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    Entries in mermaid (1)


    The Sea Fairies Illustration by Kevenn T. Smith 

    This is an illustration that depicts a moment in L. Frank Baum's 1911 book, The Sea Fairies.  At this point, Baum had written six Oz books and wanted to write other stories.  He wrote The Sea Fairies about a young girl named Trot and her friend, an old peg-legged sailor named Cap'n Bill, visiting the mermaids and exploring the ocean.  Yes, it was decades before Finding Nemo and Disney's Ariel.  The book is mostly travelogue in nature until the last third, when the plot about an underwater villain really kicks into gear.  This image features the mermaid, Merla, swimming with Trot and Cap'n Bill, who have been transformed into merfolk themselves, by the magic of the mermaid sea fairies.

    Baum followed The Sea Fairies with Trot and Cap'n Bill's further adventures in Sky Island, which is one of my favorite books by him.  Oz characters Button Bright and Polychrome appear in the book.  However, Baum's readers wanted more Oz, and so he resumed the series.  Trot and Cap'n Bill traveled to Oz in the ninth book of the series, The Scarecrow of Oz, and joined the cast of Oz characters for the following books.  I consider these two "spin-off" books to be essential to Oz reading.

    A grayscale edition of this illustration will be featured in the program for 2011's Winkie Convention.  Programs are available for purchase here.  The original colored art piece is debuting framed and matted today (Friday June 3rd) in the Lakewood, Ohio Beck Center for the Arts Student Art Show.  The piece will be on display in the lobby until the end of July.  It is also available for sale.  Contact me for pricing information.  This image is also available as cards, postcards, prints, and posters on!

    8 x 11 inches bristol board.

    Pencil, ink, Prismacolor color pencil.

    ©Kevenn T. Smith 2011