Tuesday, October 14, 2008


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!

No. 1

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. "

No. 2:

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."

No. 3

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.)

No. 4

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."

No. 5

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 ..."

No. 6

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:

"Innocence Burning"

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?

Innocence burning:

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."

No. 7

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!

No. 8

Betzie at "Time Enough ("http://timenough.blogspot.com/ ) says "This poor forlorn witch is lost in her memories of her beloved Edgar...POE that is..."

Betzie actually submitted three variations of her artwork: the lighter version, shown below; a darker, spookier version; and a black and white version. To see the other two, go to her blog. If any one if them is your favorite, vote for her.

No. 9

Lena, at "A Happy Miscellany" (http://www.ahappymiscellany.typepad.com/ ), used "an old cigar box and various bits and pieces that represent the girl following her dream, until it came true. As an adult, she has found the key to happiness, and a happy home.

Lena says the fireplace "is filled with flowers to represent the blossoming dream. The watering can on top of the mantel, represents nurturing your dreams, and the flower pot represents leaving a place in our lives to sow the seeds of our imaginations. Everything needs room, to grow. The broom? Well, the broom represents all those things we need to rid ourselves of, in order to make our dreams come true." (Go to Lena's blog to enlarge this collage!)

No. 10

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."

No. 11

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."

No. 12

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.


Julie said...

Celtic Lady here,

Scarlet, Shell and Christine of Epiphany jumped the gun and voted early, but that's okay. They voted for Carmen, so that's three votes for her.

marthaberry said...

I also vote for Carmen's. I love the delicate wings!

Leanne said...

My vote goes to Betzie,it just really appeals to me!
Leanne x

Kate Robertson said...

I vote for #2, I liked the sentiment involved and being a lover of travel it really spoke to me.


Annie Jeffries said...

So many and varied responses Julie. All are winners IMO. Thanks for the chance to do this challenge. Annie

Lila Rostenberg said...

I like Carmen's because of her use of the blue...and her lovely explanation of what it meant.
So I vote for Carmen, too.
They are all wonderful!!!

Bimbimbie said...

This was fun Julie & Mary - it's always lovely to gaze into a picture and dream BUT it's so much harder to choose just one after seeing and reading how they evolved ... I'm voting for No 12 because it takes me back in time to when I would watch Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected and his dancing lady within the flames*!*

Annie Jeffries said...

#9 enchants me.

Rowan said...

My vote goes to No 7 by Carmen, it's so delicate and beautiful and just what a young girl might imagine in the firelight.

Sandy said...

I love #3!

LW said...

all are wonderful .....

I vote for #7...

I love blue, fairies and what she wrote about it on her blog...


gma said...

They are all great!!! I am voting for #3 for a beautiful future.

Kim Campbell said...

I am voting for Poe. I love Edgar!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I would like to vote for #2, Lila's entry.

Enjoyed them ALL! What talent!

Sorrow said...

i am voting for Kim!

Lena said...

I think all of the entries are really wonderful, each in it's own way Julie, and don't feel quite right choosing a favorite. I love how each entry was interpreted so differently. I had a lot of fun participating, and I thank you and Mary for inspiring me.

brsmaryland said...

They all are so wonderful! It is interesting to see the different interpretations and styles. So colorful, so glowing.
It is hard to pick one but my vote goes to #9 - I love the 3 dimensions and symbolism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Krissie here of Winterwood - I loved them all and its sooo hard to chosse just one favourite but mine would have to be (other than mine off!!) lol...is no 9. loved that collage!

thanks for hosting the challenge it was a lot of fun!!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I vote for #1 peacock blue

Naturegirl said...

Man what creative entries! Each so inspiring and worthy of winning but my personal vote is for #9.
A girl following her dreams speaks to me ..finding her key to happiness!
I love what the bits and pieces within the box represent..Lena is a wise lady worthy of my vote!

Joyce said...

WOW~~~~~!!! Everyone did a great job.....I am going to think on my selection and not choose right at this moment....but I have "one or two" in mind.
Since I have a few days, I am going to look at them again and re-read everything.
I have a busy day so I don't want to do it right at this minute......maybe tonight even I will come back and look. :~)

ShabbyInTheCity said...


AmyB said...

#9 by Lena is my favorite. LOVED the cigar box filled with symbolic items. Her little fireplace is so cute. All of you should go to her blog to read her entire description! - Amy Bauer

Hope said...

I vote for Lena's.

Granny Smith said...

I vote for Noni, Number 1 (in more ways than one!) whose entry has a haunting mysterious feeling to it.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

They are all great - I vote for No. 7 - it just touched me when I looked at it.

Carrie J said...

I vote #1. Everyone did great work!

Anonymous said...

Wow Julie what a great contest. I loved all the responses. It really fired up my imagination, and sparked some new ideas. I could warm up to all the works of wonderful works posted. I personally think she saw a phoenix rise out of the ashes and in a puff of smoke was gone again. Can't vote...to many good choices. lizzzzy now in MO.

Joyce said...

Okay Julie,
After much pondering and re-reading and re-viewing my cote goes to......
No. 2:
Lila at "Arty Collages and Dolls" (http://artycollagesanddolls.blogspot.com/ )
I LOOOOVED what she did......loved the colors and the scenes...the whole look of it was inspiring of "dreaming" ....for myself...I really liked it.

Boy that Gemma sure can spin a tale though. It was tough for me to pick between her and Lila.
Gemma could write rommance novels!
Good job to EVERYONE!!!
What a great participation.......
Thanks for sharing it all with us.

smilnsigh said...

I fell in love with #3. Kim's "What Does the Future Hold"... So I vote for this one.

Gentle hugs,
Miss Mari-Nanci

GreenishLady said...

This wasn't easy. So many of them drew me in, but I'm giving my vote to #3, Kim's.

What a lovely competition. Thanks for setting it up!

Anonymous said...

This lurker votes for #8. I enjoyed the dark humor.

Anonymous said...

I vote for Carmen's! I love the delicateness and the wings. Amazing work.

Stephanie said...

I have to vote for CARMEN!

Unknown said...

Carmen's is beautiful!! #7

Doe Grozs Art said...

#7 Carmen's
I love the feel to this one. Magical! I want to be there :-)

Renee said...

I vote for Carmen, number 7.

kate smudges said...

I love Carmen's - number 7. The colours are gorgeous!