Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to the Art Show

Tonight I'll present some more artwork from Sarah that I have collected. It's been a while since I did this and I think I've got some interesting items to show and discuss.

First, let's look at this piece, obviously entitled Sarah's Map. It's pretty straightforward, I think you'll agree, but to a modern parent or anyone else who is familiar with Dora the Explorer you can see the influence. The map is a sequence of three areas that may be surmounted, exactly the same number that Dora and her animal friend Boots the monkey cross whenever they are completing one of their weekly adventures. Reading from left to right, I would guess that anyone using this map would have to pass through the forest and exit through a wooden gate. Then the map calls for crossing over a lake--a crocodile-infested lake (which is a sure sign of Dora influence). The bridge is a bit rickety, but I am sure it will hold long enough to survive the passage. Finally, one must follow a small (sandy?) pass through a grassy area and exit through another door before finishing the proscribed journey. Please note that the gates have faces--another Dora hallmark--and you probably need a secret word or some other code to gain egress. Just so you know . . .

I call the next one Pilgrim's Progress for what I believe again to be obvious reasons. The figures seem to be a family unit and the clothing seems to be simple in construction, possibly home made. This family didn't have a great variety of cloth, as indicated by the father's vest and wife's dress being made from the same material. Also, the father and the oldest boy (on the right) seem to be wearing the same type of pant. They aren't dirt poor Pilgrims, because while the son doesn't have his shoes on, the young daughter has an expensive-looking teddy bear. The father also seems to have some sort of tool or weapon that probably cost a pretty penny.

I call this one The Homies. There is something about the matter-of-fact expressions on the girl in the foreground and her friend standing behind her to the right that says "urban" to me. Is it the cross necklace? the hats? I don't know. Probably I am admitting more about myself here than anything about Sarah, but that's what I see.

I don't have a good name for this one, but I'll go with . . . and bears. It's not very complicated and seems to be a happy little scene. The clouds don't have faces like you saw in The Homies, but the sun does have a cheerful look. Sarah's love of princesses is evident here. (Placing crowns on her figures has long been a part of her "style.") What jumps out at me, however, is the careful addition of an animal pet accompanying each person. This might not seem noteworthy unless you have spent lots of time opening birthday gifts recently. Then you would know that all Barbie-like dolls come with their own animal familiar.

Finally, we have my favorite item--another map--and one that I've been saving for a while and am finally getting around to scanning and posting.

I really like this one for the amount of detail that it shows and the thought that must have gone into it. I don't know for sure if this is depicting our neighborhood, some compressed version of the city or what. I'll try to give some interpretation of what I see, but I'll leave some of it up to your own imagination.

1. I like the out-of-scale flower on the bottom left. Does that represent the Park of Roses?

2. Who has that ultra-cool tree house with the twisty slide? I'd like to have one of those.

3. Is the building in the middle our house or is it a collection of houses that represent our neighborhood?

4. Is the other building structure at the top the daycare--connected to our neighborhood/house by streets (or maybe by pneumatic tubing?). Is the blank area fenced to the "daycare" the playground behind the daycare?

5. Is the green area found on the middle right a park or is it, as I suspect, the zoo? Aren't their animals drawn within the green of that fenced area?

6. Finally . . . why are there teepees?

My final thoughts: While I still see Sarah in these various pieces of art, I also think I see a shifting of her "style." I think things are becoming more realistic, more detailed, less imaginative and full of the random flights of fancy. I find that a little sad; she's growing up, slowly and surely.

1 comment:

lulu said...

What I find extraordinary is her range. She moves fluidly from stick figures to several different styles of full-body figures and back again. Most kids do "eyeball-eyeball-maybe nose-mouth" and they look exactly the same from portrait to portrait. I witnessed no less than THREE variations on faces, and I am stunned.