06 July 2018

Framing this painting was a bit emotionally-taxing for me as the subject is a dead kid laying in a meadow and my son was 4 years old when I made it. The artist is unknown and there's no known title for the painting so I'm left with "Dead Kid in a Meadow". Watching my son grow is witnessing him explore the world and for that to be taken away would be snuffing out the light of life while the world is still magical, so I decided to go with the theme of a coffin lid closing on the wonderment of youth. I found various public domain images (two of which are a map of Treasure Island and a page of the Voynich Manuscript) which I printed and soaked in Lapsang Souchong tea to age, then decoupaged onto a base wooden frame. The coffin lid is simple strips of pine rubbed with dirt which were then glued and nailed onto the base frame. It's only when the viewer gets close enough to the subject of the painting that its unsettling theme is revealed. To draw the viewer closer, I wanted to make the frame itself a bit unsettling when seen from a distance. To achieve that, while the edge of the inner pine strips are true, a straight line cannot be drawn between the bottommost edges, which I hoped would subtly capture the viewer's eye.

Given the content, I was happy to get the painting out of my house, but framing it was an interesting emotional exploration and I'm very happy with the result.

While more geared towards writers, I drew inspiration from Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer by Peter Turchi.

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