"Darwin may have been quite correct in his theory that man descended from the apes of the forest, but surely woman rose from the frothy sea, as resplendent as Aphrodite on her scalloped chariot." ~Margot Datz, A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids.

mixed media mermaid in altered journal

The quotation seems appropriate for the mermaid I have painted today in a repurposed or altered souvenir book given to me by my parents shortly after I visited Capri in 2006.

I love being able to recycle old books this way. I have begun collecting ephemera including sewing patterns, sheet music, beautiful script, but my greatest treasure so far is a book of Ontario statutes full of legalese published in 1919. The pages are beautifully yellowed and I can hardly wait to use them as collage pieces in my art work.

But I digress...

My mermaid has a suggestive smirk; however, her secret will not be revealed unless you follow her to the watery depths where she lives.

After all, mermaids entice men to follow them to the bottom of the sea.

When I was younger, I wondered why these tales written by men showed them to be so gullible as to follow a mermaid to the bottom of the ocean. How many mariners have been drawn to murky waters by the sound of a mermaid's melodious voice?

I can't remember reading one story about women being lured by men to their deaths in this manner.

No matter the origins of this creature, the mermaid represents entrapment for the "apes of the forest" . Wouldn't you agree?

And so, my lovely little mermaid has that knowing look on her face. Let's just leave it at that.

Capri travel book

To view another mermaid I painted on canvas, see This mermaid sings a melancholy song for her lost love.


Mixed media mermaid in altered travel souvenir book

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