But... did you know that I can't swim and I am scared of deep water and ANY water with 'creatures' in it? Did ya? It's true. Yet...I go to the beach pretty regularly and I love to be BY the water. But as a general rule, I don't go in the shark's house. In many ways, drawing a painting mermaids is a way for me daydream about swimming all graceful and dainty-like, unafraid of all the creatures below the surface and not being able to touch the bottom. Sigh.
Instead, the meme below best describes my struggle. Thank goodness for memes.
All silliness aside (well, most of it!) I also have a ulterior motive for makin' mermaids this month. I have actually spent a month making mermaids already. Yup, sure did- back in May 2015. Here is a quick view of the images;
The main reason I am revisiting this theme (besides the fact that mermaids are freakin' awesome!) is that I am prepping a body of work for a show. My colleague Brent Bludworth and I have our now annual show coming up next month. Brent's jam is surf art, and I know I can show anything I want, but I really like to make something that will compliment his pieces just so the whole show is more cohesive.
So...mermaids it is! Yay!
But...I wanted to make them a little different, you know? My immediate thought was 'mixed media mermaids' (I am a sucker for alliteration, what can I say?!) I was thinking more collage, but as I was cleaning out my studio over spring break I came across a box of handmade papers I acquired from an art trade.
About that art trade... I saw a post in one of the art groups I am in on Facebook, a gal named Victoria Smith from Alabama was getting rid of some handmade paper she had created and I just happened to be the first one to catch the post, so I commented and then mentioned I could sweeten the deal with an old fashioned art trade- so she checked out my web site, picked out a piece from my #FelineFabJLG series and boom- we traded!
So I started working on the first piece. And actually, the first piece started off as just a pencil sketch of a face that I cut out and glued on the handmade paper. Then I started adding paint. At first I was using watercolor but I quickly figured out that was a BAD idea because it soaked into the paper and started to weaken the fibers. So then I started using acrylic, which seemed to work better. Another finding...ball point pen was better than pencil, less chance of ripping the paper.
My next issue is I didn't want to cover the paper so much. My first two images had a bunch of paint on 'em and I wanted to let some of the paper show through more. So in the third piece I approached the work with a lighter hand, not using so much paint and letting it be a little more rough and unfinished. (above, far right)
I mean...look at the surface of this paper. I am smitten. (below)
Then I started to focus more on just the face, per usual. #MyJam
...and that's where I am with this series. Mermaids...handmade paper...ballpoint pen...acrylic paint...optional sparkle. I never know when I start a series where it will take me, but who knows, maybe I will venture into the deep end and throw away my floaties after all!
Artist and Art Teacher