One of my earliest and best memories is of going to bed – supposedly – but then sneaking a book and flashlight from under the bed. One of my favorite “secret readings” was the “Folk and Fairy Tales for Boys and Girls series”. Many a night, my bedtime reading included beautiful princesses, noble princes and kind fairy godmothers. Oh, and it included dragons, ogres, witches, evil spells, wicked stepmothers, magic, and murder. None of it gave me nightmares. Fairy tales were sheer fun and entertainment. Like other good fiction, though, a good fairy tale can provide a moral compass. Fantasy can be a very efficient vehicle for truth. While fairy tales entertain us, they also teach us about love, honor, sacrifice, hope, courage, hard work, justice. Sometimes, being detached from our everyday world, they free our minds to see intangibles with special clarity.
Our modern cultural venues embrace these stories with vengeance. Simply because people can relate to them. We’ve seen many modern interpretations, each patiently painting elaborate interpretations of the old folk stories. Some are wonderfully done, but others, such as Disney’s “The little Mermaid” makes me cringe. Ariel, the mermaid, must completely change who she is and leave her family so she can marry the handsome prince. Not quite the message I want to give my daughter!
In response, I’ve made a series of paintings that teaches through allegories and fairy tales, my best wishes for our student’s bright future. “Transparent Allegories and Fairy Tales” inspires, with a simple appeal, to risk examination of these culturally significant stories so that we may learn a modern moral.
“Find Your True Value”: Transparent Allegories and Fairy Tales Series
“Little Bo Peep” is a nursery rhyme about a young shepherdess loosing her sheep. The moral is one must take responsibility for one’s actions. This painting is about finding your true value and having the courage and responsibly to release into the world.