"On being taught ballet by Peter Pan" I keep going back to another Peter Pan quote written by author J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. It is about death. I am still in bed this morning writing this...free floating thoughts... The title I received was not necessarily an easy one. We all know Peter Pan. I thought it would be simple to conjure up a simple, sweet, pretty in pink ballarina dancing and Peter Pan instructing her. Then I began reading quotes written by the author of "Peter Pan", J.M. Barry. Peter is much more complicated, like Barry himself. Barry made me look closer at the his words and phrases. I believe Barry in part is writing about his life, desires and truths using the character of Peter Pan. Others, now including myself, consider Barry's quotes on life and death profound and worthy and have survived the test of time. He wrote Peter Pan at the turn of the 20th Century and Peter Pan is still in many peoples hearts their hero and a reminder of our youth, playfulness, fantasy and possibilities. I have avoided one of Peter Pan's quote on death but it has been haunting and pulling at me so now I have considered using it in the painting. There have been Peter Pan plays, movies, and ballets. None of these mediums that I have researched touches on the quote: "To die will be an awfully big adventure" -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan I have been thinking and talking to others regarding what to paint. Use the black swan as his shadow came up. But why paint this? It is about death. Isn't that a morbid topic? Then I got to thinking...Death comes to us all and most of us have been touched by it's inevitable emotional reality in any form. Whether it is the lose of a parent, friend, child, spouse, relative or stranger we all have been impacted by death. We all react differently. We mourn, or at times we are relieved or rejoice in a person's death. We experience the word death and it's connotation differently from each other, and we may think of our own mortality and what death means to us and what of the here after. What does death mean to Peter Pan who never grows up? He says he thinks to die will be an awfully big adventure. Peter Pan, as we know, is developmentally stuck in his reality of fantasy play and ego centered justification or from a lack of conscious awareness for much of his behavior. He wants life to be an adventure at all costs, even in death. He has chosen to see his whole existence from birth to death and beyond as an adventure. At first I was repelled by even thinking of putting any form of death in a painting. But the more I thought about it, life IS an adventure. Death IS part of life. We are born and someday we will die. That is a fact. Most of us do not know when we will die. We only know for sure what we have for this moment. We do not know what tomorrow or even a second from now will bring. We also may think we are in total control..but we really are not. Peter Pan teaches us that life is to be lived at it's fullest and the inevitability of death to be accepted and for many of us embraced with hope and joy...as he puts it the adventure continues. So for today, and this may change, is my long winded mental explanation for why and what I want to incorporate into my painting. I want to use Peter Pan's quote "To die will be an awfully big adventure" into my painting titled "On Being Taught Ballet by Peter Pan". Peter Pan has a shadow that has a mind of its own at times. Sort of like an alter ego. I want Peter Pan's Shadow to be The Black Swan (I am not sure yet of the composition, drawing or palette) He is teaching/play rehearsing with his shadow (the act of dying ?) In his Peter Pan way of thinking, he seems to enjoy the dramatic (the black swan) and new adventure (death) and of course, pixie dust is what makes it all right. " All the world is made of faith, and trust and pixie dust". I believe Peter Pan is saying, "Live life to its fullest, play, create, do not be afraid of death as it will be another adventure. I believe Peter Pan is teaching us the dance of an adventurous life. All for today! Please give me your feedback and any ideas are welcome!
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Do include Tinker Bell!
Peter Pan: The Non-stick Children's favourite !
We are all inspired by something different when we do research or read a novel. Our past experiences come into play as well as our imagination.
I say go with your gut if you can envision how it will play out. If it doesn't work out as a painting, it’s only a piece of paper or canvas and you can try, try again... I can’t wait to see how everyone will interpret their challenge.