- by Palma Rea
The inspiration for this piece came from the Grimm Brothers' tale of the Little Mermaid. After attending Michael DeMeng's workshop in Portugal, The Navigator's Journal. The other artists who attended the workshop kept in touch via a Yahoo group and one of the ladies suggested that we all make another altered book with the theme of Fractured Fairytales, fairytales with a twist or altered versions of them. Whilst in Portugal, I bought an resin plaque of an ancient Mermaid stone carving and I also took my inspiration from that.
The torso of the mermaid is from an old Barbie doll that had only one arm. You will see that she has a wing in place of the missing arm that I cast using paper clay. Her body was also made from paper clay. A structure was first made usind newspaper and I wrapped the clay around it. The scales were singly put on one by one. When it was all dry I painted the mermaid using acrylic paints . The textured background was achieved by putting down strips of hot glue . The beads are made of metal and also painted to give a patina look. I used real shells around her head and I handmade the metal roses which were coloured with red spraypaint.
At the base, I applied a layer of artist's mortier crystal, a thick resin that contains glass and quartz crystals. This, too, was painted over when left to dry for 24 hours.
On the inside of the book, I printed my altered version of the little mermaid and glued it down.
On the opposite side, I carved into the 120 odd pages to create the cavity for the cage which I made from crafting wire. The pieces inside were all glued in place using E600. The texture around the cage is molding paste that I pressed an embossing folding into and the border around the arch is a piece of painted fabric.
Palma Rea is a self taught mixed media artist and a stay-at-home mum who lives in Italy. She told us that "Art and crafts are my passion and I have dabbled in many things over the years. I started out with paper crafting and then my passion for painting portraits returned." Palma has recently discovered the art of altering objects and assemblage. She also enjoys jewellery making, art journaling, altered books, altering images and sketching. You can find more of her art at her blog, A CrEaTiVe JoUrNeY.