Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fairy Tale Foundations

There's nothing quite like a good old fashioned fairy tale to expose the atrocities of the past. It's hard to imagine what it would have been like to be a woman back in the 1600's in Europe, with no right to choose your own husband, and have the legal status of property. The story of Rapunzel illustrates the extreme injustice of locking a young woman in a tower with no chance of escape.

As I contemplate my freedom, I have to think of my studio which is on the second floor of my house. It has a porch with a balcony off of it allowing me to play the role of the tower maiden, but one who has complete freedom to come and go as I please. Though I spend most of my time alone in there, either painting or doing my daily meditations, I have an extra chair so I can invite friends up for a cup of tea and a chat.

My tower is my haven, which is weird but appropriate. The illustration above is by Arthur Rackham, the great illustrator of fairy tales in the Victorian age. I've started playing with watercolors more lately, and I'll have to take a look at his work more closely so I can learn a thing or two. There's a wonderful article on Rapunzel at the Endicott Studio Journal right now. Very interesting and inspiring.

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