I usually hate sharing works-in-progress (unless they are crafts-related, like knitting or embroidery).
When I was in school, my video instructor exempted me from having to show my works-in-progress; at the time, I was very grateful, since I hated showing my work before I had reached the point of “completion” (art is never really “complete”.. it just reaches a point where you’re satisfied enough to stop tweaking it to perfection), but ultimately it was a disservice in terms of when I entered the “working world” and had to keep clients up-to-date on projects. I am still very reluctant to share incomplete works, but I figure that’s a good thing to try to get over.
So, screenshot of latest thing I am working on:
She had been floating around in my brain (hah, floating.. accidental pun) for the last week or so. Not sure why. I suppose this mermaid is born of the ache of longing and waiting and dreams, and enduring.
I remember Aubli + I had, at one point, years ago, discussed the original story of The Little Mermaid, where after her transformation, each step felt like walking on sharp knives, and the excruciating pain suffered with each movement. And oh, how the prince loved to watch her dance. So she would. And at the end, her sisters trading their long hair for a knife to kill the prince and drip his blood on her feet so she could stay human; and refusing, she dissolved into seafoam and light.
There was another mermaid story, actually written by Aubli in 2004, that also has had a place in my brain since then:
once there lived a mermaid who was inexplicably born into the middle of a desert. the spirits of the desert were baffled at it, and did not know what it was, but waited to see what it would do. and the mermaid did not know what she was either, but she dreamed of oceans and seas and great expanses of water.
she told the spirits of the desert about her dreams, and the spirits replied, “this is a wasteful thing to dream of. a place where the entire ground is covered with water? you are an extravagant and wanton creature.” but still they watched it, to see what it would do.
as time went by, the mermaid’s fins grew dry and wilted, and she began to cry, because this is a reflex of mermaids. left in an barren place they cry themselves rivers upon which they escape to the sea. the mermaid did not know this, but she cried nonetheless, and the water began to puddle around her.
the spirits of the desert are always thirsty, and at this they drew closer. but when they drank the water and felt its taste they drew back in surprise.
“this water is salty, and salty water is worse than no water at all! now we are thirstier than before… what a horrible creature you are, to make such a thing!”
and the spirits whispered to the winds and the sands, and the mermaid’s tears soaked into the ground and evaporated into the air, and were soon gone completely.
and so the mermaid lay there, and her tail grew dry and scaly, and writhed weakly upon the sand. and she wondered why, try as she might, she never seemed to get anywhere at all.
but every so often, deserts have flash floods.
and that is all…