Canadian artist Mark Heine is working on a series of oil paintings inspired by sirens, mythical maidens of the deep. Like his subjects, which are equally beautiful and haunting creatures, Heine’s paintings embody both beauty and feelings of unease. His work has inspired polarizing reactions; some viewers feeling discomfort, while leaving others entranced. Perhaps this feeling of discomfort can be attributed to Heine’s use of tension, as in the way his sirens just barely reach the surface to breathe, or linger above it. Although his premise is based on mythology, it is coupled with a heightened sense of realism.