Monday, August 09, 2010

Mermaid on the Midway, or She Knows Without Knowing

Mermaid Girl on the Midway, or She Knows Without Knowing
Acrylic Paint on Paper, 8"x8"
50/100 in 100 days creative challenge

I've been holding on to this one for a while, but here it is. I really like her.

What do I tell you about her? That I worked on her for so long. That I didn't work on her for even longer. Staring at a half finished painting, wondering what to do. That I asked advice on what to do with her and got advice and still stared at her without painting, wondering if it was the right thing.

In the end, I neither did my first instinct with the piece, which was to put another graphic pattern in the water, with a slightly muted blue, so it wouldn't stand out, nor did I do what the other artist suggested, which was to paint in organic fluid lines to suggest the water, also muted. I decided the pattern would be too busy. And I tried the organic lines and was not satisfied. So in the end, I just did a graded lighter blue to darker blue, with and organic flow between lines. The detail, which I'd planned with the graphic pattern, went instead into the hair flowing about her, which suggests her being underwater, but not obviously. I like the subtleness about it. The way her scales could be a dress. The way her tail is secondary, and could be ignored if you were just looking at the girl.

But like I said, this is not the painting a day kind of project. This is a process that is more extended and involves a lot of staring, considering, thinking, wondering, looking out the window, doing other things, coming back, considering some more. Maybe in a way, all that not painting is a way to get to whatever we already know.


When I was in the midst of painting this picture, I also stumbled across this little cast iron lady and I was compelled to buy her. I mean, come on. A teal mermaid? A requirement.

Oh, and if you're interested in a print of my mermaid, you can get her in my etsy shop, here

8 comments:

marta said...

I love the mermaid! I wrote a story about mermaid 20 years after marrying the prince. It was fun to do. I stared a lot at the paper. To create, staring is important.

The iron mermaid is a perfect touch too.

Lis said...

how amazing ... i am on a beach vacation right now, with mermaids on the brain :) she is stunning! i am in a painting course, BIG, and this past week we've all been painting our goddesses (seems like that is what has emerged in the group) and so it seems fitting to come here and see your water goddess.

i love how creativity is just swimming into our world :)

xo Lis

Stephanie said...

Beautiful! The serenity of the mermaid painting. I love her hair and the colors on her scales. sweet!

Jackie said...

I love it !!! Beautiful!

Hybrid J said...

What a mysterious being, especially when all we could see is her back. But that's exactly what draws me in ...

The flowing hair and the patterned "dress / scales" did the work to show us the mermaid.

The simplicity of the graded blue water helps to give off calm quality of the painting.

Love it! ;)

septembermom said...

I find mermaids to be fascinating subjects for art. Well done!

Jessica - Domestic PDX said...

Just beautiful ... her hair, her necklace, the message ... all of it!

Kel said...

Maybe in a way, all that not painting is a way to get to whatever we already know.

YES !!!

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