So I finished that canvas I made the paper/paint background on a little while back. I had gone through some of my old CDs that had lots of images on them and found this wonderful b&w photo of a little girl in a white formal dress with a big bow in her hair. She’s holding a ball and looking like she’d rather be outside playing than posing for some stuffy portrait. I like her so much I used her for the “fairy tin” swap last week. I decided to use the girl on my canvas; it would be a nice contrast to the brightly colored background. But what else to add? I stewed on it for a couple days, but nothing came to mind.
Then we did a page in Teresa McFayden’s Write Place journal in which we cut a window. Hey, it would be cool to cut a window in the canvas, wouldn’t it? Originally I thought the girl could be inside looking out the window…but then it occurred to me it would be more interesting if she were outside looking in. Outside playing and having a good time in this bright fantasy world, while inside, where the grownups are, everything is staid and boring and she has to follow all kinds of rules. Outside she is free as a butterfly. Inside, she is trapped behind bars (okay, symbolic bars) and is surrounded by those voices telling her what to do.
I had a good time thinking of all the timeless behaviors adults admonish children about and printed them in different fonts and in various shades of black & grey. “Eat all your vegetables or you don’t get dessert.” “Keep your feet off the furniture.” “Go to your room and think about what you’ve done.” It’s all very serious and symbolic and…I’m not in love with it. I don’t do serious, symbolic stuff. I don’t know what I was thinking! Every time I look at it I just shake my head. (My husband, OTOH, finds it completely fascinating. Go figure!)