“The Princess and the Pea”, from “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”

“The Princess and the Pea”

Do you know the feeling when your brain is just completely occupied with something for months on end? Like when you are moving and you need boxes, and then for months after you have already moved, you still find yourself looking for boxes or finding them everywhere? That’s how I have been with this project. I still find myself thinking of new illustrations I want to do.

I drive past this lumberyard all the time. And I am reasonably certain that had I not had fairy tales on my brain so completely for so long, it never would have occurred to me to use this setting in the way that I did. I am not sure what it says about me, that I look at at piles of lumber and see mattresses instead. I guess that’s a story for another day!

Well, once I had that flash of an idea, that I wanted to use the lumberyard for the Princess and the Pea, I knew I needed a special model. And a special Mom for that model, who would be cool with this setting. So I turned to a very, very dear friend of mine and asked if she and her beautiful daughter would be up for some, um, interesting photography. Katherine has always been a beautiful child, and I have photographed her before. In fact, you can see her on the opening flash gallery of my website. She’s the one with the incredible blue eyes.

We went to the lumberyard on a Sunday (I had received permission from the owner) and found this lovely stack of lumber under a shed, perfect to minimize the bright sunlight that day. In reality, Katherine was not as high up as she looks here, although I didn’t change the height in post – must have been a perspective thing. And the lumber stack was very sturdy and safe – it was banded together (I did lots of post-processing on this image). If you look very closely (hard to see with this small image), you can see the little bird’s nest in the lumber.  That’s the Pea!

Questions from the art show: Was the ladder really there? And where did you find a lumberyard with chandeliers?  :)

girl lying on stack of lumber, Jackson TN

Quote from "Princess and the Pea" by Hans Christian Andersen

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Kim Cotter

Very fitting for your collection, Carrie. I’ve always loved the story, “The Princess & the Pea.” Another one of my favorites is Aesop’s Fable, “The Sun & the Wind.” I can’t wait to see your collection in person. Congratulations on such a wonderful endeavor!!

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