamic. She works in light and shadow but the physical reality of the ocean is always in the foreground. Step into the image and you are immediately in over your head, suspended, weightless, sometimes spellbound.”

Martine is represented by Olsen Irwin in Sydney, Australia. Visit the gallery’s site for more of her work.

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Works shared with permission.