My latest painting springs from the imagining of a wonderful and epic story of a voyage in Ancient times. Ulysses – known as Odysseus in his Greek persona – is a mythological sea-faring hero and warrior who managed to hear the seductive song of the devastatingly beautiful but deadly Sirens whilst avoiding being drowned by them.
He was on his way back home to his Grecian island kingdom of Ithaca in the Ionian sea after fighting in the Trojan War, and his incredible adventures have become legendary. My interest in this story, which may have very well been based on factual events in prehistory, stems from the fact that my Greek ancestry goes back just two generations to this beautiful little Greek island. It was from there that my grandparents immigrated to South Africa in the 1930’s, and my great-great grandfather sailed the surrounding Mediterranean seas right up into the Black sea as a merchant sailor, captaining his very own ship.
In this watercolor and pigment colored pencil and wax resist painting, I’ve depicted one of the Sirens as a mermaid, who has Ulysses’ soul in her heart as she sings her exquisite song to him ~ perhaps she is in love with him…perhaps it is she who inspires him to keep going on his voyage home despite all the trials he endures. I imagine her as being almost doll-like, as a marionette mermaid…
As always in my paintings, there is much expressive movement, along with little details hidden away for the viewer to discover. For the colour palette I enjoyed using corals, salmon pinks, tones of blue grey for the stormy sky and highlights of creamy yellow. These colors are very inspired by my own visit to the Greek islands, where everything is imbued by a mystical, magical hue that is timeless.
I wanted to keep the feeling of this magic, with a whimsy that always surrounds mythological tales, especially ones about mermaids, the sea, heros and the longing of love….
The original painting is for sale here.
Stunning archival art prints are for sale here.