I ran into another artist the other day who mentioned a critique she was given. Her paintings need "more narrative". I almost gasped as I recalled a critique I was given, "too much narrative." Like parenting, I'm able to find an expert to tell me I'm doing it wrong no matter what I do. What a relief to consider it doesn't matter.
Not caring is a lifetime practice. I try to go deeper into the stretch of not giving a fuck, every year. Drilling down to the marrow of experience to find the purity of my vision, that will take a lifetime. I'm almost certain I can't transcend it completely, but the journey is the practice and the journey is worth it. I try to save my worries for my kids' future and remembering to buy dog food.
"Mermaid Girl" is an attempt to capture a "real mermaid". The image is about authenticity. What would it be like if you saw a real one? It would probably be out of the corner of your eye, not preening on a rock. Maybe you'd doubt you actually saw it, doing her own thing regardless of perceived deformity or sexualized mythology. She doesn't care about your legs and there is something magical about that.