I am one of seven children. I am the dreaded middle child. Mom kept me busy with pencils, books, paper, more books, acrylic paint, then my favorite, oils. Growing up in school, I had one questionable remark on my report cards and that was the fact that I didn’t “apply myself”. This same card carried all A’s, every subject. What The Frick? I’m framing that one.
For me to choose a favorite painting is to send a kid to a candy shop, without a list. Inevitably, unless I go with the first that comes into my head, I will want to choose as much as that kid could carry. So, here is Howard Pyle’s The Mermaid. I fell in love with this scene, at first sight, many moons ago. Then I examined it to find out why I felt so wild about two figures in a hug. It’s the whole mood, set by the moon and its glow upon the lover’s skin. It’s the fact it has the ability to tell a story. I can feel the motion of the water as it winds a round the figures as I feel the soft impact of their embrace. You can see that he pulled her up to himself as she rose out of the water as much as a mermaid possibly could. I wish I watched Pyle painting this. Maybe I can look up his notes to find how he saw this happen. There’s no Photoshop here, no illustrator, no computers. It’s real imagination. Something I want to achieve with a paintbrush and a little alchemy.