A wild girl from the sea walked towards me

"She came from the ocean, this wild girl from the sea, her hair flowing southwards, she walked towards me."  The Mermaid by Michael Faudet.

painted mermaid on reclaimed wood (cedar deck board)

painted mermaid on reclaimed wood

"Wild girl from the sea".  Acrylic on reclaimed cedar deck board.  Approx 6 X 26.  Twine handle. Seahorses were stamped on.  Sea shells from various parts of the world are attached to the board.

This mermaid has discovered a pure white shell at the bottom of the sea...

There is no shortage of seashells in my art room.  Many holidays that I have taken, whether to the Jersey Shore, to the Caribbean, or to Europe, have been opportunities to search for shells of all sizes and colours.  In an earlier post, I wrote about one of my favourite books, and posted lovely shells that I had found on the Jersey Shore.   Seeking a gift from the sea

Most recently, during our trip to Torremolinos, Spain, the beach was chock-full of some of the most beautiful shells I have ever seen.  I wasn't the only tourist bringing souvenirs from the beach back home.

But I digress only to emphasize that I have always loved sea shells and collect them.

In March I painted a mermaid on foam board for a prop in a dance show.  On occasion, I have painted mermaids in journals while others were painted on a canvas, here This mermaid sings a melancholy song for her lost love.

 I am at a loss to explain why I seem to have a fascination with mermaids.  A book from childhood called Water Babies might have something to do with it.   

The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

I can quite clearly see the cover of this book which belonged to an aunt of mine. The Water Babies was written in 1863 by Charles KIngley with a subtitle A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby.

KIngsley wrote a satire highlighting the concerns of intellectuals during VIctorian times regarding Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The Water Babies even went further and explored many issues of that era such as child labour, the education system, and religion.

Heavy reading for a child's fairy tale.

I can't say I remember reading the book myself, but that grey cover and the thickness of the novel itself fascinated me when I was younger.

Apparently it also contained black and white illustrations but I don't remember the contents of the book.

Free ebook available of this Victorian classic novel

It is possible to download the ebook for free.

With characters such as Mrs. Bedonbyasyoudid and Doasyouwouldbedoneby, Tom, the main character who is the water baby, meets all types of creatures from the sea.

I am newly intrigued by this book if not for its plot, then as inspiration for more painted mermaids or other interesting creatures that might be held within The Water Babies.

And since the mermaid in this post came about quite easily on reclaimed deck board, I might just paint more of them in the future.

I think she looks quite lovely hanging out by the family pool.

painted mermaid in journal

2 Responses

  • Love it Louise, and it certainly looks great hanging on your pool fence. Like you I have collected shells from all over and the best place was in Western Australia at a place called 80 Mile Beach, I was busily fossicking whilst Les was fishing, I missed him catching the biggest Threadfin Salmon, 1 metre long. I still have the shells but the fish is long gone, and tasty it was too.

    • That must have really been something! You should paint your shells Sally. They would go well with the bird you painted walking on the shore…I can’t remember the title of it.

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