“Reef Rhapsody” is a very large mermaid painting that I started several years ago. I had never been completely happy about the work so decided to continue the work. An entire week went by working and make improvements until I finally reached a point where I felt like she was done. The triptych consists of three 48×24″ panels so this painting would be a focal point in a room at 74×48″.
My website offers prints on various decor items, canvas and fine art prints with framing and nice finishing touches. Printing three gallery wrap canvases a larger or smaller size to fit your particular room is a nice option. http://linda-olsen.pixels.com
I had this idea in my head of painting a mermaid interacting with a sea turtle. After numerous sketches, I came up with this idea. This siren is in the shallow waters near a reef so there are fish and seaweeds. when I was younger, I did quite a bit of diving with a snorkel and also dive tank and gear. I had to pull my memories of how the highlights hit the water and make patterns on the sea floor and everything else. Since this scene was totally made up, I also had to figure out how the light would hit certain parts of the mermaids body and how the shadows played with the highlights. I wanted to keep it my expressionistic/impressionistic stylings so didn’t try for realism. For instance the little fish are made from three quick brushstrokes.
The objective is to distill more emotion with luminous colorings and the sweep of the brushstrokes showing movement of the water. The seaweed fanning with the currents and bubbles floating up along with her hair give the feeling of being underwater.
“Silent Conversation” is 48′ tall and 36″ wide.
Her face took the most time, She took on many faces until she finally appeared.
A couple months ago, Dales Art Originals Gallery in Christophe Harbour in St. Kitts asked me to be part of a three woman show in February of 2019 and requested to have large paintings early so the high season may produce some sales. Dale needed three for the show but since shipping is so expensive to the islands, I decided to do a fourth. It was pretty intense for the last three weeks trying to make the deadline for shipping to south Florida. I sometimes worked into the nights. All paintings are 60×48″ (except one is 66×36″) and I had purchased a roll of primed canvas which came in a tube…perfect for shipping. I cut the canvas into the sizes I needed, stapled them to stretcher bars and painted away. Then I unstapled and rolled them together into the tube. There is a art gallery frame shop on the islands who can re-stretch them as she needs them for a hundred dollars each. The tube was sent yesterday to a friend who was flying to St. Kitts in a week and could take it for just the airlines baggage fees (115.) plus 37.00 to ship to her in South Florida. I made a rope handle on the cumbersome heavy cardboard 61×5″ tube. It weighed nearly 18 lbs. with the four paintings inside. I am so appreciative because if I shipped directly, there is a 50-52% duty (and 17% VAT for Dale) fee which basically would negate the possibility of having an international gallery.
Mermaid Neighbors 66×36″
Water Nympth 60×48″
Siren Attitude 60×48″
Close to the Surface 60×48″
” Siren Lounge” is an original painting that I totally made up so originally I did not have the structure correct when I painted it early in the year so I went back and put clear gesso over the areas that I wanted to correct, let that dry for a day and then repainted the areas I needed to correct. Her face is different as well as hair. I made her right arm longer, her waist smaller and her thigh area several inches shorter. Added fish and oh my goodness,…realized that the starfish had 6 lags instead of five.
The new “Siren Lounge” is available for sale and prints. The original is 40×30″.
“Twilight” is a 24×48″ original that I started two weeks ago and was certainly a challenge. I made her up so there were numerous areas that got corrected as I worked out the scene. I wanted her to be in the shadows with just light hitting some areas of her body. I start with painting the white gallery wrap canvas with black gesso and then go from dark to light.
Another issue I deal with is covering her breasts. My feeling is that mermaids who dwell under the sea do not wear bras but I have found that covering them slightly is more appealing to collectors.
I wasn’t sure what to call my new mermaid but wanted to relate how she was watching over the bay as a guardian. “Lightkeeper” was a contender but I ended up with “Allexis” which is a Greek name meaning protector, guardian. This painting is smaller than most of my mermaids at 36×18″. It took a while since I made up the scene. I did use a canvas from years ago that I had started from a live nude painting session at the local university.
Sometimes while painting a figure, I have to guess where the shadows and light is coming from which is challenging. There is a point where the face changes dramatically with each brushstroke and finally she appears. I say “Oh there you are” when I feel she has emerged.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on this mermaid. I had watched a Pirates of the Caribbean movie (the one with mermaids) and wanted to paint a scene with the mermaid on rocks above the water and the ship in the distance. The end of the day sunset through the clouds made her darker and in the shadows and since I made up the entire scene, I had to figure out where the light would hit her. The blues of the water uplit the shadows of her skin with blue tones. I started with a large canvas 30×48″ and primed it with black gesso. Then slowly worked in the lights.
Sometimes, I take cell photos during the weeks of painting to see where I was going with my original idea. The face is usually the hardest because every brush stroke changes who she looks like. There is always a time where “she” emerges and I say to myself “There you are”! Below is a link to a slideshow of this mermaid paintings progress.