I felt like this subject needed its own blog post because it is so unusual. The prompt is On The Beach, so I painted this leathery, tendrilled curiosity. We find them washed up on the beach almost every year while on vacation.
It is called a mermaid’s purse, which sounds much better than saying it is an empty egg case of a skate (a kind of ray/fish). Some sharks also have similar-looking egg cases. Eggs are laid in this small pouch made of collagen proteins that protect the developing embryo for up to 12 weeks. At that point, the skate will have grown into a fully developed and independent juvenile, ready to take on the ocean. The long tendrils at the corners anchor the cases onto vegetation on the ocean floor to keep it hidden and safe from predators.
Day 15 – On The Beach, Mermaid’s Purse
To show more detail, this was painted about twice the size of the dried cases we find in North Carolina. I hope you enjoyed this little synopsis of a fascinating beach novelty.
I just finished my first official Moleskine sketchbook, and upon flipping through and recalling the memories of the past many months, I came across this toad that I had not shared yet on my blog. We were in North Carolina for a dear friend’s wedding and stayed in a cabin deep in the woods. Naturally there was plenty of wildlife, and while most of the critters kept their distance, this large toad sat on the porch for an entire day. He even let my daughter pick him up and hold him for a bit.
We were a little worried because he was so far away from the stream but later learned that toads spend less time in water than frogs do, so I guess he knew what he was doing. Nevertheless, Toady was a fun mascot for the cabin and a lot of fun to capture in this painting. I’m excited to start a new Moleskine as the New Year approaches and can’t wait to start splashing color on those pages!
If you have ever smelled a fragrant magnolia on a steamy day in North Carolina, you will never forget it. Its scent is described as lemony or citrus-like, creamy sweet with cherry undertones, and richly aromatic. I don’t know about all that, but this delightful blossom certainly exudes romance and beauty.
Magnolia, Cary, NC
On our travels each summer we stop for a night in Cary, North Carolina, where blossoming magnolias seem to be everywhere. Last year I took this photo in Cary and painted it a few times until I was finally happy with this one. I am fascinated by the Magnolia’s scent and beauty each year and fall in love with them all over again. Maybe that is why they are thought of as a romantic flower!