Lewis Carroll: “I can’t go back to yesterday-because I was a different person then.”
When I was in high school, I created a painting based on Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I liked the topsy-turvy upside down nature of Alice’s imaginary world where anything was possible and there were no rules. I was a kid, I followed rules but loved the idea of autonomy, adventure and lawlessness. Today, I’m making my own choices and creating my own adventure and many times I’m nostalgic for the simplicity, protections and rules of childhood.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite day-trip adventures. It’s simple, serene and beautiful. Currently, the gardens are featuring Alice in Wonderland and I’m able to look at these characters with a new perspective. They are juxtaposed with the peacefulness of the gardens. I have been working on a collection of paintings from reference photos that I have taken during my many visits. As I contemplate adding a piece with Alice or the Queen, I have to consider how I will convey the dichotomy of this. Will I use bright color to convey the playful or outrageous character while playing with light and contrast to create the tranquility of the setting. Should I use bold brushstrokes to portray the chaos of their world while blending away the gardens in the background. Should I mute the colors and the brushstrokes to achieve the sense of calm I get when I visit. Which message will I share? As an artist, I want to share how a moment affected me and create a feeling and connection with the viewer. This will definitely take more reflection; I’m heading back to the gardens!