Sunday, June 30, 2019

Art Elements June Theme-Selkies

When Jenny chose 'selkies' as the theme for this month's challenge over at Art Elements I was thrilled.  I happened to remember that I had gotten a ceramic seal from Jenny a while back so this was the perfect time to create something with this cabochon!

Now, for those who aren't familiar with selkies...selkies/silkies/sylkies/selchies are born from Scottish mythology. There are also a few folk tales from Ireland regarding these creatures, but the 'selkie folk' seems to have originated in the northern Scottish isles of Orkney & Shetland. They are creatures capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their seal skins.  The human form may be female or male. I found this website quite interesting: Orkneyjar-The Heritage of the Orkney Islands. It gives the origins of the selkie folk.
Seal cabochon by Jenny Davies-Reazor

As soon as I pulled Jenny's seal cabochon out from it's hiding place I remembered I still had a small scrap of fish leather in the perfect gray color. (Sorry I failed to take a pic of the cabochon prior to glueing down to the leather.) The leather scrap was an odd shape so I had to figure out what/how to proceed. Eventually I glued the cabochon to the fish leather to create an asymmetrical pendant for a necklace. I chose freshwater pearls to serve as the rocky shore and some shimmery white and pale blue/gray beads for splashes of water around the seal who has not shed her skin just yet. She has just begun her journey to land by flopping amongst the rocky shores of Scotland. She will begin to peel her skin away once she's through the rocks.
Selkie splashing up across the rocky shore before shedding her skin.


I chose a small stick/driftwood to hand the pendant on. The bottom fringe was created to mimic the foamy waves rolling up against shore.  I haven't created the necklace portion to hang it from just yet. Still contemplating the direction I want to tackle for that part. It will definitely be a statement piece!
Rough draft of selkie sketch per Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's book. I had to go back and fix her jutting chin and her ridiculour right hand!

Next selkie piece is a result of wanting to learn more about watercolor. I have taken a few online workshops and watched some YouTube videos. I also just happened to have Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's book Dreamscapes:Myth & Magic. It's a wonderful how-to book for painting mythical creatures with watercolor. She even has a selkie painting in the book with specific instructions on painting this marvelous creature. I opted for a slightly different sketch to paint than her painting, albeit it was still a sketch from her book on how-to sketch selkies. I loosely followed her guidelines for painting. Her color suggestions were mostly colors I did not have in my collection of watercolor paints so I improvised.  I learned quite a bit about moving paint around and about layering watercolors to get these effects. All in all, I am pleased with my Stephanie Pui-Mun Law selkie. I highly recommend this book. I really want to purchase more of her books. She does fabulous work!
After first layers of watercolor washes on the background.
I finally had to stop myself from adding more layers. I was having so much fun building up color.

I had originally thought I might do an embroidery piece as well & I even wanted to do a faux scrimshaw piece using a broken seashell to sketch a selkie with black ink. Well, none of those things happened. We had a family beach vacation earlier in the month and I have been in the midst of mentally & physically preparing for surgery this week. By the time this blog post goes live my surgery will be over and hopefully I will be able to blog hop to see everyone's creations.
Definitely a learning experience. I see some areas where I could've done a better job of extending color. Funny how you don't see that until you zoom in. But I had to stop myself before I totally screwed it up.


Please go check out all the wondrous selkie creations by team members & guests!

Guests: 

AE team: 
Cathy You're here!

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful creative stitching as always Cathy and I lovely the sense of movement in your watercolour.

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  2. I just love your hanging pieces and this one is another beautiful piece.

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  3. Definitely a statement necklace, can't wait to see your hanging choice! Luv your illustration piece, funny that at first glance I thought of Hub's French Grandmother who had several 'ermine' or other furs with heads and claws still on them!! I actually have 1 or 2 still. Hoping your surgery and recovery are going well :) . Alysen

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    1. Haha! Yes, I still have my mother's fox fur stole with the head that clips onto the tail and the little legs also! Fascinating pieces. Surgery went well and today is 4 weeks post op and I am definitely on the road to recovery. Thanks so much!

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  4. The pendant is stunning and all the elements come together perfectly to create the miniature scene. I love love love the watercolor. It captures the ethereal mood of the selkie.

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    1. Thank yo so much Tammy! I am still having a love/hate relationship with the new watercolors and figuring them out.

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  5. I love the pendant you created with Jenny's selkie. The addition of the pearls is a perfect one.

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  6. Wow - love how you created the pendant! Love all the different textures and colors (especially love the way you used the pearls for rocks with some blue in between!). I can't wait to see it completed. The watercolor is stunning - I think it is perfect.
    I hope your surgery went well and you are doing great!

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    1. Thank yo so much Beth!! Surgery went well and I am close to being fully recovered.

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  7. Beautiful work Cathy! The pendant is gorgeous -love how you used a variety of materials to give a home to the seal cabochon. Your watercolor is absolutely stunning - ethereal and magical. I hope you recover quickly from your surgery.

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah! I am recovering quite well.

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  8. Love your work Cathy, especially the watercolour. I have one of Stephanie's books and her work is amazing. Love your version of the Selkie, she's beautiful!

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  9. Your work is stunning as usual. I can only imagine where you would have taken the imagery if you were feeling yourself - it is beautiful already! I hope your recovery is fast and that you are able to get to creating your art soon!

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    1. Thank you Marsha!! Recovery is going well and I am getting my creative mojo back;-)

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Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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