Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Mermaid's Prayer


A Sailor's Valentine, A mermaid's prayer

These were my thoughts and hopes as I painted this picture

I am referencing Wikipidia here: 

A sailor's valentine is a form of shell craft, like an antique souvenir or sentimental gift, which is made using a large number of tiny sea shells.  They were originally made between 1830 and 1890 and were designed to be brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea and given to the sailor's loved one or loved ones.  Sailor valentines are typicality octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8" to 15" in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing.  Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.  

Now, you can see how and why I painted this mermaid!  I have a love for seashells and the ocean in general.  When my mother passed away in 2008, one of the things that my dad gave to me was a tiny seashell box that is definitely an antique.  I love it.  It's the box pictured on the center shelf! 

A gift from my dear mother (Middle shelf)

 I thought that it would be neat to paint a mermaid with a heart and call it a Sailor's Valentine; too bad that I didn't think to post this on Valentine's day, ha!

 This was one of those 'leftover' paintings (I am sad to say) from a show.  I thought, "I am going to give this to my husband as a gift."  When I gave it to him, his response was what I would call neutral, "That's neat, honey, thank you!"  I  mistakenly interpreted that as not really 'loving it' but still appreciative.

 I hung it in our hallway as you come in from the garage into the main part of the house.  It stayed put there for a few years.  One day, I decided that I was going to sell it (I needed art for a show).  I left for the show that morning, and there it generated a lot of interest.   However, Mark missed it immediately upon coming home from work and called and told me that I was NOT PERMITTED to sell his gift!!!  He wanted it back immediately.  Well, I was shocked.  "I will paint you another one," I said.  But he didn't want another one, he wanted that one!  So there it is!  

In case you were wondering, this was painted in a watercolor technique and is in a vintage frame.  Here are a few closeups!
And lest I forget, here is the tail with the little "Sailor's Valentine" title.  

Hopefully, everyone has some special person in their life that they hope and pray they are one with.  My man (Mark), who I happened to be married to for 26 years this July, is that person!  This started out as a Sailor's Valentine and finished being something so sentimental that I will keep it FOREVER.


charity said...

awe so sweet, i love the innocent look in her eyes and her face screams I am in love and he is my treasure.

Kolenespicher said...

I just love that. Thanks for saying that. :)