Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tess Avelland Benefit Auction -- Snow White Original Art Box by Me!

This post is a re-post from a benefit auction group I am leading for my friend, Tess Avelland. Tess owns an absolutely amazing store, Midnight Muse, that caters to wonder, imagination and beauty...not to mention a LOT of Pre-Raphaelite art. Late last year, she was diagnosed with Psuedomyxoma Peritonei, a very rare form of cancer. Her friends have been occasionally holding auctions to help her pay for her medical bills, and the expenses that arise from lost work time.

The story of Snow White is perhaps one of the most maligned fairy tales we know today. The original story, once full of metaphor, darkness and light, symbol, and meaning, was the first feature length cartoon by Disney, and the beginning of the entire Disney-fication of fairy tales. But the original story has so much more depth to it than Disney shared. These layers of meaning and symbol are discussed in the excellent article Snow, Glass, Apples by Terri Windling

When I considered a subject matter to interpret for my painted box auction for Tess, one of the first thing to spring to my mind was Snow White. There is the obvious reason...when I went with Tess to Faeriecon 2007, a very special memory, she dressed as the Evil Queen from Snow White for the Bad Faeries Ball, and she looked divine, tempting everyone with her glossy red apple. But also, Tess' long dark hair has often reminded me of Snow White's beauty.

The most fascinating part of the Snow White story to me is the moment when she chooses to eat the apple her step-mother offers her. Although she was innocent and naive, it is difficult to imagine that Snow White didn't know on some level that it was her step-mother in disguise, come for a third time to try to kill her. I first read this suggestion of Snow White's conscious decision years ago, in an essay evaluating Snow White's possible thoughts as she bit into the apple, and the image has never left me. This image is also brilliantly stated in Delia Sherman's poem, Snow White to the Prince:

Do you think I did not know her,
Ragged and gnarled and stooped like a wind-bent tree,
Her basket full of combs and pins and laces?
Of course I took her poisoned gifts. I wanted
To feel her hands combing out my hair,
To let her lace me up, to take an apple
From her hand, a smile from her lips,
As when I was a child.

It is this moment, when Snow White gazes at the apple, already bitten on its white cheek by the mother-figure she longs to please and love, that I wanted to paint on my box.
In the image on the box lid, Snow White gazes down at the apple loosely held in her lap, lips parted, and reaches one hand to her cheek, perhaps imagining the brush of death's fingertips that may soon enfold her if she chooses to eat the apple.

The box lid is framed in "black as ebony" acrylic paints, upon which is written in gold ink, "Red as Blood, White as Snow, Black as Ebony, The Fairest of Them All." The base of the box's exterior is painted a deep blood red. Opening the box reveals a beautiful blue interior, the color of Snow's gown on the lid. Resting on the inside of the box top is the abandoned apple, now bitten on its red cheek as well. Snow White must be awakened.

This box features 100% original, one-of-a-kind art by Grace (me!). The artwork has been rendered in acrylic and pencil, and the box has then been given a varnish clear coat to ensure durability and vibrant colors.

Bidding will start at $25. Auction ends at 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 7th. Please comment here with any questions, and with your bids!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Grace, you are a talented artist! I am so sad to hear about your wonderful friend. That is great that you are all helping her out. Best wishes, I wish I could bid but these days I am counting pennies. Great painting...blessings your way and hers. Anita

RobinfromCA said...

Thanks for the link to the article! Your box is just stunning and the cause so worthy. Send best wishes to your friend for me.

Please check out my blog where I've left an award for you!
Robin@Miscellaneous Thoughts

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hi Grace! Every time I look at the box you painted, I want to whip out my paint set...I love to paint and did a couple of walls for a hospital, a school and some childrens' rooms! How ever did you get the writing so perfect? Thanks for visiting and YES! That is remarkable that you had just discovered Ulla! Isn't she a gem? Her choices for displaying art is magnificent and she too has a great workshop. My sister-in-law Nancy went to her shop and just had the time of her life, creating and meeting Ulla. She truly is a fine lady and kind. I hope you enjoy her work more and more. Have a killer weekend full of love and joy! Anita

Grace said...

Thank you Anita and Robin!

And thank you Robin for the award!!