"Red" - mixed media on canvas paper, 16" x 20"
Day 14! More whimsy from the studio. This piece met my goal of 90% without a paintbrush - hooray! Today I was inspired by a fairy tale.
Now fairy tales are truly macabre, when you look into their origins and some of the first versions of the stories we know and love (and Disney-fy) today. Little Red Riding Hood was first published in the 17th century by Charles Perrault, though there are versions of the story dating much further back (10th and 14th centuries) in France and in Italy. Perrault's version did not have a happy ending. Red was eaten by the wolf, and no one rescued her or her grandmother. Perrault kindly revealed the moral of the story, which was basically don't talk to strangers, even wolves who seem civil and gentle.
If you look up deconstruction of this particular fairy tale, the majority of the story is somehow related to sex - no, really! The Disney versions have come a long, long way from that. But even the hooded girl in "Into The woods" was both "excited, well excited and scared" by the wolf, and implies perhaps a little grown-up theme simmering underneath.
I've always loved fairy tales. Maybe because they are truly frightening, and maybe because the modern versions have happy endings to otherwise gloomy scenarios. But so many of them seem to be a coming of age story, where a young person experiences the world, learns some hard lessons and comes through just a bit wiser and more grown-up.
I decided to paint "Red" in the light streaming from the open door, on the precipice of growing up. The moment just before everything changes forever. There was just such a moment in my own life which marks clearly when grown-ups became people with flaws and foibles, the world became a bit scarier and more complicated and childhood seemed to fall away behind me. Lucky for me, the modern version of my own fairy tale life is liberally infused with happy endings.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation