The Princess and the Pea story always reminds me of my childhood. Most of my childhood I had this beautiful handmade bed that my Granpa had originally built for my mum when she was a girl. It was beautiful wooden bed with it’s own headboard and shelf and this bed had a huge box storage area.
When I inherited the bed in the storage area we kept several foam mattresses. that during my childhood were dug out for sleep overs with friends + family. And every now and then I remember I would ‘forget’ to replace the wooden top of the storage area and instead I would instead throw my foam mattress on top of the others + sleep on this soft pile of mattresses – a la Princess and the Pea.
I love this memory but the painting of Princess and the Pea I did almost two years ago now, was a painting that was five years in the making.
Yup! FIVE years!!
When I first thought of the idea for this painting I knew that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the techniques or the skill to finish it to a level where I would be ok with the finally paintings.
And over the years I would pull out the original concept sketch, scribbled in a random notebook, with stick figures + chicken scratched notes. I would look at the sketch and play some more and tuck it away again, knowing I wasn’t ready.
Eventually as I learnt new skills and techniques I felt more and more capable of painting this painting and achieving the result I had in my head.Then one day soon after I painted ‘Catching Mermaids’ (another painting that had taken some time between concept and painting) I decided it was the time for ‘Princess and the Pea’ was going to be painted.
And I was so careful painting her! Every stroke measured, every colour choice debated. I think I knew in my heart that if I didn’t like the end result that I probably wouldn’t ever attempt to paint her again.
I was totally relieved when I realised how much I loved the result. And my small obsession with paper collecting coming in handy yet again with ‘Princess and the Pea’ one of my first true mixed media paintings.
For close to two years now she has been part of my living room wall in a small collection of paintings that I haven’t been able to part with yet. Each one a special reminder in something.
Princess and the Pea was a reminder for me in patience, in practice and in perseverance.
And a beautiful childhood memory, of feeling warm, safe and surrounded by foam mattresses in my very own Princess bed.
Do you have a Princess and the Pea memory? I have been amazed since sharing her at markets how many ‘Princess and the Pea’ stories there have been. Feel free to share your memory in the comments below!
Princess and the Pea will be for sale from this Thursday 8th from 7pm Australian EST exclusively on my website. (www.lillibeandesigns.com) email me for more.