Wednesday, 29 August 2012

summer mermaid

The summer mermaid
 At the moment I'm working on a large canvas which is a follow on from the small Jigsaw space, so in the meantime I'm posting my summer mermaid which I finished last year. It is a 3d piece and began life as a watercolour which didn't work too well! In mixed media things are never a disaster you just reuse what you have, a bit like a scrimshaw ancient mariner :) I had always admired naive scrimshaw carving and although the idea of over exploitation of the sea is an unpleasant one liked the naive carving of ancient sailors on whatever came to hand, whales teeth, wood or bone. The imagery and lines are simple with a unique charm.. My mermaid grew out of a watercolour which I then tore up and reassembled making do with what was around.
Antique scrimshaw tooth with mermaid
 The photo below shows the placement of the elements. they were glued down and then glazed over. then to create a textured surface I machine and hand embroidered the sea anemone and seaweed attaching pearls and beads. The outer band is Pollyfiller!! I tried gesso and it didn't I mixed up the filler on the thick side, spread it on, then dotted it with seashells. Once dry it was glazed over with modpodge sparkle. The overall effect Is one of translucent shimmer. I love cerulean blue, It is one of my favourite colours, and I seem to use it repeatedly, but it is particularly effective for undersea worlds, as in my earlier cerulean mermaid post.

work in progress


  1. Love the picture of the scrimshaw tooth and of course love the Summer Mermaid! x

  2. There looks to be a wonderful, rich world of mystery and adventure down in the depths of your picture. It gives my imagination interesting stories to follow in my mind. How brave to do this. I've got plenty of failed pieces so you encourage me to have a go


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