Art: Underwater Colors

Painters have ransacked the heavens and earth for inspiration, recorded the sea in all its moods, discovered the bird's-eye view centuries before the airplane. Only recently has the artist begun trying to conquer a new world—the vast reaches under the sea. Last month Canadian-born Marcel Cardinal. 38, now busily skindiving for fresh impressions off the French Riviera, exhibited his underwater seascapes in London's Matthiesen Gallery. This week Russell Swanson, 29, a U.S. skindiver, is displaying his water-soaked paintings in Philadelphia's William C. Blood gallery. For both, the underwater world is an overwhelming experience of fantastic otherworldly beauty.

Marcel Cardinal, an ex-commando captain,...

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