Day 8 - Periwinkle Tooth Fairy

What color was your Tooth Fairy?
Ellie lost a tooth 2 days ago. She didn't put her tooth under her pillow two nights ago because she fell asleep before bedtime (if that makes sense). Her friend came over to play yesterday and said "Ellie, what color was your tooth fairy?" Ellie explained she didn't leave her tooth for the fairy yet, then asked "What do you mean? No one has ever seen the tooth fairy. How would you know what color it was?" Her friend explained, "You put your tooth in a glass of water and the tooth fairy has to dive into the water to get it. The next morning, you know what color the tooth fairy was because the water turns that color." Simple explanation. The tooth fairy was periwinkle. Very exciting! And of course, the picture above is just my artist rendition of what the tooth fairy might possibly look like. The rough sketch spurred some discussion as to how big do you think the tooth fairy is? We agreed a little larger than a large dragonfly. And, very mysteriously, "how did she get the cash underneath the glass of water?" I think she carries a magic wand and could lift the glass with the wand.

keep smiling

Homework: Make a flower.
Ellie had an awesome homework assignment. Purely creative. Of course I was overly involved, but she was the art director. I shared several possible ideas that she shot down. She had the final say-so and cut almost all of the petals, did all the gluing, decided to use buttons, and insisted on including the blue ribbon.

The assignment: Work with someone at home. Fun work! Make a Flower. Size - 12 inches tall. Materials - cotton balls, noodles, cloth, newspaper, construction paper, ribbon, glitter, buttons, tin foil, paint, felt, markers, wrapping paper. Have Fun! Be creative! Make it 3-D!!! Make the flower flat on one side, so it can be hung on the bulletin board. Thanks.

You don't have to be in kindergarten to do this assignment. Try it!


'becca said...

i love the tooth fairy story! i never had a tooth fairy, and i never missed having one. but i love it.

how fun would it be to make that sunflower in the fall with bright yellow leaves for the petals?

Anonymous said...

Hi Patti,
This is a great story! The picture of the fairy and Ellie’s wonderful missing-tooth smile complement it beautifully. Your illustrations have an attractive (I think distinctively feminine) and free quality about them. I’m thinking of this one here and also the Illustrations Friday pieces – “Leap” and “Blanket”. I also recall the anti-war book you illustrated for your niece back when she was in high school. Though, if I recall correctly it was Katie’s impression that you weren’t satisfied with your work on that book. I imagine there was a deadline and you had to finish in a hurry. Nevertheless, your illustrations seem well thought out and never feel labored. I think that is part of what makes them so attractive.

You must have read over a gazillion books over the past ten years. I think you can imagine this story, your illustration, and that great smile as part of a book. It’s so good that if it were part of a book it would be the thing moms, dads and kids would recall years from now when they’re trying to think of something they enjoyed reading together before bed.

Regarding what I said about mandalas; I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive. Your drawings are sacred – I think that’s a better way of saying it than when I said, “I can feel the integrity in your work . . . you give me the sense that you’re on to something . . . [and] in a sense, your faith gives me faith”.

I don’t agree that all art is healing. Art is an expression of a point-of-view. In the same way that people say things that are hurtful and untrue, their art can express the same sort of lies. There’s been a fair amount of art that has been misogynistic and racist.

When I used the word “patience” when approaching a mandala, I wasn’t thinking of the complex symmetry, the overlay of color and form, or the sense of wonder one feels for the care and craftsmanship that it took to do this. Of course I can appreciate these pieces in the same way everyone else does.

I was thinking of your cousin joking about your art being all about circles and asking if you would be doing triangles or squares next. It was good natured fun, but there was a sense in which it was kind of like a guy drinking a beer with his friends and looking at one of Jackson Pollock’s masterpieces and saying, “Hell, even I can do that”; when he really couldn’t. I was also thinking of Carl Jung who said a mandala is “a representation of the unconscious self”. That’s something that, for me, requires a lot of patience.

Jung wasn’t an artist, or a shaman, or even a mom, he was a man of science. It’s his theories that I approach with skepticism. When I read a couple of his books, many years ago, there were some things that impressed me and others that turned me off. I have faith in psychology as a science, I don’t have a lot of faith in the type of psychology that Jung practiced where the patient tells the doctor his problems and the doctor in his wisdom and expertise determines what’s wrong. When it comes to this still infant science we’re all groping in the dark and our expertise is so limited. I am drawn more to the type of psychology practiced by Carl Rogers, who believed the patient knows more than the doctor what the problem is. If the patient feels listened to, empathy and that he’s not being judged by the doctor, then therapy will happen. Roger’s kept detailed notes of all his sessions with patients and from these notes he was able to formulate a list of things that seemed to work.

I’m sorry to digress. Skepticism and faith are essential components in my spirituality as well as my daily life. I use skepticism to build faith. I love your mandalas. They feel sacred. I don’t know that they are what Jung said they are. I was wondering if you could speak to that. It’s not easy to talk about this stuff; Jung wasn’t very good at it himself. Maybe someday while painting, an idea will strike you.

Happy Mother’s Day!