I have two mermaid works in Changeling Artist Collective's "Deep Blue" art auction this week, celebrating the ocean and its beautiful monsters. I painted a new personal piece in watercolor and gouache, a pensive mermaid I call "Deep Blue Sky" and our girl's preliminary sketch, hereafter to be known as "Deep Blue Sketch."
Do mermaids breathe air? My Deep Blue mermaid does. Do they have knees? Are their spines flexible enough to wrap around a rock or keep our girl from being washed away by a high wave? This time I've decided that this particular mermaid is an air breathing mammal, a creature who can both swim and sit comfortably in the open air. She is, in fact, sort of a sea lion-centaur. She can sit on a rock and finger-comb out her hair to dry in the sun for an hour, and then, bored, slip back under the waves and disappear.
Deep Blue Sky grew out of a doodle I've kept around for a while now, a quick scribble (in a sketchbook?) of a mermaid combing her hair. But how? Where do mermaids find combs? Do they make them themselves, grinding them out of clam shells? Are there mermaid artisans crafting them for the larger mermaid community? I decided this time that the mermaid would be combing her hair with her fingers, gently working the tangles loose and letting it dry in the breeze. The original sketch had some energy but was never anything more than an idea to remember later; but when I needed to think up a mermaid for MerMay, the idea was there!
This is likely not my final artwork about mermaids and hair care. The two ideas I threw out earlier could both create interesting pictures. There are other ways to have "hair" - a fish or amphibian mermaid could have gelatinous filaments like a hairy frog, and not have to worry about combs at all; right now there are many, many mermaids roaming the internets in this fine month of MerMay, and each is beautifully weird and original in its own way.
Mermaids are an idea worth coming back to, repeatedly, as new possibilities surface in my tiny art brain - Deep Blue is just the one that emerged here and now.
For more information or to bid on "Deep Blue Sky," visit it here: http://tinyurl.com/m8dxwb9
For information or to bid on the pencil preliminary, "Deep Blue Sketch," visit it here: http://tinyurl.com/k5mhzb2
By the way, you will notice that there is more paint on my paper this time than in watercolors past. I'm pushing deeper into traditional media these days, looking for the place where my traditional work and my digital work can speak in one visual language. Think of it as my small personal pilgrimage into Art Land, exploring strange newish worlds, or at least territory that was once familiar and has now been gentrified to the verge of unfamiliarity. Feel free to watch my travels. Sometimes I'll send postcards...