Eric Zener is a Northern Cal based artist well known for his underwater themes. Out of his studio in Sausalito, Zener creates work that leaves you both breathless and buoyed by his vision. If you’re a former swimmer, viewing his paintings is like being comforted by the phantoms of your past breathless life. In New York, his work can be found at a gallery not far from where I write this. I met him once there, and unsurprisingly he told me that all three of his children are swimmers in the Bay Area.

The water – and our relationship with it – tends to spark inspiration from every artistic¬†outlet. It’s an infinite well.¬†In a letter to his daughter, Scottie, F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: “All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.”

Enjoy this photo gallery tour of Zener’s underwater world. If only we didn’t have to breathe…