Monday, March 30, 2015

Tinker Belle

What is REAL?

                 "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side 
          near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  "Does it mean having 
          things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
               "Read isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse.  "It's a thing that happens 
          to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with , but 
          REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

     Do you recognize this conversation?  If you haven't read The Velveteen Rabbit in a while, find a copy and read it.

     Before I begin painting, I ask a couple of important questions.   
     1.) What size and shape of canvas would be best? 
     2.) What's important for me to know about the subject?
After we settled on the size and shape of the canvas, this is what I got back in answer to my second question:
               "A very important feature of Tinker that I want to make sure that you 
          keep is the detail on is on her right shoulder.  You will see a definite white-ish 
          line mark.  This is where she had a mass taken out when she was a puppy.  
          We never got it biopsied because we didn't care to know... She was ours.   
          With that, her seizure episode, and a knee replacement during her first 6 
           months of puppyhood, she became our "million dollar dog."
That was it.  I fell in love with this little yella' dog and couldn't wait to start.

      During the time I was working on this project, I kept thinking how scars and flaws and raggedy edges don't keep us from REAL love.  It reminded me of The Velveteen Rabbit.  And it reminded me of the gray lump of ratty stuffed cloth that my sweet little great niece carries everywhere and calls "Sheep."  I'm pretty sure that somewhere back there it was a pretty little stuffed lamb... now... mmm... not so much... But, Sheep is loved.  The Velveteen Rabbit was loved.  And Tinker Belle is loved.
Me and my Olivia (as a baby).
Tinker Belle (as a baby) and her mama.


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