IF: Mysterious – “The Puppet Player”

I made an entire series of photos of the process of this painting, but unfortunately my computer’s still not working properly so, after the sketches I only have the final result for you…

The Puppet Player

This painting has a direct relationship with “Strings Attached” that I painted last week. Sometimes you feel as if life has taken over and as if you’ve nothing to say, nothing to choose. And on other days you have the world at your feet and you discover you have wings and even know how to fly.

Painting this one was kind of a struggle. You see, all the paintings I make are spinoffs of my journal pages. “Strings Attached” represented the feeling that my whole life seemed in the hands of other people with little space left for me to head my own way. And then, one evening unexpected, I had an encounter with a fascinating and strong woman who told me after many hardships her outlook on life was still optimistic. In spite of rough times, she was not frantic about losing control over her life. She simply said: “I wake up every morning and see what the day brings. I know that however rough things are, a day will come when I look back and see that I’ve made my way out again!” Wow, that confidence, to know you can face anything life has in store for you suddenly seemed so much more “in control” than my frantic panic about wanting to keep control over everything in my life which isn’t possible anyway. So there it was… The idea of painting the puppet player was born. This time I would paint a figure who held the strings…

However, I paint from the heart. When I paint what I feel, the painting is there within hours. From scratch to paint. “The Puppet Player” took much, much more time because I had to think this one through more. I spent a few days sketching and another few days painting. I painted undertones and base colours, changed colours, and back again… I struggled to paint an idea that I had in mind when deep down in my heart feelings that told me otherwise were pulling my sleeves. And then some good news came and I felt a little more at ease. And suddenly I noticed that in this painting the puppet player looks down somewhat surprised. Is she really in control of these puppets? And then the painting was suddenly very much related to what I was feeling. Why on earth had I been so frantic? Things pretty much came together and I had been worried sick for nothing. I think there’s a very important lesson. That indeed you can feel desperate at times and stressed out. But that if you take life one day at a time, one morning you will wake up to a life that feels really okay again! It was so inspiring to actually see someone capable of realising this when things were not looking up so much. Real strength doesn’t lie in trying to keep everything under control, but in letting go of control, knowing you can face whatever finds your way.

This painting was painted with watercolour pencil, gouache and watercolour. Etsy print soon available!