Island Mermaid

“Above or Below the Sea” is an original mermaid painting that I painted after returning from St. Kitts. Oils are so slow to dry and I am learning that wet on wet blending is more difficult than imagined. I worked on this for over a month and a half because of the drying time to add more paint. Oil paints are more vibrant and thick than acrylic ( which is my preferred medium. )

Originally I was going to add seaweed and coral surrounding her but liked how this painting can be viewed two ways: She could be sitting on a rock above the surface…or could be sitting on a rock on the sea floor. Which way did you visualize her?

More oil paints on the horizon!

Above or Below the Sea 48x36

Oil Paints

In a couple of weeks I will be taking an oil painting workshop in Kiawah Island near Charelston so decided to bring out my oil paints to paint this mermaid. What I discovered was that oils have its pros and cons over acrylics. I liked how buttery the paint is, how opaque and creamy, how the colors blend so nicely.  The cons for me were that it took 3 to 4 times longer to complete the painting because of the drying time and the gaps in letting some areas dry a bit to be able to work on an area. Another part I did not enjoy was the smell and messiness. I was constantly using rags and wet wipes to clean my hands.

“Sunrise Mermaid” is very large  48×36″ so a lot of pricey oil paint were used.

Mermaid at Sunrise 48x36

mer-001

Underwater Fantasy

“Rachel” was completed this week finally. She is 48×36″ thick gallery wrap. Since I made the scene up, there were many challenges. I wanted to show how light hits objects under the water and included the reflections of the water on her skin and the coral rocks that she is perched on. A red octopus slithers up through the crevas to visit.

Rachel 48x36

 

Here are some details:Rachel detailRachel edge

Rachel loves her jewelry and shell bra…

Rachel face

Various stages from sketches to final on this acrylic painting.

ContactSheet-001

Mermaids!

For a commissioned project from a company in the UK, I needed mermaids that were more rectangular. The three original mermaids were tall and slender so I had three canvas giclees printed and then I painted more underwater landscape on the sides.  After I finished painting, I varnished each canvas and will sell as hand embellished giclee prints. Each are 20×16″.

This one I am calling “Bubble Bath”.

Bubble Bath

Highland Mermaid

Highland Mermaid

Siren Turnaround

Turnaround 2

Here are the original paintings that were too narrow for the project.

Before mermaids

Mermaid triptych completed

“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

Three Mermaid Paintings tweaked

Over the holidays, I had a bit of time to review paintings I had done in 2018 and decided to make a few changes in these three paintings. Sometimes, when I think a piece is completed, later on, I will notice something that bugs the heck out of me. SO, redoing the parts that could be improved is a good thing.

“Ginger Dreams” is a 40x30x1.5″ gallery wrap.

ginger dreams 40x30ginger dreams faceginger dreams orig

“Harmony” 40×30″ had an awkward bend to her tail so I fixed that, added jewelry to this whimsical painting.

harmony 40x30harmony faceharmony origi

“Twilight” is a 24×48″ painting that I had done last summer and felt that it was too dark. Repainting all of her skin and adding more light to the water was nearly like starting over. Her face changed in the process which took several days for the new personality to emerge.

twilight 48x24twilight detailtwilight facetwilight seaweedtwilight original

Mermaid in Shallow Waters

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.

Silent Conversation 48x36

Impressionistic Details

Silent Conversation back

Her face took the most time, She took on many faces until she finally appeared.

Silent Conversation facesilent conversation on wallSilent Conversation turtle

Mermaids Swimming to St. Kitts

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″

Mermaid Neighbors 66x36

Water Nympth 60×48″

Pleasant Surprise 60x48

Siren Attitude  60×48″

Siren Attitude 60x48

Close to the Surface  60×48″

Close to the Surface 60x48

Mermaid Painting altered

” 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″.

Siren Lounge orig40x30 .jpg

Siren Lounge 40x30Face mermaidsignature

 

New mermaid painting with a darker palette

“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.

Twilight 48x24