I was working on a painting project and wondering if painting a small person in a doorway would be a good addition. I needed to test my idea. So in a twinkling I painted a figure, quite roughly, just a set of shapes, really, in the paint I was using – happened to be green. And I did it on the first piece of paper that came to hand, the back of a used envelope.
I held the figure to the painting and decided a person would not fit in – sometimes it’s better to try a mock-up version and actually see its effect than it is to attempt to imagine the outcome – or worse still, paint something in, hate it, and then have to get rid of it.
So no figure to be added to my painting. But something about the little green person caught my attention. I took my pen and drew in a more defined personality. Suddenly a green girl came to life, wearing a short dress and leggings. My son, home on a visit, happened to take a look at my work and liked the image. I think it surprised him that something could come from nothing, just like that!
So I mailed the green girl to him after he went home (I often send him mail art) – and she traveled comfortably inside another envelope, not out on her own. And when she arrived, my son was surprised to see her again, and pleased to add the image to his mail art collection.
Lots to think about here – the element of chance and surprise in art, and the element of chance and surprise in everyday life. A small thing can make a nice memory. Who would have thought a little green girl could do so much?