This morning I finally pulled out my paints and had a go at painting my dummy head. I'd covered it with white gesso, and was going to leave that for the skin colour, but she looked like a Japanese Geisha girl - not the effect I was after. Instead I mixed up a fairly greyish skin colour and was happy with that. I think next time I'll paint her top eyelashes differently, more like the lower ones - or I'll actually glue on clay eyelashes so that they are three dimensional. I'm pretty happy with how she's turned out. She has the right gothic effect, and the paint really helps along my somewhat amateur sculpting.
Yesterday morning I met with Kelly Parry for our brainstorming session. It was fantastic - she has such a great process and I love her ideas. Here's me thinking in simple terms because I'm stuck on the "puppet show" part of things, whereas she was urging me to make up backgrounds for each of the characters so we know who they are, what motivates them and why. And of course they started to become real, and started to inform the plot. So far the gist of the story goes like this:
Young girl lives with her mother and grandfather. She is gifted with the ability to see peoples' dreams, and she sees her mother's longing for more babies. Her father died when she was a baby, and her mother still grieves, wishing she could change the course of her life, and have the many children with him that she planned. The young girl urges her grandfather to use his skills in magic to cast a spell that will create a baby. He won't. She creeps back and works the spell herself, producing a large egg. When her grandfather discovers what she's done, he's horrified, as she has made a mistake in the ingredients for the spell. What is inside the egg? When it hatches, it is a very strange looking baby boy. They look up his strange characteristics and discover that he will never grow up, and that like the grandfather, he has magical abilities. The grandfather sets about teaching him the basics in magic, but he won't teach the young girl as she lacks the gift. The baby is able to help the mother set aside her grief and discover joy. The girl becomes bitter and jealous - he has all that she wanted - the magic education, the playful side of her mother. She sets out to "feed him" to the dark forces that killed her father, but at the last minute she changes her mind and brings him back. For the first time she plays with him, experiences the joy he brings for herself, and understands that while she will never be all that she wants to be, she can benefit from what he has to offer. She uses her gift to search for her own dreams, to find who she can be, and discovers that she is, in many ways, like her father.
That's a rather simplified version of the plot, there are other threads and layers to the story, but that's the general idea. It's kind of complex but I think I'm happy with that.