In response to the enthusiasm around Amelia (to the right here), I have decided to do a series of paintings portraying young girls in moments of unmitigated passion, be it moments of inspiration, imagination, or simple unfiltered joy.
The newest of this is The Red Wheelbarrow (left), upon which so much depends (thank you, William Carlos Williams). In this case, the wheelbarrow offers unmitigated hilarity for one and delicious terror for the other.
She draws back as she is pulled forward by forces beyond her control, yet a smile toys with her scream. The first girl is all in and hence flung out in all directions.
In these moments is a beautiful simplicity. Yes, Amelia does hold her future in her pumped up fist, but she is also just a girl feeling the FUCK YEAH of flying with her own kit right here right now. Yes, the red wheelbarrow does in some ways represent the complex and ambivalent experience of the forces of life, but it is also simply a little red wheelbarrow carrying two girls down a hill at a HELL YES speed.
This image is to me an embodiment of joy. Its expression especially in the first girl’s body and face make me smile every time I see it. I see it too in the other girl’s terrified smile. It reminds me to squeeze the day (haha), to make orange juice or lemonade of whatever I’ve got and enjoy the hell out of it. At least once in a while.