“unfettered pippi.”

pippi 1
my niece kathryn, modeling for pippi in my socks and shoes for that dramatic wrong-size feel. i bought her ice cream {with sour gummi worms} later.
pippi 2
pippi feet! a lil’ more in action than my model reference, but just as much character.
pippi 3
the final background pattern ready to be transferred to illustration board.
pippi 4
me, slowly painting in that lemon chiffon yellow around all of the background icons until the piece is full…
pippi 5
beginning to fill in each icon shape it’s own colours. i typically only do one colour per shape– as a pure silhouette. i mixed it up with pippi and all the shapes got LOTS of colours. it got a little crazy.
pippi 6
detail of still building in all the colours for all the different shapes. {yes, yes, i know i struggle with editing and being subtle. alas.}
pippi 7
background and icons done… now comes my favourite part… painting the shoes and feet!
pippi 8
lots of layers went into these shoes {a gift from a friend who either couldn’t pull them off, or they didn’t fit, either way, it worked in my favor!}

“unfettered pippi.”
original 11×11″ gouache painting by me, hallie m. gillett bertling.
i know it looks like i put skittles in a food processor to make my own sprinkles. but i kind of like it.

here’s the thing about pippi:

pippi won’t let tragedy keep her from adventure. inventive, if unstructured and ill-mannered for lack of tutelage, her creative solutions have been proven to save lives and enlighten livelihoods.

if you are wondering about any of the icons in the background, just ask. but from the slew of her adventures, here’s what i threw in there:

her father’s mustache (missed and loved, and of course not really lost at sea, but a cannibal king as she’d hoped and knew), her horse (never named; i found that odd); mr. nilsson (her pet african monkey/roommate in a straw hat), her heart*shaped gingersnap cookies she’d roll out on the floor, the oar from her shipwrecked adventure with neighbor children tommy & annika, a ladder from when she evaded the police who were to take her to a children’s home (she was a child & already had a home; no need, obviously), a pillow (for she slept with her feet on the pillow and her head under the covers), a message in a bottle (a rescue maneuver), a rusty tin coffee pot from the secret hiding place tree, a coffee cup with a green ribbon (when she went to tommy & annika’s house for a fancy coffee party their mother was throwing, she put green ribbons on her shoes for the occasion), the fire flame (a terrifying scene for me, but she did rescue two boys from a burning building with her wit and athleticism), the famous kitchen-scrub-brushing mopping shoes, the blue bird whistles she bought for all the kids in town at the toy store with her gold coins, the pineapple and spear from her adventures as an island cannibal princess, the pirate flag she and her father sailed under, and of course her enigmatic red*haired straight*out braided silhouette complete with freckles.

well done, pippi. i applaud both your charisma, bravery, optimism, quick-thinking, and utter hopefulness at life’s greatest adventure: every day.

you can purchase the limited edition faerie tale feet print here on my etsy shoppe:  http://etsy.me/1i9mhZy

and the greeting card here:  http://etsy.me/1LBFZqC

(the front of card reads:  “But one person gave four cheers instead of three.
And that was Pippi.”  of course it was! )

and yes, the original framed painting is still available!  i sell those for just $425.  contact me!  🙂

“i’m actually quite shy, so if i don’t issue commands to myself, i’d just stand in the hall, quite stubborn, and not sure to come in.”