The Siren's Song

July 08, 2015

A Collaboration with my Toddler

"The Siren's Song"

by Eve and Ruth Oosterman

The stories that Eve's imagination creates is absolutely fantastic and truly out of this world. I hope to write down some of these surreal stories one day but until then I will happily bask in the beauty of her story telling. As we paint she enjoys coming up with back stories to each piece and for this one it was of a mermaid.

This time around, the mermaid in her story was chased by a terrible watermelon octopus that locked her up in the tall tower of his underwater castle. She sends her faithful friend, an orange fish, out to find a prince to save her. The handsome prince returns to the castle with the mermaid's mother and father and they all fight the terrifying watermelon octopus and rescue her from certain doom. If you watch the video time lapse of us painting together you can see Eve draw out the watermelon octopus onto the back of the paper.

With the most recent of our collaborations, Eve has been helping me "color" in a sketch using watercolors. I love being able to paint side by side with her as opposed to taking turns, to me it really enhances our bonding experience. However, I have also discovered that the pieces we create this way end up being much darker than our other pieces. For example, the Moon Bear, is a bright, moonlit children's illustration and the Red Boat is a simple landscape that holds the potential of a story.

The Siren's Song and Red Lips both come across as much darker, intense art pieces, especially with their lips painted over, courtesy of Eve. The Siren's Song, to me, represents a darker version of Eve's happily ever after story... something more similar to a Grimm's fairy tale. Instead of being rescued the mischievous mermaid uses her beautiful, siren-like voice to lure would be rescuers, into the octopus' lair, to certain doom. Until one day a King falls into the trap and his brother, an artist, comes to his rescue. He finds a way to take away and sacrifice his hearing forever in order to get past the mermaid's enchanting voice and avenge his brother. The artist captures the mermaid and uses his paint, doused with magic, to forever paint over her lips so she may never use her deadly voice again.

And that is how the name and story for this piece came to be.

I hope you enjoy the video and stay tuned for more pieces! We have also started to take commissions for portraits using this collaborative technique so if you want to see your face in one of these videos visit:

Watch the Video Time Lapse

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