web analytics
Browsing Tag


Brown IS Beautiful

May 18, 2015

I was watching a documentary by Chris Rock called ‘Good Hair’ and honestly, if you haven’t had the opportunity you should give it a watch. It stuck with me that his tiny daughter was so concerned about her hair and that if it wasn’t straight she didn’t fit in. It was upsetting to me that we live in a world that even small children feel the need to change who they are, the color of their skin, or the nature of their hair to belong in this world. That’s just a bummer.

As a white person my mental image of what it means to be beautiful is well represented. Of course I do not meet the definition of beautiful set forth by media or publication. To me it’s not a big deal. When I see a model in print I do not think I have to look like her or even attain an approximation. The models are real people and real people DO look like that, but for most of us, we’re just average humans, and print and media sell fantasy. Hopefully it’s discernible to most people with a functional brain that looking like Charlize Theron isn’t necessary to attain happiness in life.

I am well represented. I cannot possibly fathom what people of color must deal with at a very early age with minimal to no representation. To not have the color of your skin, the fluffiness of your hair or the shape of your eyes represented in movies, tv, or print must really suck. The fact that nearly every heroine is white, or that to be a princess you have to be fair skinned. The fact that even when there IS representation in media it feels the need to call attention to itself by saying, LOOK EVERYONE! THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRINCESS! You know what would make that better? If it didn’t matter. If you could just tell the story like it’s a story. Of course there is an black princess, why wouldn’t there be? History is FULL of them. There are incredibly rich stories all throughout the world. Creation stories, folklore, tall tales, fairy tales- SO MANY stories from all cultures. Hans Christian Anderson isn’t the only source for fairy tales.

I went further down the rabbit hole of beauty and came back with some disturbing evidence. Loads of plastic surgery to fix monolids, shape noses, shave jaw lines, correct bone structure, ridiculous chemical creams to bleach skin, hair products that fry your scalp, makeup to correct for just about everything. I just saw so many brown women and girls trying to fit this weird idea of beauty- western anglo beauty. Some women try and change so they don’t look like they do manual labor, others to completely change their faces to suit a doll like appearance.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just live on a planet that glorified diversity? How rich we could all be in both our heritage and dress? So I started painting brown is beautiful. It’s partly an ode to the beauty of brown skin, and part to look at another culture through the lens of decoration and what THEY think is beautiful. As the series progresses I find myself more angry about the homogenization of humanity. We lose so much in integration of culture. Though I think it’s inevitable. The last bastion of these tribes and cultures will be their art, their music, and their representation through dance. Like Native Americans in the US, these tribes of our world will eventually own an iphone and watch reruns of The Bachelor on Monday nights. Their only ties to their rich cultural heritage will be in the form of “cultural days” at their community center.

As I try and represent cultures I was not born to, I will get things wrong. I will mess things up. I will incorrectly label or laughably screw up key features or have outdated information. I was not born into these cultures. I see them through western eyes with only the internet as my guide. The internet isn’t always right. What I do hope for though, is that good or bad, people look at these cultures from these tiny paintings and care enough to try and help with human rights violations, environmental destruction and sex trafficking of these humans.

Last Mermaid of 2014

December 29, 2014

Woah, well well well, 2014 is ending. It was a lovely year full of friends, laughs, fun, parties, babies, weddings, love and of course a few scares. That’s life. I love every second, the good and the bad. I hope everyone had just as wonderful a year and you are ready for 2015!

This is the last Mermaid of 2014. Monday Merms comes to an end and I thought I’d just enjoy the simplicity of pastel colors and not a lot of painting.

Happy new year from The Chubby Mermaid!


Sassy Holiday Party Antics

December 23, 2014

I love rough brushes.

Anyway, with all the holiday parties going on right now I hope you have a little bit of fun too. ;)


Rainbow Maid

December 10, 2014

Here is a little tidbit totally unrelated to art… I am sooo sooo sneezy. I have no idea why, it’s allergy related I think, but I am not typically an allergy sufferer. As a side effect of allergies I am so sleepy I feel like I am going to fall out of my chair even after the aid of two cups of coffee and a reasonable amount of sleep last night. I just keep imagining a boneless me slithering out of my office chair into a blorpy pile of goo and giraffe sweater to be found by terrified janitorial staff.

Anyway, rainbow mermaid. Believe it or not this is MOSTLY chartpak marker. Then I scanned the little lady and added some details. Originally her head was turned away from the camera so all you saw was hair. It looked fine and all but, a better illustration with of more fun with her face in profile. I love the simplified forms of her face and it reads nice as a smaller icon.




Raised by Urchins and Stars

December 2, 2014

Though hugs are prickly and holding your breath can be tiresome, one really can get the whole meditation thing down.

Feral Kids number 5 is here and it’s cute! I just love painting these little things. I hope they’re appealing enough to others. I just love animals of all sorts. Sea life has always been such a mesmerizing thing to me. I could STILL spend an entire day at a tide pool (and have recently) just poking around discovering things in the water. I even saved a Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (the hawaiian state fish) from certain death that had been trapped in a shrinking pool of water when a wave tossed it out of the ocean. I have the video somewhere… that I can’t find. Oooofff course.



Mermaid Sponge Garden

November 24, 2014

If you’re going to take a bath, take a colorful one. MondayMerms!

Raised by Sloths

November 21, 2014

Some kids are slow and lazy and poop once a week at the bottom of a tree.

This is way more fun than I anticipated. How weird can this get! How about raised by sea cucumbers?

Leopard Seal Maid

November 10, 2014

Mermaid Monday! It’s a thing. Sketchbook page. I was drawing this while Adam was doing the CrossFit Merge Pumpkin Spice Throwdown. Instead of you know, watching. Bad wife. Bad.


Celebrity Fascination

November 3, 2014

Courtney Stodden. Those two words are synonymous in my mind with sheer mind-numbing voyeuristic entertainment. It’s not a big secret that the human psyche loves a little bazaar with their morning coffee and I am no exception to this rule. I don’t generally follow celebrity gossip columns as I generally don’t care that much about celebrities- but come to that I am not even sure if Courtney IS a celebrity. I have a few fave actors that I hold in great esteem like Daniel Day Lewis and Gary Oldman… but lets face it, they’re not up to entertaining antics. Courtney can’t sing, though she tries, she can’t act though she tries, her pumpkin carving skills are questionable at best- and in the shoes she wears… im pretty sure dancing could result in very serious injuries, if not death.

Courtney, if you remember- back in 2011 was the 16 year old bride of then 51 year old Doug Hutchison (Lost, Green Mile actor). She’s a busty, vivacious, perversely religious, animal loving, entirely STRANGE human being who I am utterly fascinated with.  Like, I want to be her friend and ask her questions and present philosophical conundrums and see how she responds. Her twitter kills me, her Instagram is nothing but ridiculousness and she once got kicked out of a pumpkin patch for being too risque. I should hate her, but I don’t! she owns being a cartoon character like no one I have ever seen with a naiveté that just makes you sigh and think “oooh that Courtney, she’s at it again.” Weirdly lovable.

Clearly she is a real person with real feelings and is probably a very nice person, but to me, she is like a really cool tropical bug exhibit at the natural history museum. I am perplexed, fascinated and wholly absorbed in all the things she does. I follow her on Instagram and Twitter and I can guarantee you I’d ask for her autograph and a picture if I saw her on the street. She seems like the kind of celebrity that both knows she’s ridiculous and is totally on board with it.

Anyway, her lady mammaries keep getting bigger, as do her lips. I drew her little character today after having yet another conversation about her to friends at a party. I didn’t really take the drawings far enough, eventually I’d like to draw a very silly one with just her eyeballs and a bit of platinum blond hair peeking above her giant knockers… but until that happens here you go. Magic in lucite heels.



Nautical naping

September 23, 2014

Summer is ending guys! Nooooo. I have spent so much time at the beach this year. Living in sunny southern California has it’s perks and it’s actually pretty rare that I GO to the beach even though it’s so close. I usually just go, read a book and take a nap. Then get horribly burnt. Yay!


This is inspired by my friend and co-worker Staci. She’s a sassy ginger. I just imagine her reading a book on baking while baking in the sun, she’s prolific like that.