Mary (of "Back of the Moon") and I are excited to announce the entries in the first ever "Celtic Lady/Shopgirl Art Challenge"! If you remember, we asked you to look at the Arthur Hacker "Fire Fancies" painting, above, and imagine what the young lady sees in the flames, then create a work of art based upon it.
We were thrilled to see all the different interpretations we received. Some people even included poems or stories with their art!
Before I present the entries, I URGE you to follow the links to the original sites so you can see the art work in all its glory. I'm afraid that some of the images didn't copy well from site to site. You will especially need to go to Kim's, Lena's and Sorrow's sites so that you can enlarge the images and view them properly. Please check out everyone's posts as many explained their techniques and added back stories. (You may need to scroll down a few posts if the bloggers have added more posts since they submitted their entry.)
So when you've checked out all the art, vote for your favorite HERE with a comment. Mary and I have decided that all votes will be posted on my blog to make things simpler for us.
I also have an incentive to "get out the vote". I have a cute vintage-style Halloween figurine of girl with a pumpkin hat to give away in a drawing. Since I don't have a digital camera, you'll just have to imagine how cute she is. I will draw a name from among all the voters!
Noni, aka Mary Ann (http://nonizamboniblue.blogspot.com/ ) says the piece below is "my contribution for what she might have seen in the fire, just as there was a knock on her door. "
Lila at "Arty Collages and Dolls" (http://artycollagesanddolls.blogspot.com/ ) thinks the girl "would like travel and adventure with possible romantic involvement. I see her as a redhead, not just from the fire's glow. She will grow up to be a beauty. Maybe she is dreaming of dancing shoes, a horse to ride in the moonlight, a magnificent large home with rich furnishings and a long life to enjoy it all and share with those she loves."
Kim at "Midwest Musings" (http://midwestmusings-kim.blogspot.com/ ) titles her collage "What Does The Future Hold?" (Kim says she was going to use "Through the Looking Glass" as her title, "but Alice told me not to. :) "
(Sorry, Kim, I couldn't make it print any larger. Go to Kim's blog and click on the photo to see the collage in all its colorful splendor.)
The collage below is by Kate at "Meanderings" (http://katespin.blogspot.com/). Kate says, "Here is a little bit about my process. I had the background done and it looked like the picture fit so well. I added papers and made the heart and came up with some words that seem to reflect the painting to me."
Bimbimbie, or Annie from Australia (http://bimbimbie.blogspot.com/), is a storyteller as well as an artist. Here's here story:
"Whether moments or years away, the future is concealed by time's curtain; yet some still strive to open it ...
Yesterday at the horse fair, Old Mara, Gypsy and teller of fortunes, had looked deep upon Bessie Dunlop's palm. "What do you see?" Bessie asked her. Not glancing upwards, Old Mara replied: "On the morrow, light your fire before the crescent moon do start her climb. Stand a fresh pot of tea with single cup and saucer atop your table and watch for my arrival.
This she did. And with a twinkling of her eye, Old Mara parted the curtain of flames for Bessie Dunlop to behold what was divined on her palm and within her tea leaves ...
As Bessie gasped and clapped to see that Tiddles was indeed King of all parlor cats and Dumplings, her gentle placid mare, a Unicorn, all that was to be decided upon was Bessie Dunlop's future name ..."
After musing over the "Fire Fancies" painting, Gemma, or Linda, at "Wild Woman in a Desert Garden" (http://www.adesertgarden.blogspot.com/ ) drew upon another Arthur Hacker painting, shown below, to spin her story:
She was waiting for her husband to come home.
He was late again. Another sip of tea and with a little heartache, she remembered how she had so innocently thought life would be blissful after she got married to George. She put the food she had prepared away. She would reheat it, if and when he ever got home. Later she built a little fire and gathered her beloved cat to sit with her as she waited for George. 'Surely he'll come home soon....won't he?'
She sat staring into the fire.
What did she see?
She knew her days of innocence were gone.
Dancing in the fire.
Innocence turned to ash and smoke.
She knew in her heart that George was in love with another.
And she knew she was expecting his baby."
Looking at the painting, Carmen from "Writing From My Heart and Soul" (http://heartandsoulgardening.blogspot.com/ ) saw herself:
"I absolutely could read her heart because it was my own heart I was reading. Her face is so centered, so calm. Her eyes and heart are full of love and that makes her spirit fearless. She is so at peace. I can see that the storm has passed and not all is lost. A sweet blue whispering into her soul and heart has occurred. A light has brought her hope again. And the colors of her NOW are brighter. Beauty is all around. You see she is wearing her crown and wings. She is ready to fly, ready to soar!
The artwork entered by Annie from California, at "In My Dreams" (http://inmidreamz.blogspot.com/ ) was accompanied by a poem:
"Withdrawn into darkness Shadowed, veiled.
Fire flickers. Embers fade.
Heart burrowed deep In cold grey ash.
Yet, my lap is warmed."
The drawing below, "If I Had A Ribbon Bow", was done by Krissie of "Winterwood" (http://bowerwood.blogspot.com/ ). She thinks the "Fire Fancies" girl is dreaming the same thing she used to dream about:
"I would love to spend hours just thinking of what I would do when I got older. I would listen to records in my room and dream.
One record that I LOVED was "If I had a ribbon bow" - by Fairport Convention. Its an olde English song about a girl who dreams about meeting Prince Charming and she could do so if she had a ribbon bow to tie her hair and a gown of calico for her to wear."
Unfortunately, Blogger won't let me publish the photo of Sorrow's entry. But go to this site to see it: http://sorrow11.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/woman-on-fire/ Sorrow, I truly apologize that I can't show your little clay figure here, who, you say, was born in the fires of contemplation. But I can publish the poem that goes with it.
"Woman on Fire"
She is more than her body
She is more than the passion that burns her,
More than the desires that consume her.
She is on fire.
She is the ember of hearth fires,
the ash of unfulfilled dreams.
She is the Phoenix that rises.
She is the flickering candle that shines bright in the dark.
The light of hope that can not be extinguished.
She is the warmth and comfort of Love
The glow that shines upon the horizon at dawn.
She is Radiance
She is a Woman On fire.****************************************************
Thanks to everyone who entered and made this first challenge a success. It was great fun!
It's going to be hard to choose a winner, isn't it? Vote here by name or number, and have your friends vote too. One of you voters will win the drawing.
And contestants, create a link to this post and urge your friends to vote for you so you can win one of our great prizes. Both you and a friend could be winners! You have until midnight, Tuesday, October 21, to vote/enter the drawing.