My mermaid titled Eternal is already listed for sale on this site and I have Heron's Wisdom listed on my Etsy site for sale. You can read their stories with their respective listings. I never shared any of their stories before but now I find myself compelled to share some of their hidden meanings by telling those stories.
I shared in a previous blog post how I was raised by an abstract thinker. One cannot ignore how one is raised now, can one? I chose to focus my abstract thoughts, symbolism, allegories, whatever you choose to call it in my illustrations. I only call them illustrations because by some art standards my style falls into the illustration category instead of the fine art category. That's ok. It really bears no matter to me.
Pearl - Tear of a Mermaid is an image of a mermaid wrapped around a pearl and was done for my youngest son as a high school graduation gift. When you look at it and read the verbage I added to it, you would think it is better suited for a daughter. I had the hardest time through the years raising only sons. All of the things I made for them, even the colors I chose for their bedrooms ended up being a "bit" too feminine. When I look at the baby blankets I made for them, they too are better suited for a daughter; some of the colors falling too close to the color pink. (I know, I know, this is sexist thinking. Color is color.) As adult men they have a wonderful sense of color in their lives. Although they do steer away from pink.
It's pretty commonly said that it is easier to raise sons than daughters but I humbly disagree. Boys aren't supposed to cry but they do, even teenage boys. I was never a mother to tell them to suck it up and take it like a man. Social peer pressure took care of that. It wasn't until I watched one of my sons, a very young man at the time hold back his tears as he shook the hand of his childhood friend at his father's funeral, that I realized he had conquered his emotional displays. That undeniable quiver of his chin held the tears back in front of a crowd of peers. Even though his friend's father had been a huge part of his childhood too, he had learned to hold his emotions in check.
Boys fall in love too fast. They want to be the "bad boy" to impress the girls. They hang with the wrong crowd. They have to choose between their childhood friends and the right thing to do. If they're smart, they don't want to seem like nerds. They can't back down to a fight. They need to live up to the male standards of toughness and never show their softer side. All of this and more; along with all of the other trials of growing up that both boys and girls share in today's modern cyber society. They were young teenagers at the forefront of social networking. Remember My Space?
Along with making some bad decisions on their own, both of my sons have at some point in time been victims as well. They made themselves vulnerable. It was those times that I found myself the most helpless in protecting them from other people's actions. The simple truth is I couldn't. Those betrayals hurt them emotionally, physically and financially, but taught them the biggest life lessons. Trusts were broken, allegiance failed and different paths were then traveled. They came out better people on the other side. They stood up for themselves and at times stood by themselves. One of the demands I made on my boys was to always accept responsibility for their own actions and they did. It wasn't always easy, but they did. It was always harder and took longer to get out of the holes they had easily and quickly dug for themselves, but they did it.
The verbage I added to Pearl - Tear of a Mermaid is a wish that every parent might have for a child, son or daughter. A wish to protect them from the unknown, to believe there is a greater power that will hold them up when the world wants to push them down. A talisman that represents a greater power that provides inner strength.
"Pearl - tear of a mermaid - symbol of love, protection, wisdom, purity, and wealth - representing the ultimate talisman for warding off the evils of the world."
Whether my son knows it or not, this drawing holds a great deal more of sentiment from me to him. My own tears often escape my eyes when I think of some of the things he has experienced. Things our family experienced both together and apart. Things that made us better and stronger people when we came out on the other end.