Paint Schoodic

Join us in Acadia National Park in August. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What did the sea say to the mermaid?

It's a Merdonna and Child. Or something.
When this buoy arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, certain members of my family were flummoxed. “Who sent us an oversized dreidel?” Since I was expecting it, I recognized it for what it was, but then wondered whether it was supposed to go dreidel-side up or dreidel-side down. A cursory search on the internet was useless—evidently, Mainers are not into social conventions like which end is up.

I took a guess, and put the stick on the bottom. Too late to worry if it’s wrong.

How do you paint on a buoy? Lash it to your easel.
I am painting it for a fundraiser for the Penobscot East Resource Center to be held later this month in Rockland, ME (more on that later). One would imagine it was a simple matter of filling, sanding and priming the surface, but, as usual, I’m pressed for time.

The biggest problem in painting on a curved surface turned out not keeping the figure proportional (as I expected) but drawing a straight horizon line. It’s very difficult to lay a ruler down on a cylinder. Tomorrow I’ll mark it with string.

There was a time when I used these wee little brushes a lot. That was a long time ago.
Eventually I bungee-corded it to an easel, but I’m only going to be able to paint on one side at a time. So much for working all parts of a painting at the same rate of development.

Sandy just told me she learned in her Renaissance art history courses that the infant Jesus always looks so weird in order to prefigure Christ’s death. I think that’s a fiction that comes from art historians never actually painting. Just try drawing a squirming, wailing baby—without photography, you’d have to drug the little darlings to get them to hold still. My mermaid is a little hackneyed, but her baby is coming along well. 

Baby's cute. Mom needs work.
I have to leave in a few minutes to go teach at Schoen Place on the Erie Canal. There are no buoys there; there are (to my knowledge) no fresh-water mermaids either. Have a happy evening!

August and September are sold out for my workshop at Lakewatch Manor in Rockland, ME.  Join us in June, July and October, but please hurry! Check here for more information.

Oh, BTW, what did the sea say to the mermaid? Nothing. It just waved.


SqUaNg said...

There is actually a tradition to paint baby Jesus as a man-baby. It might be earlier than the Renaissance. I don't think that theory is entirely bogus, but maybe misguided. :D

SqUaNg said...

It could be that, the tradition of man baby had toned done, and in the process of toning down, man-baby became ugly baby.

eccefelix said...

Place the buoy in water to find out which way is up!