and hope to find what’s up …
The Irish girl, Griane, is shown in the left column. I wanted to breathe more light into the gourd, make her look like she was in sunshine, with sunny highlights in her hair and skin and clothing. I also hoped to paint a true red-head’s translucent skin, where even the blood vessels show blue under their thin covering of flesh.
This gourd on the right is named Nancy, after a girl in my second grade class. Nancy (the girl) was poor in money and poor in affection. She came to school in clothes that were neither washed nor ironed. When the teacher who was always kind to me and who always smiled and liked my work would turn to Nancy and add to that girl’s misery, I learned what hypocrisy looked like. This gourd resembles the girl I knew, but her face and clothes are clean, her hat is new, and her smile, while not entirely trusting, is emerging.
These are Lani’s feet. You can see already that Lani is Polynesian, and that her feet are bare. I cut the gourd, and with the piece I had cut, I made the feet. Lani dances the traditional hula with grass pom-poms in her hands. The stick which is embedded in the wooden base balances her body, so that she is free to sway anytime she likes.