This piece is from a series that was inspired by my prized collection of vintage photos of little girls. I call the series, Orphan Girls, because I have purchased them from various estate sales, antique stores and garage sales and they had no family who loved them. As my collection grew, I knew that I wanted to bring them to life with a story. To date I have four in this series, but I have many more little girls who need identities. Their pictures show girls with serious faces, big bows, happy smiles and many other intriguing attributes. Some are holding big dolls and one is holding a squirming puppy . I relish the time that I have to spend coming up with these interesting, artistic stories.
To start this project I chose a photo that spoke to me, this little girl looked sweet and thoughtful. The base is a piece of 12 x 12 inch birch plywood that has been gessoed. Next I dug into my box of vintage ephemera to find perfect background papers, this piece has vintage wallpaper, old cardboard, and book binding. They were all glued into place with matte medium, my favorite art supply! I then sorted through my mad maze of collected treasures to find more perfect bits to collage on. I added buttons, a silver spoon, a piece of wood, and a vintage ruler. I built layers and textures with these fun, textured elements.
My favorite find was the page that says "TheLife of a Woman" at the top. I try to imagine how different this girl's life was from mine. The flower paper, the button, and the silver spoon symbolize the domestic life of a woman of that era. The ruler is about a female measuring up to expectations. My art usually has a feminist spin to it or some type of message that is meaningful to me.
The finished product says something to me, it makes me happy that this little orphan girl got a second chance and a story.