The girl in the painting could have been me as a child. I brought home stray cats as fast as my mother could tastefully get rid of them. But some of them, she let me keep.
Stray cats are a ravenous bunch. They crave both food and affection. I adored lavishing them with both. Their dependence on my goodness gave me an omnipotent power over their well being. Their growing dependence gave way to my every whim.
I preened them as a parent would wiping their noses and brushing their fur. They obediently submitted when I dressed them in doll clothes, covered them with blankets, and gave them rides in my doll buggy. Of course, I wanted to dress the part so my mother’s old blouses and hats fit the bill. If mother were in a good mood, jewelry and high heels were added to the mix. I clomped around the house in seventh heaven.
Not wanting my own dolls and stuffed toys to feel neglected, I made a chart and a schedule so that each one had a turn snuggling in my arms at bedtime. It took a whole month to get through that list. I was devoted to “my brood”. This painting is a tribute to those lost memories, to childhood, to wild imagination and lost innocence.
Throughout this blog, preliminary sketches show stages of my progress. A painting is a succession of changes and refinement; a process, if you will.
The finished painting is now on my online gallery where prints, giclees, and greeting cards may be purchased: http://carol-allen-anfinsen.artistwebsites.com
Please share your childhood dreams or experiences in the comments section. Thanks!