Traci Turner_Traci L Turner_art_artist

“Undive” Oil on gessoed panel, 2015. By Traci L. Turner

Last weekend I submitted this new painting for an upcoming group show in Reno called The Blue Project. All of the works submitted to to the show have to follow the theme of “blue,” however the artists want to interpret it, and the artwork has to be done in the color blue to some extent. I’m really looking forward to seeing what all of the other artists are putting up and how it will all look on the gallery walls.

When I thought of the color blue, or what it may represent, I immediately thought of water – something that I often find myself drawn to or inspired by. I also thought of sadness. Then I thought of the ocean and how I think it is inviting, beautiful and calming; yet also overwhelming, unpredictable and dangerous. The train of thought reminded me of a poem I wrote some months ago:

You were the warmest ocean
Deep, inviting
Your clear waves invaded my beach
Rhythmically, naturally
With no hesitation I dove in
Freely, happily
Carried by your currents
Swift, safe
I could swim in you forever
Willingly, ecstasy
So sudden did those waters change
Cold, still
And I sank, enveloped by blackness
Quickly, heavily
The deception leaves me drowning
Gasping, dying
Your latest victim, I drift to the bottom
Hopelessly, forgotten
My final thoughts pleading that I could

I’m not sure if that would be considered a good poem, but it’s certainly an honest expression. This was one of many poems I wrote about the feeling of someone drawing me in then suddenly turning cold against me. Acceptance followed by rejection. Or once feeling preferred, then having the revelation of being the lower option. The amount of confusion and pain from experiencing that multiple times has left a particular impression on me. But that is for another series and another blog post. At any rate, I thought the image of a drowned mermaid would be the best way to bring all of the elements in my head together in one painting for this show.

In general, I like the concept of mermaids. I can identify with the duality of their design, and I think that the conflict it presents is very interesting. Visually and conceptually there’s a lot to play with. Perhaps it could be something that I can explore further sometime down the line.

This piece, along with many other works inspired by “blue” made by amazing Reno artists, will be on-view and available for purchase at Lasting Dose Gallery through all of April.

Lasting Dose Gallery
888 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89502