Monday, September 7, 2015

A Mermaid in the Making

Not every painting gets finished quickly or: Patience is a Virtue

Sometimes paintings take a while.  And that's what happened with this painting.  I started her in January of this year and just finished this last week.  I got midway through the painting and got busy with other things. But she was never abandoned. I kept her in view and was always aware she needed to be finished. I kept track of my progress and below you'll see some of the steps along the way.

Initial sketch


The drawing gets more detailed.
I struggled with the question, "What do mermaids see out their windows?" I thought they could see Paris rooftops, or the cannels of Venice. 
 My grandson said, "Squirrels."
I drew the scales on her tail with white chalk and then painted in the scales. When they where dry I wiped out the chalk and that left the separation between the scales in the terracotta

photo credit Pam Hobbs
While I was working on the painting a reporter for the New York Daily News came into the studio.  He was doing an article about Key West that focused on things that were off of Duval St. (Our main touristy street) and he asked if he could include my studio.  I said, "Sure." I was thrilled to the max! 

Many of Key West's charms lie outside the tourist-heavy Duval St., including great food and a thriving art scene

Here is a link to that article.
 This is the point where I stopped working.  When I started up again I took out the sailboat. I decided it was cheesy and the painting wasn't about what was outside the window, but about the act of looking.

Almost finished, after this I softened the clouds on the horizon.

I haven't found a title I'm thrilled with
Maybe Beauty in the Deep
acrylic 40 x 30'

What's Next?

Next the painting is off to the photographer.  I like it well enough that I will offer Giclee prints on paper and canvas.

What's coming up soon in Key West

Women Fest Key West starts this week.  For a list of events Click HERE

 For those of you reading this in your inbox Click HERE to see it in it's original format.

About Maggie

Maggie Ruley is a studio artist in Key West Florida. She has lived and worked in Key West since 1986.

She is the owner of Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations gallery in Historic Old Town Key West.

Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery can be found in many island homes and have been featured in the Key West Citizen and other publications on numerous occasions.  Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.


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