I opened the image in Photoshop to crop it and punch up the color a little bit. Then I started playing around with filters. If you've ever used Photoshop on an image and you start playing around with filters, you'd better have some time to kill. A lot of time. Even if you've used a filter before, you never really know what it's going to do to the image. Which is how the following image came into being:
My happy little mermaid was peering through the mirror, which is what I wanted, but the rest of her had turned into this great painting-looking texture. It reminded me greatly of all those paintings riddled with angels and other religious iconography that I had to memorize in various art history classes. What was once featureless black had become aged dappled clouds. My mermaid was turning into an angel, and I suddenly realized I needed to help her along.
(Before you think I've snapped in the desert heat, you need to understand that I haven't found religion. I'm one of the most a-religious people you'll ever meet. Despite being an ordained minister and being able to scare Jerf with my knowledge of which pope was the only one to launch a crusade against his fellow Europeans.)
This was strictly an artistic exercise. The result?
Digital art is friggin' fantastic. Not only can it get the things in my head out into the (relatively) real world far faster than I ever could, but it also has the added benefit of bringing other images out completely unbidden. I really could play with this single image for a few more hours and get a few dozen variations, but since I'm no longer subjected to insomnia I'm friggin' tired. Muse or no muse, I need sleep.
Hope you enjoy the peek into one side of my brain!