Sunday, August 12, 2012


I've been bitten by the juried competition bug again. After so much work getting ready for "Mermaids", I still have so much creative adrenalin. I needed some more "trouble" to get into. Someone sent me another call for artists called "Masquerade". At first I said no because I wanted to just take a breather. But then I started getting images in my head the same way I did for "Mermaids". I'm not completely sure what to create yet. The good news is that they will only take one entry per artist which will keep me from being tempted to make more that one piece. The bad news is that the deadline is the end of this month. The prospectus is so intriguing. It asks artists to call on their 'sinister', 'festive', 'macabre' and 'mischievous' creative spirits to create a virtual masquerade ball. Artists are to think of  Mardi Gras, Venetian and Brazilian Carnivale and Halloween. I'm going to dream on it another night and see how I feel in the morning.


Yemaya’s Feast Day Celebration September 7th, 2012

As part of the three day Opening weekend for Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A fiber Arts Exhibiton we invite you to join us,
September 7th at 6:30  pm Fort MoultrieSullivans Island,  South Carolina, for a very special Celebration.
September 7th is the Feast Day to honor Mermaid goddess Yemaya.
According to Yoruba elders, The Black Mermaid  is the "unseen mother present at every gathering."
 She is omnipresent and omnipotent. Her power is represented in Yoruba teaching  reminding us that "no one is an enemy to water."

       High Chief, High Priest Nathaniel Styles of the Yoruba Kingdom, will introduce and educate us as how to honor and celebrate the Black Mermaid Yemaya.
       You’ll gather in a circle, that represents the eternal cycle of life.
Your heart and feet will turn towards home, and then deeper to our first home, the waters, as the ancient beating of the drums of The god Sango will sound.  Nigerian Prince Aderele will fly in from the Motherland especially for this celebration,the Prince  will call down  Sango The God of Thunder      to beat his Spirit drum, dance His Sacred Dance, and he will perform for us the fire eating ritual  in honor of the Deities as a purification rite.
You will have a once in a life time experience.
      Yemaya invites you to reclaim our feminine strength to take in  universal wisdom of the water goddess.
 Being  whole means to be balanced. “The goddess woman whole in
herself. She speaks to us of a power that is our birthrightAnd our men are more at peace when they too join the circle of celebration, as all men need to rebalance the masculine and feminine energy as well.
To know ourselves means to know one another.

We are asked to wear white if possible and to bring a financial offering for the Chief High Priest and Prince.
You are also invited to share a meal with us afterwards. Chief High Priest will also take appointments for private sessions.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I finally got my artwork off to the gallery in South Carolina. I finished three pieces, two dolls and a wall hanging. I've already introduced my two mermaid dolls Malika and Adilah. They are on their way to the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, South Carolina via their magic coach courtesy of UPS.

The third piece that the gallery accepted is a wall hanging I did called "The Rescue".

I used textile pants by Jacquard to paint the background.

I wanted the sky to be at sunrise when the sun is just emerging from the horizon and the colors are shades of pink and coral and the night sky begins to disappear and the day time sky begins to show itself.

The rocks, the mermaid and her rescue were cut from the pattern that I drew and quilted and appliqued to the background.

I love to use glass beads to add shine and texture to my quilts. I cut out some fish from a piece of fabric that I found and appliqued them with the glass beads.

I used more glass beads on the mermaid's tail and beads and shells around the rocks.

Friday, August 3, 2012


My second mermaid doll is Adilah which is Swahili for justice. She also a hero and protector of her people. Her legend is that once, she was a captured slave who was thrown over board while crossing the ocean on a slave ship. Because she was brave and unselfish her life was spared and her broken legs were transformed into a fish tail.

 I wanted Adilah to be a little different than my first mermaid Malika. She is still a strong woman.
 I used more natural elements to create her look. She wears a belt made of glass beads, coconut beads and cowrie shells. Her color palette is watery silvers, blues and teals. She wears a cotton cloth halter that might have been a torn remnant of her clothes when she lived on land.

She carries a fish that she caught for dinner and a bag of shells in a fishnet.

Her thick curly hair is held with a beaded headband and her blue "fishy" tail is beaded with clear glass beads to look like bubbles.


My two mermaid dolls are almost on their way to the Waterfront Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina. I also had time to create a beaded, quilted wall hanging that was also accepted. Now, I have to follow the appropriate steps to ship them to the gallery and prepare them for display.

I wanted to create mermaids that were a little different,
I didn't want them to be just pretty girls floating in the water. I have to admit, raising two sons who were very into super heroes and now having to grandsons who are also into "heroes" influenced my creative process for this first doll. I am very inspired by my oldest grandson Paul who is becoming an awesome cartoon animator and is studying media in high school and will soon be off to college. All four of my grandchildren and my nephew Demetrius are creative artists and have been creating beautiful images since they were very young.                  
My first mermaid is Malika. She became a mermaid warrior queen fighting for the survival of her people. Her color palette is coppers and golds and she carries a sword ready to do battle for justice.

I used gold beads, charms and gold braid to create her look and because she is a queen she wears a crown. When I finished her body I couldn't figure out what was missing and it dawned on me that she needed a belly button.
Her "fishy" tail and lower body are painted with Lumiere Metallic textile paints by Jacquard and Scribbles Iridescent textile paints that are layered to get a more complex texture. I used a leopard stencil to get the effect of scales.

 I added gold beads to her tail just to add extra glitz.

She has thick "dreaded" hair with coppery red streaks and a sassy attitude.

Malika is Swahili for queen so it seemed most fitting that that should be her name.

Stayed tuned for pictures of mermaid #2 and a very ambitious wall hanging that I couldn't stop adding to. It was almost addictive.