It all started one windy, rainy, freezing night on the beach. Lion's paws are an unusual find on SWFL beaches. I just had a feeling that the storm that had been blowing for a few days last winter had stirred up the Gulf of Mexico enough to wash some goodies ashore. I ran out to the beach after work with my flashlight and low & behold I was right. There was a line of deep water shells all the way down the beach. Since I was the only person crazy enough to brave the cold & go on the beach after dark I had the whole wrack line to myself. I scored some nice lion's paw fragments and 1 lion's paw that was intact. After looking at them & cleaning them up I could just see they would make a great mermaid tail if I was to mosaic them. I started picking up orange scallops for the scales & worm shells for her hair. All my junonia fragments would come in handy as well.
I mentioned my idea of doing a mermaid mosaic off & on to some of my shelling buddies. Once you hear yourself say it out loud that pretty much commits you to a thing. It was when I found a certain piece of anatomically correct coral that the project swung into high gear. My local thrift shop provided a 60's abstract painting that the frame & hanger were in good shape to re-purpose. After priming over the canvas I laid it out on my kitchen table with all my mermaid mosaic-designated shells ready to start my masterpiece. Then company came in the form of a 6 yo & 4 yo nicknamed "Baby Godzilla". Everything was put away to make room for Thomas the Train and Cars 2. After our visitors left hubby & I hit the road to do some travelling over the summer first to North Carolina then on to Pennsylvania. So the dust has settled and a few weeks ago I cleared the table, laid out the canvas, sorted the shells and with glue in hand stood and stared at the white bare picture waiting for a download of inspiration.
So I stared & stared some more. I'd walk away for a bit and do housework or run errands. Every time I passed the kitchen table the blank canvas would glare at me. Alright! Already! You just have to start so I did and I'm done. Well, I'm still pondering the border but the mermaid is complete. I'm very pleased with her because what I saw in my mind's eye is actually what I ended up with. I named her Jenny in honor of a story of a woman who collects worm shells or "Jenny curls" as she calls them in memory of her daughter that passed on. I don't consider myself an artist or a writer but I have moments where I do both. I just make things or write about things that move my heart. Such is life.
Northern lion paw
|The inspiration piece|
|I found all the shells & sea glass except the driftwood arms ( they are from my mom's driftwood stash), the blue seaglass, and the face. The face is a shell from Panama given to me by my shell brotha Capt. Brian.|