1983 / The Secret of the Sea

Who can guess / the secret of the sea?  –  Woody Guthrie

A number of songs in my library come up when I search for “mermaid”.  They’re all pretty good, in their own ways

  1. 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  Just the swirling sort of psychedelic fantasy that you would expect from ol’ Jimi.
  2. Merman – Tori Amos.  This paino-and-vocal-only song was given to the benefit album called No Boundaries that also brought us Pearl Jam’s cover version of “Last Kiss”.
  3. Secret of the Sea – Billy Bragg & Wilco.  This came from their collection of songs based off Woody Guthrie’s unrecorded lyrics.  The albums were called Mermaid Avenue (vol I & II).  Superb upbeat pop-rock.

While flipping through some old sketchbooks, a doodle from years and years ago caught my eye.  It was a mermaid – a simple, stylized pencil silhouette with long, flowing tendrils of kelp-like hair.

That sketch inspired the picture above.  This picture was a lot of fun to do, mainly because I didn’t fuss over it too much.  Just some lines and squiggles with a splash of color.  No fancy Photoshop bells or whistles here.

By accident, I filled the background with the pink color from fish-girl’s cheeks.   It was too tantalizing to simple “undo” so an alternate version was born:

I like this one even better.  What do you prefer?

And if anyone can supply a particularly intriguing explanation for why she’s so nervous-looking, I’ll make an illustration to go with your story.  (post it in the comments section)

They say / It’s impossible / For a man to live underwater…. – Jimi Hendrix

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This entry was published on July 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm. It’s filed under Bold Color, Digital Drawing, Figures and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “1983 / The Secret of the Sea

  1. Pingback: Oh, Snap! « Gabriel Garbow | Artworks

  2. georgie lorimer on said:

    This particular artwork could not be more appropriate as I delve into the realms of mer-myths for a friend’s music on the Mermaid of Zennor. Thank you, yet another fabulous whatnot.

    Dare I say that she is nervous having been caught ‘In the pink’, as it were?

    • I am tickled… um… pink… by your enthusiasm!

      I also love that I learned a new phrase today. By “in the pink” do you mean “in perfect condition”, are you referring to flushed cheeks, or is there some double entendre intended as a wink toward her state of undress?

  3. I like the pink one! 🙂 Of course! I don’t know that I would say she looks nervous, but I
    can’t quite put my finger on the expression…part of the mystery of the mermaid?

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