Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Wicked Witch's Story

Funny how things that you love as a child fade and reappear in new and interesting ways.  I grew up in Kansas in the days prior to instant internet access to anyone anywhere.  I had a vivid imagination and loved movies and books.  The movie "The Wizard of Oz" was my favorite and it was only on television once per year.  Yes, I am dating myself a bit but there you have it.  I wanted to be Dorothy and I was terrified of the witch and her flying monkey minions.  I would watch her scenes with the blanket pulled up under my nose, not wanting to miss anything but not wanting to see it either. Margaret Hamilton portrayed a wicked witch in her most classic form brilliantly in my opinion.  That cackle is burned into my memory.

A few weeks ago we went to see the new Oz movie which we all enjoyed a great deal.  One of the things I loved was how they made the Wicked Witch of the West a likable character.  That is something that the writers of the television show "Once Upon a Time" do so well with all of their stories- make you empathize with even the darkest character.  They give them a past, a heartbreak, a seemingly valid reason to behave as they do so you no longer see them in the same way.  When I set about making my own Wicked Witch of the West I decided to combine my original mental images of the 1939 version of the Wicked Witch and the new softer version to create this likeness.  I wanted her to still have some of her original beauty tinged with the beginnings of a broken and darkening heart.

 It was her tears in the new film that really struck me.  This witch that once petrified me to the core suddenly had a heart. My Wicked Witch had to include her tears.

 I like to include many trims and details on my art dolls so I beaded extra emerald beads into her bodice, hat and over-sized boots.  She has dual-toned stitching, , feathers, frayed fiber details and her gown is a mix of fine beading and tattered, flowing ribbons of fabric. 

I will continue to bring some of my favorite characters to life with new twists and what-ifs but for now I am enjoying the company of this new witch.  I have enjoyed my little trip down Memory Lane here in my northwest home noting that it is a little funny that I ended up moving from Kansas to Seattle, the Emerald City.  I assure you it was coincidence, my passion for Oz would not have dictated that kind of real life move, but it was amusing to think about.