I get so inspired by mermaid paintings from great artists like Arthur Rackham, Edvard Munch, and Peter Rubens. They all have different styles and they all seem to portray mermaids differently.
For some, the mysterious women of the sea are beguiling sirens trying to lure sailors to their deaths. While for other artists, mermaids are innocent beings just wishing to be human. Above all, it seems artists of yesterday and today vary as to whether mer people should have two tails or one.
Disney's Little Mermaid is a one-tailed kinda gal, while the smiling saleswoman of Starbucks, sports two. I like the depictions of both, as evidenced from two of my latest paintings found here and in my Etsy shop. But I probably favor one long tail that can be swished from side to side. Of course, this all leads back to my own art and how I illustrate these mythical creatures.
I've been creating a variety of mixed media paintings, and my mind keeps coming back to the ocean and these sirens of the sea.
Mermaids seem so lonely to me and yet, so at peace in their underwater surroundings. The vibrant colors of the ocean floor teeming with life provides great opportunities for the artist to splash bright colors in an ordinarily dark world. I imagine the colorful living landscape seems to be like brilliant flowers in springtime, attracting passers-by to stop and enjoy them. I just wonder, do mermaids swim to these beautiful oceanic gardens with two tails or one?
I can hear the sea calling, as I prepare for my next show, Glitterfest Spring, in Southern California, Saturday, March 19. Not that I will be visiting the Pacific on my trip, but I have been researching and reading about the ways people enjoyed the treasures brought forth by the ocean. You see, in times past, ship captains would come home after a long journey at sea and present their loved ones with shell encrusted boxes. These signs of love make me so nostalgic, and I am creating my own take on the long ago tradition. This along with other boxes will be available at my booth.
Additionally, I have been learning more about the lore of mermaids, who were believed to be as fickle as the sea itself. They were thought to be fierce like a raging storm and then quickly become peaceful and serene. I love the mysterious nature of them, along with their magical beauty. All of this lead me to create my next folk art workshop at Gilding the Lily in Fullerton, CA, to be held Sunday, March 20, the same weekend as Glitterfest. "Enchantress of the Sea" is a glass theater, and you can click here for more details and to register.
Can you hear the crashing waves?
It's a rainy day here in Northern California which means the perfect time to draw. Thought I'd share what's on the drawing board, as I think about mermaids, shell art and more in preparation for the Spring Glitterfest folk art show, Saturday, March 19, in Santa Ana, CA, and the Enchantress of the Sea Glass Theater workshop I'll be leading on Sunday, March 20 at Gilding the Lily, in Fullerton, CA.
Our son was leaving the house and noticed a bird fly out from our porch. He noticed that it came from the area where we keep a wicker chair and where I have hung a concrete owl. The sculptured owl's wings are spread and it has two glass marbles for eyes. It was made to hold a votive, and the eyes light up casting an eerie glow over the piece.
Here, I used the flash on my camera and you can see how the eyes glow. Well being a curious young man, Trevor wondered what the bird was doing. When we first moved into our home, the overhead porch light had been left partially open and a bird had nested inside it. Of course, we were careful not to turn the porch light on for fear we'd burn what little babies might be inside.
But there was no open porch light this time. So after leaving the house several times through the front door and noticing the same behavior from this bird, our son decided to peek inside the owl. Lo and hehold, what do you think he found?!
You guessed it! A sweet little bird's nest complete with five dainty little eggs! You can't tell from the harsh light of my flash, but they are the loveliest shade of blue. Isn't it ironic that a small bird would choose to make a nest inside the sculpture of a carnivorous owl? I'll try to take pictures along the way, without disturbing the little darlings to be. What would be ideal is if I could snap a pic of the bird on the nest! It reminds me of our families and holding our loved ones close. Like the Mermaid Queen and her little mer-baby in the Under the Sea theater, I created and now have listed on eBay.
Precious moments like these happen everyday. All we need do is recognize and take a few minutes to enjoy them. Soon our son will be flying the coop on his way to college and our nest will be much quieter. I am cherishing the time we spend together. Remember, each day is a gift.