April 1, 2013

The Blue Period {and my blue horse painting for Hannah Jane}

Part of the Nine Year Change that I've written about is a sense of recreating oneself to fit this new understanding of how we relate to the world.  For Miss Hannah Jane, this seems to have included a new favorite color.  When she was a itty bitty babe, she preferred yellow.  She loved it and we used to test he little baby personality all the time by lining up a bunch of toys and watching her always go for the yellow.  It was such a sun shiny color and she was such a sun shiny gal.

The tail end of yellow

But then came the time that she fell prey to the big pink consumerism machine.  She hit the age of loving anything with sparkles or pink.  I felt a little like the corporate world had hijacked my kid when she announced that she no longer loved yellow and that everything needed to now be pink.  But I went with it.  I had to honor her little stint in conformity because that's what moms do.  We watch from the wings while our kids try on different personalities and when we hope that the one they are trying on isn't the one that sticks, we dang well bette hold our tongues and smile and say, "Yes, little love of mine, pink is divine."
The first quilt she ever made all by herself had to be in shades of pink!
But now, in the throws of the nine year change, she is again changing her color.  The best color on planet earth is currently blue, in case you were wondering.  And I can't help but analyze the color choice here.  Yellow represented joy to me when she was but a babe in arms, but I can't see blue as a reflection of sadness because she's still not a super sad kid.  Opinionated 9?  Yes.  But sad?  Not exactly.  As I've watched on and listen to her talk about "what's wrong with the world," I've decided that blue is her saying, "So what if I'm a girl?  I like the boy color.  Deal with it.  I'm not going to be your easy to deal with princess anymore.  I'm too smart for that now."  

In the blue period, holding a youngin' still in the pinks of life.
Anyway, she's in love with blue and she lives in a room of top to bottom pink.  How oppressive it feels to sleep in a room that was obviously designed by corporate America!  She needed some blue in her world and she needed it now.  But my wallet isn't able to recreate her environment every time she has a new favorite color, nor would I want it to be.  But I'm a semi-handy with a paint brush and I had this ugly canvas with a sort of hideous, 70's style ocean-scape in oils hiding behind the couch.  It looked like something you'd see on the walls of a really old, dingy, mildew-smelling motel room in a tiny, long forgotten seaside town.  I had it because when I decorated the bathroom, I wanted  giant empty frame and the best way to get one was to buy a hideous picture from the second hand store and just take the canvas out.  I knew that someday I would want that canvas for something (canvases are crazy expensive!) and so I hid it behind the couch waiting for the necessary art project to arise.  The time has come!

Hannah Jane's passion in life is currently, and has been for 4 years now, horses.  She talks about them, reads about them, draws them, sells cookies in sub-zero weather every January to subsidize her way to horse camp each summer.  So a blue horse had to be my contribution to her new "blue period."  Had to be.  In a nod to her newly recreated self, I spent about an hour (if you don't count the time it took the spray paint to dry) painting this gigantic horse for her wall.  A little surprise from me to her.  I took photos between steps and made a little video so that she could pause it and try to make her own.  She loves art videos and drawing and painting may be her number two love after horses.  So this project ended up being a nod to so many aspects of her personality.  Plus, I haven't painted in ages, so it felt so good.  Part of my year of fun certainly has to be creating more...um...creations!  So this was a great start!

On a sort of side note, all this talk about horses got me thinking back on Bruno Bettelheim's book, the Uses of Enchantment.  I could be wrong because it's been forever since I read him, but I'm pretty sure this is the book in which he gets all Freudian on fairy tales and asserts that girls love horses because they are powerful and represent men and all girls dream of growing up to control men.  LOL!  And then guys love cars because being in a car is like being in the womb and controlling one's mother from the inside out, which apparently all men desire to do.  I remember working hard to control my laughter during my class called meeting the needs of the developing psyche through literature, in which we studied Bettelheim's ideas like one would study the 10 commandments.  There, a tiny old woman who was certainly near her life's end chattered on about how it was simply fact that every young girl has the desire to castrate the men in her life and make them her minions.  Seriously?  I was unaware that I ever had that desire.  It slays me that my dad paid for that class.  Hahaha!  And that I had to have it to get my teaching degree.  Ahhhh...memories.  

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