Before stretching or preparing a single canvas for his marine wildlife paintings, Alan Feldmesser goes through many steps. Traveling whenever he gets the chance, to oceans around the world to dive in as many unique marine locations as he can. He has to capture and collect photographs of as large a variety of fish and marine wildlife as possible. He has dived in oceans as far from South Florida as Brazil and as close as the Bahamas.

Each time he SCUBA dives, whether locally or far away, he’s hoping for a unique encounter with some fish or mammal. He’s always searching for sea life subjects and the environment they live in for his paintings. He uses digital photography to help him gather all the information he needs to create paintings of this very complex ecosystem. He takes and catalogs hundreds of photos from each dive, never knowing which fish or animal will be the inspiration for him to start his next oil painting.

After each dive, he evaluates his photographs with the perspective of whether or not they will make suitable references for a new work of marine wildlife art. By cataloging them he has been able to accumulate, thousands of photographs to help inspire him in the creation of new oil paintings. From these reference photos he is able to combine images of different fish all in their natural habitat; and that allows him to bring a whole new creation to life. This critical attention to the specifics in his preparation stage allows him to bring to life painstakingly realistic details of each marine sea creature and their environment he paints.