This is the largest of the seven tiny paintings I did at different times of day from a perfectly placed window overlooking the bay (I applied the white when I got home). I was trying to see if I could begin a third poster–a summer poster–to go with the first two Lake Effects posters that have been so successful the past few years. Those posters cover only eight months: fall, winter, and spring. I couldn’t afford the window I painted those from during the popular warm season.
An artist friend whose opinion I respect suggests that the values are too similar. Another thinks the mermaid should have shells in her hair and more highlights. I originally painted the fish much brighter and think I’ll go back and repaint them, as bright fish were part of the joke.
I did this one in two days. The first day I drew it and started painting it with acrylics. Then I quit because I didn’t like what I saw and didn’t know how to fix it. Yesterday, I tried again. I got out a box of pastels which I’ve only used a couple of times in years and I colored right over the acrylic, which I’d painted over a coat of gesso on a cold-press watercolor paper block. Wow. There was plenty of tooth to catch the pastels but leave exposed a rich texture of acrylic. I didn’t know you could do this, mix media this way, but it worked. I was able to capture John’s likeness really well from a picture I took when he and Carol took me out on their sailboat on the Saginaw Bay last summer.