A few months ago, I signed on with MacWorthington Gallery in Columbus Ohio. I'll periodically show paintings there, and my work can also be seen and purchased through their online gallery. The first show that I'll have work included in there will be in September, so I wanted to share the in-progress painting I'm working on.
The gallery is open to any subject matter and medium, so it's a great opportunity for me to explore themes I'm personally excited about and also experiment with medium a bit. I had so many images in my head that I would just love to create--but thought a lot also about something that might sell to the kind of clientele a gallery like that might get. I decided to tap into a recent inspiration--the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
The Mermaid Parade stems from Coney Island's Mardi Gras celebration that was celebrated every autumn in NYC from 1903-1954. It was re-born in the early 1980s as a celebration of summer, held each June on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice. 3 years ago, some friends and I decided to participate, because with our love of costume-making, it just seemed natural! We've marched in it each year since, and it's one of my absolute favorite events of the year! This most recent parade was our favorite to date--we played off the Coney Island sideshow/freakshow and created marine representations of old-time sideshow performers, "The Spectacular Seashow". (I was an Octupus-woman..."Suzi Squid"!) Here's a few photos of our get-ups!:
There's a "Freak Bar" at Coney island--adjacent to the Freak Show performance space, and we found ourselves hanging out there for a good portion of the day after the parade ended. There were quite a few people who wanted our pictures--and the American flag hanging outside was a perfect backdrop for us to vogue a few pin-up style poses. We were also handed a "golden bird" by another participant, who informed us it's a Mermaid Parade tradition and good luck to hold this bird on Mermaid Parade day. Not sure how much truth is in that--but we had alot of fun posing, and these are the photos I've derived my inspiration and reference from:
And this is my sketch for the piece I will be submitting to MacWorthington Gallery. I am super excited to get going in color with this!