Mermaid Goddess of Calm Seas
Galene is one of the 50s nereids of the sea. She is one of the lesser known deities – mermaid goddess of the calm seas, a symbol of great power and clemency. She is also known as one of the most adaptable of the mythical creatures, encompassing a nereid, a naiad, a nymph, and a goddess – all of those entities being separate things.
As I mentioned in the story of how my mermaid painting, Fighter came about, artists throughout history have been fascinated with these magical creatures, and I’m no exception. Maybe it’s because they’re both beautiful and benevolent, but still have the power to break a man’s arm with the flick of their tails.
You know those summer days that are so close that the air feels thick? When you can feel a storm brewing and there’s a restless unease to everything? I wrote about that feeling in my Summertime Ennui art blog post. But unlike with my painting, Summertime Ennui, which shows a young woman caught in the height of heatwave stuffiness, I wanted to convey the feeling of a storm just passed. When the air suddenly feels chill after the heady, swirling heat of the gathering storm and the sun begins to beam through the clouds to dry the fallen rain and warm us through again, but more gently.
I like to include symbolism in my work, whether that’s crystal therapy, scandanavian folklore, pagan, catholic… too many to list here. I’m obsessed with religion, mythology and the crossing over of Chinese whisper stories in the history of our current belief systems in the way only an atheist can be. I find it all so spellbinding. So in this mermaid painting, I added a rose quartz egg – rose quartz being traditionally associated with inner love and peace. Galene is arching up towards the skyline, almost like she is kissing the sea calm, and her hands are splayed in front of her, one in the water, one out as if she is commanding both the water and the weather to be still.
There is a difference in the setting that Galene finds herself in – the blue waves of the cool sea as the backdrop and the warmer shallow rock pool in the foreground. The waves and rocks I painted in a kind of frenzy, but the foreground was built up with many layers to create a feeling of craggy depths and frothy plantlife beneath still water. I used a thin gouache layer to create the top coat and create a translucent overlay and give the impression of shallow reflection. The light from the sun that has just broken through the clouds, reflects back off the surface onto Galene’s torso. Not dissimilar to the flashes of light reflecting back onto the siren in my painting, Siren Call.
But unlike Siren Call, Galene’s nudity is not meant to represent desire. He hair hangs long and fair down her back in half wet tangles, drying in the sun. And, although beautiful, she is completely preoccupied with the task at hand.
Purchasing and Prints
The original mermaid painting, Galene’s Kiss, is available in my shop and you can also get your mitts on prints, merchandise and downloads. Saatchi is your best bet for luxury canvas and framed prints, whereas Redbubble absolutely nail merchandise like clothing, stationery and home decor, as well as more budget prints and greetings cards. You can also download hi-res, print ready versions of this piece from the shop and make your own prints in as many formats as you like.
The original painting is available on the website.
It’s also available in all kinds of printing formats and across all clothing and home decor products on Redbubble.
Luxury framed or canvas prints are available from Saatchi.