Der Garten

2 years, 11 months ago 9

I think I might have accidentally recreated one of my favourite Sulamith Wulfing illustrations on my shelf, with a doll, a fern, and a pickle castor.

The tableau evolved over a course of 6 weeks as my fern grew around the doll, gradually enshrining her in a cascade of delicate, green fronds. Then, one day I looked at it, and noticed something familiar about it, like I’d seen it somewhere before and only just remembered it. And then I had it. It was Der Garten, by Sulamith Wulfing, of course.

It made me wonder how many other images I observe and then subconsciously internalize, appropriate, incorporate, and recreate into my own work on daily basis? Little fragments of information gathered up from a myriad of sources, coalescing into one form…How much of it is my thought, and how much of it is a book I read when I was five, or an oil painting I saw when I was seven, or a film I watched when I was 10?… How much of our identity comes from external influences, and how much of it is intrinsic? How much of Enchanted Doll is made up of my first impressions collected over the years, and how much of it was me?

I don’t know.

9 Responses

  1. Jacquelyn says:

    life and art always seem to repeat each other. or replicate each other. its like, as an artist, one seems to create based on the aesthetics we see and remember, no matter what the source. its part of the creative process, which is always amazing, no matter where it comes from or how subconscious. being an artist is a trip in itself.

    but i like the original drawing, and the composition you created out of whatever subconscious part of your memories…both are very serene.

  2. tiff says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for the beautiful images.
    Plus, now I know what a pickle castor is…had to google it.
    Best Wishes.

  3. Merri says:

    It’s inevitable that we are all products of our own environments and influences. But artists especially, have unique ways of expressing themselves, even if it is through the prism of their experiences. Their intelligence and personality and creativity still shine through as intrinsically their own. I believe this is especially true of you Marina. You are a leader in your field and all us lesser mortals can do, is follow. I tried to make a version of your wonderful Zhenzhen headpiece, I am also now the proud owner of of an interior globe de mariee and now I fear I must go in search of a pickle castor (even though I didn’t know such a thing even existed until 5 minutes ago!) lol :)

  4. Anna says:

    I loved reading that… To be as talented you are, producing work that is both rich and delicate… To see your influences and let that aesthetic flow through your work is a gift. I obtained a book of Sulamith Wulfings work and after pouring over it I noticed the same aesthetic all at once in a photograph you took of your plants by the windows of a Sunday. That hazy misty softness, coupled with the fine detailed structures, the plants. At once vulnerable and strong. Your passion and capacity to express so much through the medium of Enchanted dolls, is awe inspiring. Your genius is yours. Sulamith Wulfings aesthetic may now be an intrinsic part of your poetry as an artist, however you r work is unique.
    Thank for sharing your thoughts and this beauty. X i also want a pickle castor….

  5. crystal Bernard says:

    My first thought was Eve of Adam and Eve. I remember seeing the picture in my Sunday school class where the leaves strategically covered the “naughty” parts. Not here though! She is just so amazing!

  6. Karla says:

    At first, when I saw Sulamith’s work and yours I didn’t make a connection, but I was captivated by both. There is something in her images and something in your work that deeply attaches to my soul, the serene and calm compositions, the delicate flow of the lines. Both inspire me. I wasn’t until I purchased your book at Comic-Con 2014 (I remember I felt so happy when I saw the book on Baby Tatto’s Stand, I thought It was sold out and I wasn’t going to get one) that I read that Sulamith was your inspiration and something similar happened to me with her work and your work, struggling in college with my identity of my work and then seeing yours and hers, it helped me so much in what I wanted to do with my illustrations. I think everyone is influenced by music, books, art, illustrations, architecture, experience, fashion and it’s represented in their work, and I think it’s really nice to tell the inspiration sources and don’t hide where they come from if it’s really obvious.

  7. Sharon Wensley says:

    At first I thought it was a new doll for sale but then realized it was just a doll you already had growing in the forest in your house. It is such a gorgeous doll but also the way the picture was taken is very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sonia Anne says:

    Such a beautiful and serene scene! I would love to have this in my work space, because it gives a sense of peace and calmness. I know that I am influenced by a part of a book that I have read or a movie that I have seen and definately all the beautiful things that go with your blog, Marina. I am sure, that most of us feel this way, as it is, only normal. Gathering thoughts and ideas from books, movies, etc, along with our own imagination and talents, is a good thing and fun to do. So nice and interesting to read your posting, this morning, Marina! Thank-you!

  9. Amal says:

    Did you ever re-discover that painting that you cut out from a magazine and turned into a paper doll when you were a child?

    It’s amazing how imagery can stick in our memories. I seem to forget most things – names, numbers, dates… but I can almost always rely on my memory when it comes to images!

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