San Marcos Mermaid Statue – Oh For a Muse of Fire

Oh For a Muse of Fire – When it’s cold she will appear black and the colors will be visible when heat is applied.

In March of 2017 I had entered a ‘Call for Artist’ for the City of San Marcos. The project was to create a paint job for a seven foot statue of a mermaid that the City of San Marcos would keep on display for two years.  I had came up with several designs, some were variations of each other, others were whimsical and odd.  There would be ten artist that would be selected, and there had been sixty-five different designs submitted by multiple local artists.  And then I got the email.

I had been one of the artist selected to paint of of the ten mermaid statues.  I won’t lie, I screamed and jumped up and down with excitement, giddy as a fan meeting their favorite celebrity.

The concept of this design is to represent the artist messy but beautiful paint palettes. All of it is hidden under a coat of Thermochromatic Black. When the temperature reaches 86°, the explosions of color becomes visible and is symbolic of the creativity hidden in all of us. If it is hot outside and it begins to rain, the raindrops will cool parts of the statue turning the splashes and droplets back to black. Likewise – being splashed with warm or cold water also causes the black to disappear and reappear. When it’s cold outside and warmth (body heat) is applied the vibrant colors are viable, allowing visitors to temporarily paint on the sculpture before it disappears into memory. The Name is based off a line from Shakespeare’s Henry V Prologue.

This had been the biggest project I had ever worked on and it was the first time I had ever used Thermochromatic Paint and a spray gun.  The learning curve was huge and there had been issues with using thermochromatic paint, it has a very low UV tolerance.  I mixed the pigment with polyurethane that has a high UV protection and also coated it in a gold ghost pearl as an extra sunscreen so to speak.  After all she has to last for 2 years outside.

This had been a bitter sweet moment in my life because a month before I had been selected my Father had passed away suddenly.  I wish he could have seen how I had cleaned up his garage to accommodate the seven foot tall statue, or helped me with his compressor, but I know he would have been proud.  In memory of this difficult time I had added a special message in the palm of her hand, a place were virtually no one will see because of her height.  But when she is finally on display, one only needs to hold her hand for a time and snap a picture of her palm.

During the Mermaid SLASH 2017 they were unofficially unveiled to the public and as it stands now they are still waiting on their locations.

Below I’ve added images of the mermaid in work.