Over the weekend I drove past the Tobacco Barn and slipped in for a few minutes to check on the mannequin. Had she been sold? Had someone finally rearranged her parts? The air inside the Barn was throbbing with midsummer heat and heavy with humidity and desultory shoppers. No one played the piano today. Back in mannequin land at the very end of booth A-16 the lights were dim and the few people who made it back there looked more lost than on a quest. The mannequin was in exactly the pose I had left her in last weekend. So I thought: She needs a better hat, something to attract people to her fun spirit. I put a rusty red brocade lampshade with little string tassels on her head. She looked cocquetish and sort of shy, not the look I was going for exactly, but I drew her anyway. Her arms and legs are now in a real tangle, and they seem to be dumped behind her, leaving her armless and legless but not really upset about that.
And then I had one more idea for her: I decided no more Easter Sunday hats or even sweet little lampshades. What this girl needs is a jaunty bucket on her head and a Girl Scout songbook! With no arms and legs she has lots of free time. So she's resting against her legs and using her arms to prop up her songbook. I sketched her quickly on tea-stained paper in a different notebook and decided to keep the brighter background. She's sailing away from her tangled, confined life! She loves going to sea in a tub with a bailing bucket on her head! "In yonder gre-e-en val-leys where stream-le-ets me-e-an-der...."
Eva G. commented that this mannequin series might want to become a children's book. I like the idea very much of taking her further. Definitely a series of prints, maybe an artist's book, maybe a children's book-- anyone else have ideas?