Friday, February 19, 2016


DC: 189

I've felt the pull to do a collage and so for this drawing challenge, that is what I've done. All I had was a black and white photocopy of a whole group of cocoons from a white butterfly [common cabbage type] that were attached to a tree. Not much to go on, and pretty boring really. But the muse piped in and suddenly an old drawing study plan of 'lines' for an image of a single female sitting in a boat came into play, quickly followed by some lines from an old Reader's Digest condensed book so old the yellowed pages are practically falling out of the spine. They struck me, these lines. The word 'squaw' jarred my mind. It's an awful word. But I think used often in past times. And the idea that the teaching of the catechism to 'squaws' was of import really strikes me, almost a physical sensation, as I've recently been thinking of residential schools and about the idea of taking the 'indian' out of indian kids in their charge. The schools I know of were run by priests and nuns.

Bits and pieces fell into my hands as the collage completed itself on the page. After it was done these questions came to mind as I viewed what I'd just made:
1. Did Mrs. Feake have a knowledge of good and evil? Is the snake symbol her friend or foe?
2. As the snake with the forked tongue is facing the catechism sentence, what does that say?
3. As the snake with the smile on its' face is facing the lone woman is snake her friend?
4. Is the lone woman sitting in quiet repose reciting the catechism to herself in serenity?
5. Is the lone woman making plans to leave her situation and fly like a butterfly once her cocoon phase is over?

The poem is by Ellie Daphne van Stralen. The lines are from 'The Winthrop Woman' by Anya Seton, c. 1958.

Patrice is our host this week for the drawing challenge and her blog will direct you to the other players participating in this challenge. Have a look at what they have done. There is always such a variety of interesting, inspiring, fabulous creative offerings here. Thank you for dropping in today, and I hope to see you again soon, Cheers, Norma, x


  1. Hi Norma, how are you?
    I think this is a delicate piece of art!
    x Stefanie

  2. i like 'when the mue piped in' ;^)))
    and thanks for this fine piece you made!
    love the color, the old paper and even your questions
    although i do not have the answers

    thanks for joining and sharing!!

  3. Oh my goodness Norma, you took on a sensitive subject and gave it a little more peace. How horrible those residential schools were and how scared the people who came out of them. This is especially felt in Canada where the Prime Minister personally apologised to the First Nations for the abuse and mistreatment. Well done for being so honest and brave.

    1. My muse dictates everything. I only do his (for my muse is a HE) bidding...and don't judge what he directs me to do. After I've finished a piece I (myself that is) actually see what the piece looks like and I am as surprised and sometimes shocked as I imagine some will be with this particular piece. But in the end there is no 'judgement' to it. We do not know what the solitary figure is thinking or feeling and that will be dictated I guess by what the viewer might project onto the piece. The thing that got me most was that just as soon as I discovered the lone figure drawing, I opened the old book and the very first page I read contained the line about the lone figure. I had no choice but to use it. And it was certainly political. Oy vey. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. N, x

  4. Thank you for this important and touching post. Your work is beautiful. xo Leena

  5. my thoughts exactly when i look at art; all sorts of questions arising. you are beating me to it. i love the fact your reader digest's pages are falling from its spine, that is a treasure undoubtedly.
    the collage has obtained a timeless quality i so love in collage, random collecting and selecting, different layers and a whole universe of visible meanings, before the invisible surface...
    and then the words. your words, norma; a pleasure to read. n♥

    1. oh! we share a love of sumptuous bedding! how grand!!... ;)))

  6. Hi norma, I really like this piece of art and the process you discribed, I think best art works often occur, when we allow the process to fall into place. Is this the right to express it? Well and all the questions which arose from one art work that is amazing. Nice to have back in play.

  7. Your drawing indeed is delicate and has many layers. Sometimes art asks questions instead of giving answers.- eric

  8. I like the stance of the woman sitting, quite peaceful. enjoyed that a poem is part of this interesting collage.

  9. This is a peaceful Artwork. And an Inspiration. Thank you - also for your kind comment.

  10. it is surprising how cultures (religions), put in symbols the ideas they want to convey to others, but these symbols, may not mean the same to ones and to others... And perhaps to not show a whip, shows a snake.

  11. your work is very inspiring, a wonderful piece! and norma: thank you so much for your kind comment to my icebear cocoon! I makes me happy!
    :-) mano


Your comments make my day! Thanks for dropping by and we'll see you soon, I hope, *smiles* Norma


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...