“a tempered heart.”
original gouache painting by hallie m. bertling
a part of the faerie tale feet series, available at halthegal.etsy.com
i have always loved “alice’s adventures in wonderland” as a terrific piece of absurdist literature. and what inspired this piece? a medieval painting i saw at the met this january on my husband’s birthday trip. so here’s a peak into the process (& my absurd book collection) for lewis carroll’s classic!
click through the slideshow below for a bit of my process, my inspiration, and some fun facts on lewis carroll’s work. some people read way too far into the text, but he was a mathematician, so i bet some of it was actually intentional. it’s amazing how deep the levels in meanings are in artists’ work, n’est pas? always more to discover…
i’m in love with this piece and hope you adore it, too!
“the queen of hearts, she made some tarts,
all on a summer day.
the knave of hearts, he stole those tarts,
and took them quite away.”
if it was anything like cherry pie, i don’t blame the knave one bit. but it did throw the queen into quite the tantrum.
here are the icons you’ll find hiding in the topiary hedges:
*painting the roses red
*two spades [her card escorts were categorized into the spades (gardeners), diamonds (courtiers), hearts (her children), and clubs (the guards). so clever.]
*the king’s crown on a velvet pillow
*the duchess’ invitation to the croquet match
*the golden key (the victorian book lovers’ symbol for unlocking faerie land, according to george macdonald, a family friend of carroll’s.)
*the white rabbit with red eyes
*the tiny white gloves & golden pocketwatch of said white rabbit
*one of the juror’s slate and pencil
*the number 42, a predominant number in this book with all sorts of meanings to abstract mathematicians
*the queen’s tarts
*the gryphon (who lead alice to the mock turtle for a very depressing and slow-moving song)
*alice’s iconic shoes (“why, what are your shoes done with?” said the gryphon. “i mean, what makes them so shiny?”… and the gryphon’s shoes were made of “soles and eels, of course.. any shrimp could have told you that.”)
*the pepper that made everyone at the duchess’ house in a sneezing tizzy
*the mad hatter’s hat
*bill the lizard
*the cheshire cat’s grin, with disappearing body, of course
*the queen’s heart-shaped spectacles
and of course, instead of showing “off with their heads,” i did a round head*shaped hole in the hedge instead. long live the queen and all the cards and critters the king of hearts spared.
peace, love, & colour to you,