Will my Watercolor painting last?

In short, YES!

Read on for details and some super interesting info and trivia about watercolor painting.

First, let me say that watercolors are made from the exact same pigments as oil paints! It’s just the binder that is different! A binder is what holds the pigment onto the surface it’s painted onto.

Watercolor is mixed with water-soluble binders, such as gum arabic, whereas oils are mixed with an oil binder such as linseed oil.

The quality of the pigments, along with a few other factors, is what counts when it comes to longevity!

So, how long can a watercolor painting last…

A little history: 

Watercolor is the one of the oldest forms of painting. It actually pre-date oil paints, by many centuries!

Watercolors date back to the stone age. Prehistoric humans would use pigments made from charcoal, ochre, and other natural elements to paint the walls of caves, making the cave paintings we know today! YES, natural water soluble pigments can last that long under the best of conditions!

The Chinese have been using watercolor in art since 4000bc! 

Ancient Egyptians also used watercolors to paint images on papyrus and other surfaces. Many of those paintings are still around and very vibrant.

Water soluble pigments are what the great fresco artists used for their work. Fresco paintings are made with watercolors painted onto wet plaster.

Watercolor painting as we know it today became popular in the Renaissance period. Albrecht Dürer was one of the first artists the first to make the medium popular.

In comparison, oil paints have only been used since about the 5th century. They also became popular during the Renaissance era but were used by many more artists, which is why they became a more well-known art medium.

Some of the oldest pieces of art still in existence are watercolors. Pretty amazing, right!

Now to the nitty-gritty.

What makes a watercolor painting last for generations?

4 main things: Pigments, Surface, Framing, Light exposure

Pigments: good quality professional pigments are meant to be long-lasting, or have a high permanence. Some colors of pigment just inherently last longer than others though. All professional paints are rated for their permanence!

Surface: The quality of the paper used for watercolor is super important for longevity. Acid-free, archival 100% cotton rag paper is the ultimate surface for watercolor paints. The acids in normal paper will cause colors to change and fade over time and could break down the pigments. 100% cotton is super durable!

Framing: Original, fine art paintings deserve a good frame! Good frames are made from acid-free materials and use UV glass to protect the painting from light. No-glare glass is available if reflections bother you.

Light Exposure: Frankly, any item of value should not be stored in direct sunlight, the sun and UV rays are extremely damaging. Artwork though is particularly susceptible to UV rays so it’s important not to allow your art to be exposed to direct sunlight as it will eventually fade the colors (this is true for all art, oil, acrylic, watercolor, photographs, etc). Museums regularly rotate out master artwork to minimize exposure to light.

Other factors: Extreme humidity and extreme heat are also very damaging to a painting. Dirt, dust, and thusly cleaning solvents are also harmful.

The low-down:

Watercolor materials are actually some of the most expensive artist paints. A standard size tube of professional watercolor paint can be 2000% more expensive than a standard size tube of oil paint!! 

Watercolor brushes need to be super soft and dense to hold the watery pigment and the best quality brushes are made of super soft animal hair (or an extremely high-quality synthetic equivalent) and are therefore often much more expensive than other brushes.

Good quality watercolor paper is actually more expensive than most canvas.

My watercolor paintings take just as long, and sometimes much longer, to create than oil or acrylic paintings!

Rant!! 

So why on earth are oil paintings seen as more valuable than watercolors?

I mostly blame marketing from traditional galleries and art dealers! Oil paintings can usually be much larger, therefore making them much more profitable. They have also been popularized by, admittedly, some great artists, so again, more money for galleries and dealers!

It’s a shame and I’m one of the many artists trying to change that perception! Celebrating artists as individuals and not the sum of who is representing them!

*ok, off my pedestal, lol.

So, if you still have questions, please shoot me an email or ask in the comments, I’m happy to discuss further! 🙂

The World is Full of Mermaids!

The World is full of mermaids.
Historically, folkloric-ly, and metaphorically!

I am fascinated with the breadth and depth of mermaid culture around the world.

Mermaids can be found in the history and folklore of almost every culture! With such a variety of interpretations and significance it really amazes me!

From the wicked sirens of Ancient Greece to the helpful and exotic Iara of Brazil, each culture has their own unique take on mermaids!

We also have a universal love of them. Some people casually enjoy a mermaid tale or image, others are more fascinated and collect mermaid items and enjoy mermaid books and films, and some are dedicated to their love of mermaids; purchasing their very own mermaid tails, learning to swim like a mermaid and seeking a community, or pod, of mermaids to connect with.

I believe mermaids represent freedom to us. Mermaids are free to be exactly who they are, free to roam the oceans or land, free to swim and play and live carefree. Since they are half human, they make us feel that we, too, can have that freedom; we can see ourselves with the power, grace, and beauty of a mermaid. They also represent our connection to the sea, which will forever captivate our imagination.

Whether you’re a casual mermaid lover or you are passionate in your devotion, you have to admit that the history and lore of mermaids is fascinating!

I’ve compiled a list of types of mermaids from around the world. It is in no way exhaustive but is but I’ve included quite a few types. *Also, these are “types” of mermaids, or classifications, there are also a lot of individual famous mermaids, but that’s a list for another time.

Read through the list and tell me which is your favorite!

Mermaids of the British Isles

Merrow Mermaids

The fair skinned, green haired beauties of the Irish seas. They are gentle and affectionate mermaids who often form attachments to humans. 

Beware of seeking an attachment with just any Merrow, some are not so friendly and will lure men out to the depths of the sea, leaving them everafter in an enchanted state.

Merrows can transform to human shape and do so often. But to be able to return to mermaid form and to the sea, they must have possession of their cohuleen druith, which is a magical red cap. They must guard well though, because if they lose it or it is taken from them (which human lovers have been known to do) they cannot return to mermaid form and to the sea.

Merrows create beautiful music that can be heard from the farthest depths of the ocean and they can sometimes be seen dancing to the music on deserted shores.

Morgans

Morgans are eternally young and extremely dangerous mermaids of Wales and Brittany. They love to sit on shore and comb their long beautiful hair to lure men to them, then they seduce them to their deaths by drowning.

They are sometimes blamed for heavy flooding that destroys crops and villages.

Ceasg (pronounced kee-ask)

A complex mermaid from the Scottish highlands. They are half salmon and are said to grant 3 wishes to anyone who manages to capture them. Beware though, they are cunning and will easily lead you to your death. On the other hand, if you manage to capture the heart of a Ceasg, she will transform into human form and stay with you, giving you eternal good luck.

They have a secret though, they keep their souls hidden in an object, if you manage to destroy the object, the Ceasg will die.

Ben-Varrey

Not much is known about the Ben-Varrey. They are rarely encountered mermaids from the Isle of Man, Scotland. They are some of the more benevolent mermaids and have been known to assist humans in need and occasionally exchange gifts with them. Although there are stories of some ben-varrey luring a sailor to his death.

Selkies

Unusual Scottish and Irish mermaids who are in fact part seal. They take the form of a seal while in water and a human while on land. They must first take off their seal skin to be able to walk on land and must keep it well guarded as there are humans who will steal their skin. If a selkie loses her skin she cannot return to the sea until she finds it. Many human men seek to find a selkie skin in order to hide it and keep the selkies captive on land. The selkies will then be compelled to stay with the human, but will always be longing for the sea and searching for their skin.

Kelpie

Kelpies are non-traditional fresh water mermaids of Scotland. They are very secretive and are usually seen as a black horse that inhabits large pools and lochs. They are able to disguise themselves as seaweed or water plants and can transform to human form on land. Some think that the Loch Ness monster is actually a Kelpie.

Finfolk

Finfolk are beautiful but cruel and greedy mermaids from the deep sea realm of Finfolkaheem. They often journey to the Orkney Islands to find human mates. They are shapeshifters and will disguise themselves as sea animals or plants to capture unwitting humans and force them into lifelong servitude as their spouse and slave. Some Finwives, though, prefer to entice men with their beauty. It is said that finwives prefer to marry human men because if a Finwife marries a Finman, he will force her to go ashore among the humans and work as a healer or crafter and send all her silver home or risk a terrible beating.

Asrai

The Asrai are shy mermaids with flowing green hair and cold, pale skin that will burn anyone who touches it. They live in seas and lakes and do not like to be around humans. Some Asrai will play tricks on humans or lure them to sea, although they are not particularly evil. Their pale skin is extremely sensitive to sunlight and cannot tolerate prolonged exposure. Some say the  Asrai will melt into a puddle if in the sun too long. They love moonlight.

Mermaids of Europe

Nixies, known as The Neck or Nokke in Scandinavia

These Germanic mermaids are actually shapeshifting water spirits that inhabit rivers and lakes. Little is known about their true form, but they are usually seen as beautiful women with fish tails. When they are in human form they can be recognized by aquatic features, such as slit ears. It is said that they lure men to their deaths with their beautiful voices.

Melusine

The two-tailed mermaid of French origin. The Melusine are freshwater mermaids who live among humans. They return to their mermaid form while bathing or swimming, usually doing so in secret. The Starbucks logo mermaid is a Melusine!

Rusalka

Rusalka are tragic mermaids who are actually spirits of women who have died of causes linked to water. They are beautiful but vengeful and will seduce men and lure them to deep water where they entangle the men in their long red hair until they drown. Some say they can change their appearance to match the tastes of men to more easily seduce them.

They are attached to nature though and are known to bring moisture to the land and will even nurture crops.

Undine

Undine are freshwater mermaids from Greece. They inhabit rivers, lakes, ponds, and sometimes even fountains. They act as protectors of their water source and will keep them safe and clean. 

Undine are known for their great beauty, but they are said to be without a soul and can only gain a soul by marrying a human. They will entice men with their beauty and lovely voice and their  perceived vulnerability. Their human husbands must remain faithful to them or he will die and the she will lose her soul.

Siren

Sirens are the infamous mermaids known for being mischievous and deadly. Using their beautiful voices, they sing enchanting songs to lure sailors to their death. They also have the ability to conjure storms and fog, can foretell death, and can read minds.

Sirens of ancient history were actually half bird, not half fish. At some point they lost their feathers in a singing contest with the Muses and then became mermaids. They were sore losers and still to this day take out their anger by tormenting humans.

Nereids

Nereides are both saltwater and freshwater mermaids and are most often seen in the Aegean sea. 

They are extremely beautiful and very friendly and will gladly help sailors in times of need. They are close to the God Poseidon and are known to sometimes fight each other for the chance to carry his trident.

Humans often keep shrines to nereids in ports as a tribute to their helpfulness.

Naiades

Naiades are found in fresh bodies of water such as rivers, springs, wells, and even fountains. 

They are very nurturing of the waters they protect and are, for the most part, kind to humans.

Naiades’ lives are connected with the body of water they protect. As long as their body of water remains strong the Nereides will stay healthy and alive. If the water runs low, they will lose their strength and possibly die.

Since most fresh water sources are very important to survival, humans will sometimes leave offerings to the Naiad of a particular water source to honor and placate them. 

Sometimes though, Naiades will use their beauty and long flowing hair to make men fall in love with them and can maintain a relationship. But, if the Naiad is scorned or angered, she can cause flash-floods or inflict droughts or make the waters undrinkable to humans.

It is said that If you swim in a water source that is protected by a Naiade, you could absorb some of her power. These waters have often been known to heal the sick and bring fertility to women and crops.

Oceanids

Oceanids are freshwater and saltwater mermaids. There are said to be around 3000 Oceanids around the world.

Oceanids preside over regions, such as Europa and Asia, instead of particular bodies of water like Naiads do. The main role of Oceanids is to protect their bodies of water. 

Oceanids are known to be very compassionate and because of that many sailors dedicate prayers and sacrifices to the Oceanids in order to receive protection from the deadly sea storms.

Mermaids of Asia

Ningyo

The Ningyo are not traditional mermaids, but more of a human-fish hybrid. They have the complete body of a fish and the head of a human, sometimes depicted with a monkey mouth. They are not seen as traditionally beautiful but can sometimes have beautiful colorings.

It is extremely bad luck to catch one and will bring on storms and mass misfortune to the fisherman and village. Eating the flesh is said to bring eternal youth but few dare to try because of the bad luck it could bring.

Ponyo, the animated film is loosely based off of the Ningyo.

Jiaoren

Jiaoren are mermaids of China and are not only beautiful but are great craftswomen. They are able to create Dragon Yarn, a secret skill which is known only to them. They weave a magical cloth from this yarn that is a beautiful glistening white and can never get wet. The Jiaroen sell or trade the cloth, and sometimes Dragon Yarn, to humans.

The Jiaoren are also special in that their tears turn to pearls. They will sometimes gift their tears to humans who have been kind to them.

Siyokoy

Siyokoy are non-traditional mermaids from the Philippines. More animal than human, they are green or brown skinned humanoids with scales, gill slits, webbed arms and legs/feet, and fins or tentacles. They tend to travel with intimidating sea animals such as eels, octopus, rays, and squids. They will drown and eat human adults but will not harm children.

Magindara

Magindara are fierce mermaids of the Philippines. They have the upper body of an attractive woman and the lower body of a multicolored fish with sharp scales. They have enchanting voices that can lure men to their deaths.

Oceanic

Marakihau

Marakihau mermaids are New Zealand’s guardians of the sea. They have dark skin and a very long fish-like tail and can be quite menacing. They have a long tubular tongue and are blamed for consuming large amounts of fish and therefore depriving fisherman of abundant catches. They will sometimes destroy boats.

Mermaids of Africa

Njuzu

The Njuzu are mermaids of the Zimbabwe Save River and are seen as the messengers of the ancestors who controlled the River. They are beautiful and have pale skin and are said to be how the people of Zimbabwe are related to white people in the ancestral spiritual world. They can tell the future and are also able to possess people and pass along ancient knowledge.

Jengu

Jengu are mermaids of the Sawa people of Cameroon. They are beautiful mermaids who live in rivers and the sea. They have long hair and beautiful gap teeth and bring good fortune to those who worship them. They are said to be able to cure disease.

Chitapo

The Chitapo are mermaids of Zambia who live in Victoria Falls and the Atlantic Ocean. They are quite vicious and will capture humans to eat them, including children. They lure humans to them by placing household items around and in the water. When humans go to retrieve the items, the Chitapo capture them.

Mermaids of South America

Encantado

Encantado mermaids are actually dolphin shapeshifters. It is said that they will place a married human man under a spell and then visit him yearly to seduce him. On the seventh year she transforms him into a baby and implants him into his own wife’s womb in order to continue the cycle of life. (I’m honestly a little freaked out by this one!)

Iara

The Iara live in the Amazon and other fresh water rivers of Brazil. They have green hair, a dolphin or manatee tail, copper skin, and are very beautiful and have enchanting voices. They often come to the surface and lure men to them with their voice in order to enchant them and drown them at the bottom of the river.

They will occasionally take human form and enter towns and villages seeking human companionship. Sometimes they will even fall in love with a human and will be a devoted and caring lover, but more often they will end up killing them. 

Aicaya – type

The Aicaya are very special mermaids of the Caribbean. They are made up of women and men who are shunned by their people. Each one is transformed by an existing Aicaya and taken to live in the sea in communities where all are treated equal despite their differences. The Aicaya regularly seek out these shunned people to transform them so that they won’t be sad and alone. 

Native American

Cecealia

Cecealia, sometimes known as sea witches, are of Native American and Asian origin. They have tentacles like an octopus or a squid. They are only recently known as Cecealia, traditionally they were just known as octopus people. Not much is known about them. Ursula from The Little Mermaid is a Cecealia and sea witch.

Sabawaelnu

Sabawaelnu are considered water spirits by the Mi’kmaq. Their name literally means “water people” and they are sometimes called Halfway People. They are like traditional mermaids in that they have a human upper body with a tail instead of legs. They are respectful of humans and do no harm and they are said to have power over storms. Mi’kmaq people who learn to interpret the Sabawaelnu songs are able to predict the weather. 

Lumpeguin

Lumpeguin are mermaids of the Maliseet people. It is possible that they shape-shift because there are many tales of lumpeguin mermaids with legs. They are considered a water spirit and, like many nature spirits in Native American folklore, they fall under the power of anyone who steals their magical garments. Some say that lumpeguin women are claimed as wives by men who take their clothing. Lumpeguins have the ability to create food by either turning a morsel of food into a feast or using a magical pot to produce an infinite amount of food.

There are many, many more mermaid legends and tales. If you know of a type of mermaid I haven’t listed, please let me know, I’ll add it to the list!

DAMM – Draw a Meditation Mandala ;)

It’s DAMM time!

*yup, I still giggle every time I say “It’s DAMM time!” 😉

Hello beautiful friends! Come join me for a few minutes of distraction and relaxation. We all need a little of that right now, don’t we! 🙂

I’m going live every morning on my main Facebook profile feed: Deb Soromenho to share a little peace of mind in the form of freeform mandalas and stories.

This is not a traditional meditation exercise. It’s a meditation mandala. You can follow along with me and draw your very own mandala or you can just watch me draw one and listen to my daily stories.

Drawing mandalas forces you to focus solely on the lines and shapes you’re making on the paper. Its repetitive nature allows you to draw w/o worrying about placement or design too much. No artistic abilities are needed. 🙂

Watching an art video is very calming in itself, so if you’re not up to drawing your own mandala, just watching me methodically form the lines and shapes of the mandala is super relaxing. Listening to my stories gives your brain a nice break from the chaos of the day.

I first started drawing mandalas because I could not meditate in the traditional way. Mandalas allowed me to clear my head and do at least a form of meditation. They can do the same for you!


10:30am cst

I try to make it at 10:30am, sometimes it’ll vary though. I always post an announcement of the actual time about 15 minutes prior.

Here’s the direct link to my facebook profile. Deb Soromenho Facebook

Here’s the link to the facebook event so that you can see it on your event calendar. DAMM Time Draw A Meditation Mandala


Below I’ve made a simple circle template for you to use, just print it and place it underneath the paper you’re drawing on. You’ll be able to see the lines faintly through the paper, but enough to act as a guide. We’re not looking for perfection here, just relaxation.

Click on the image to open full size, then right-click to save and print 8.5″x11″

Super Exciting News

I’m creating an oracle deck! 🔮 But not just any old oracle deck, a Mermaid Oracle deck!! 🧜🏼‍♀️

My vision for the deck is to help us accept and embrace all aspects of our selves; the good, the bad, and everything in between!!

In celebration of this journey of creation and discovery, I’ve created a special Facebook group to talk all things oracle, mermaid, and empowerment.

And you are officially invited to join! I can’t wait to see you there! All Our Mermaid Selves

Below is a little bit about my inspiration, but watch the video for a full explanation!

My vision for the Mermaid Oracle deck is to be able to use it to celebrate and help guide us through navigating all the different aspects of our personality. All our quirks, all our moods, all parts of our selves. All Our Mermaid Selves! 😀

To learn to look inward and know why we have certain traits. To help focus on how to make the best of who we are, in all of our glorious personalities!

Mermaids, to me, are the perfect way to represent this concept. They are a perfect mix of fantasy and real. They are fantastical creatures, but they are half human and so seem more real and grounded than other fantasy creatures.

We feel a connection with them and can identify with them. There are so many different types of mermaids, the almost every culture in the world has their versions in lore and history, and that made them a perfect choice to depict all the different personalities within us.

Also, they are just awesome, lol, who doesn’t love mermaids?! (ok, maybe someone out there doesn’t, but they probably hate on everything, haha)

Please join me on this journey of creating this deck. I’ll be sharing all things mermaid, mystical, empowering and so much more! FacebookInstagramNewsletter

Don’t forget to join the All Our Mermaid Selves Facebook group! This is the link to join! www.facebook.com/groups/OurMermaidSelves

And, PLEASE, share with everyone you think would benefit and love to be a part of this process.

Sneak peak at a mermaid already completed. Mischief Mermaid

Ahhh, you’re here!

Welcome to the blog section of my website. I’m so glad you’re here!

I’ll be honest, I’m not a very good blogger. I’m just not consistant that way, lol. I will try to stop by and chat as often as possible (read: when I remember) but when I do I will promise to not be boring or waste your time! 🙂

I love to share interesting facts and unusual things about our world. I love to try and share things you may not know (and I LOVE to hear about it when you do know them)

I’ll also update you on major happenings with my art. More day to day things will be shared on social, by FB and my IG particularly but also LI if you use that too.

Anyhoo! Let’s take this journey together. We’ll explore and discover and fill our minds and souls with all the amazing things our world has to offer. Afterall, that’s what my art is all about and why, I hope, you’re here.

My art is for people inspired by the natural world, those who are obsessed with things of curiosity and fantasy and magic, who love woodlands & deserts & oceans, and dream of mystical spaces & far off places.