Elizabeth Berdann | The Drowning Woman

The Drowning Woman, 2012

Watercolor, with shells, coral, and wood (“sailor’s valentine”)
8” x 16”x  2-½”

A note about sailors’ valentines: Delicate shell mosaics, sailors’ valentines were typically made in the mid- to late-19th century on the Island of Barbados for the tourist trade. Sailors who spent years at sea on long voyages around the world gave these valentines to the women they loved as tokens of affection. This sailor’s valentine was created to frame the watercolor painting, and includes a sentimental message, “remember me when far away”, spelled out in tiny seashell. The octagonal format is traditional for sailors’ valentines.