“Once, man and those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real. But man does not listen very well. Man’s need to own everything led him deeper into land. The magic world of the ones that lived in the ocean… and the world of men… separated. Through the centuries, their world and all the inhabitants of it… stopped trying. The world of man became more violent. War upon war played out, as there were no guides to listen to. Now those in the water are trying again… trying to reach us. A handful of their precious young ones have been sent into the world of man. They are brought in the dead of night… to where man lives. They need only be glimpsed… and the awakening of man will happen. But their enemies roam the land. There are laws that are meant to keep the young ones safe… but they are sent at great risk to their lives. Many… do not return. Yet still they try… try to help man. But man may have forgotten how to listen…” ~ Paul Giamatti in Lady in the Water (2006)

This piece, composed just with ink and a little watercolor, is something I whipped up late one night.  I didn’t have anything particular on my mind, but when I finished it, I said to myself, hey, that looks alot like a lady in the water.  The title was an after thought which I decided to grab from the film with the like name written by one of my favorite writer-directors (more for the Unbreakable and the Sixth Sense), M. Night Shyamalan.

The sketch was never intended to echo the film in any particular way except for the fact that obviously I am representing a lady in the water and certainly the quote above gives some nice added mythic dimensionality to the piece.  Certainly, I have no desire to associate my art with what critic Jim Emerson of RogerEbert.com called a “fractured fairy tale.”

In defense of M. Night, while I agree the film is imprefect, I think this level of criticism is a bit too harsh.  As a creative person who is constantly reaching into my own wellspring creativity, I know sometimes the magic just isn’t there.  Call it magic or a muse or whatever, I can’t help but admire those who are in constant search.  M. Night is a great storyteller and one “fractured fairytale” isn’t going to convince me otherwise.

I often view my own art in the context of telling a story.  This applies to the simple sketch in equal porportion to a finished piece of fine art.  Maybe on this particular night I suceeded.  I leave that for you to decide.  However, tomorrow is another day and if god forbid I have one of my lesser inspiring moments, I hope you will forgive me too.