Ugh! My art fought back! Yet another exercise in failure, haha. I am coming to realize that my art (or at least my muse) is most definitely not docile. It fights tooth and nail, and it has some pretty sharp teeth. But in the end, I beat it into submission. Or at least– into some sort of compromise.
When I saw the Secret Garden challenge on the Thank God It’s Friday website, I knew I had to enter. I’d just finished reading the original book by Francis Hodges Burnett for the first time, and it is easily one of my favorites now. Read it, if you never have. (It can be found online at the Literature Network). It is soooo good. I spent a few days thinking on what I should do (a bunch of greenery seemed too easy, and not very meaningful.) Late last night, as I was drifting to sleep, the idea began to form and solidify. Instead of the flourishing happy garden of the middle and end of the book, I would depict the garden as it was when Mary first found it– wild and full of old, seemingly dead plants, but deep in the rich earth, full of potential and the magic her imagination would bring about.
Tonight, I went back, checked the specifications to be sure there weren’t any size requirements and– egads! it requires stamps! Ironically, this was one of my few artistic ideas that didn’t use stamps. I tried to make them fit, but it was turning out terrible. Most of the original stamping has been washed out, but the blurry colors in the background used to be stamped (and incedentally, used to be other colors, in some cases. That pink there was originally a color called “tea dye.”) I decided to just go ahead with my original plan, justifying it with the fact that the stamps are there, even if almost entirely washed out. However, in the end, I used the word stamp, and two other stamps in the final outcome, so there! It qualifies! I’m not 100% happy with it, but I’m willing to call truce.
Interestingly, the back might possibly look better than the front. Sadly, as bad as this is in person, it scanned 10 times worse, in part because gold thread doesn’t look gold on a scanner.
“There’s lots o’ dead wood as ought to be cut out,” he said. “An’ there’s a lot o’ old wood, but it made some new last year. This here’s a new bit,” and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray. Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.
“That one?” she said. “Is that one quite alive quite?”
Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.
“It’s as wick as you or me,” he said;
—-The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
Read The Secret Garden online.
See my other ATCs.