Princess and the Pea - A Collaboration with my Toddler

May 19, 2016

A Collaboration with my Toddler

"Princess and the Pea"

by Eve & Ruth Oosterman

This is by far one of my most favorite collaborations with Eve and not just because it is fairy tale related. Collaborating with anyone, especially a child, can be incredibly difficult when it comes to maintaining the perfect balance of mutual input. Eve and I had been talking about the fairy tale, "Princess and the Pea" earlier in the day and by the time we got to painting she had decided to paint the rainbow bed. 

For those not familiar with the story I'll do my best to sum it up. Stereotypical prince is looking for a princess and can't seem to find one that is perfect for him so his mother decides to step in, still no luck. Then one miserable, stormy night a knock is heard on the castle door. When the mother answers it she finds a beautiful young woman, drenched from head to toe, claiming that she is a princess and in need of a warm bed. The mother not believing she is a princess decides to test her, considering the prince is now quite interested in the new guest. The most logical thing to apparently do is place a single pea under a stack of mattresses so high that it reaches the ceiling. A true princess would be able to recognize the slightest discomfort and they would have their answer on if she was telling the truth. The next morning the mother asks the princess how her sleep was and the princess replies that it was absolutely terrible due to a lump in the bed. Yadda yadda yadda prince and princess fall in love and a royal wedding is had. (My story telling might be a bit off but I think you get the jist of it)

So Eve created her watercolor rainbow bed and I sat staring at it, truly stumped. I could make out the bed but had no idea how I could incorporate that particular story with what she had painted. So I carefully stored the piece and left it... for a few months. I would come back to it and every time Eve saw me staring at it she would ask what I was going to add and I could never give an answer. Finally, after staring for what felt like forever, I could see it. I could see a blue haired girl throwing a pillow as she carefully balanced on a ladder. I could see the headboard Eve had drawn in pencil and so I began. It wasn't until weeks later when I started working on the video footage that the blue and purple paint strokes jumped out at me with great potential for another character, meaning I went back into creative mode.

If every one of our pieces could end up with this sort of collaborative balance then I would be over the moon. I was able to maintain all of Eve's paint strokes, involve the story that motivated this art piece and collaborate in a way that allows both of our creativity to shine.

As a queen of procrastinating I am happy to have finally sewn the time lapse footage together. I hope you enjoy watching our process and make sure to stay tuned for more Collaborations with my Toddler!

You Might Also Like