Everywhere and Nowhere...a Mermaid Story

I finished a painting this weeek. I started it about two months ago but walked away after beginning to feel unsure of its direction.

It started like this. 

Beginning layers.  

Beginning layers.  

And then got to this. 

Next few layers.  

Next few layers.  

After a few more layers, this happened, because I had no idea what the hell I was doing anymore at that point. 

Complete frustration.  

Complete frustration.  

On the particular day I started this painting, I was contemplating solitude. I love nothing more than to be alone, in my head, working out my thoughts, emotions, and inner revelations with paint. It is my communion time with God. 

I was also thinking that I wanted to try something new and felt like I was going in the same direction I did with every other painting...simple and safe. In my frustration, I covered everything up with a layer of payne's grey.  

 I instantly regretted the payne's grey so I began to wipe it off with a paper towel and a figure seemed to appear on the canvas.

I began to define it a bit and she started to look like a mermaid. 

What is this?!?  

What is this?!?  

I wasn't really sure what to make of it because I had never really painted a mermaid.  But I gave it a shot. 

I defined her some more. I added texture with modeling paste, stamps, stencils, and alcohol inks. And for some reason I gave her wings flecked with mica chips.   


A mermaid with wings didn't quite make sense to me. Neither did the words that kept popping into my head..."she belonged everywhere and nowhere". 

As a result of this, I stopped trusting the process and I got stuck. 

But I thought about her each time I walked by the canvas. I tried to figure out her story because I knew it was my story.  

What would it feel like to be a mermaid with wings; to be able to swim into the depths of the ocean and then soar up to the stars; to inhabit both worlds without needing to belong to one or the other? 

I went back to the canvas with my thoughts a few weeks later. I realized not much needed to change with the painting. It was I that needed to change before I could finish it. I needed to work more on my "trust". Surprise. 

And this is where she ended up.  

"Everywhere and Nowhere" original 14x16 mixed media on canvas panel by Jennifer Albin. June 2015.  Painting can be purchased  here .

"Everywhere and Nowhere" original 14x16 mixed media on canvas panel by Jennifer Albin. June 2015.  Painting can be purchased here.

I like this mermaid's story because it's my story and perhaps yours. 

"She belongs everywhere and nowhere. She has wings and a fin. She can swim deep down into the depths   and soar high up to the stars.  She walks both worlds, without a need to belong to either. She belongs to God."