I don’t know if you had the same thing when you were at school, but once a week or so, we’d all be handed a card and we’d have to write a story about the picture on it. I remember it quite clearly because I’d look forward to that lesson and I always wanted to write an amazing story, but I was never inspired by the picture so I was always disappointed with what I wrote….
I wanted to please the teacher and do it properly, but I remember telling someone about how frustrating it was that I always got a boring picture, like a house or something, and they said to me, it’s the story that matters. Just write the story you want to write and stick a house in it somewhere. After that I enjoyed the lesson so much more and wrote better stories!
I would have been about six then. It’s funny that even by that age I knew that’s what I loved doing. I love writing stories now; and even making these vlogs are a kind of story-telling I enjoy putting together.
Anyway, I’ve gone on a massive tangent and all that was leading up to me saying that I wanted to try a bit of a narrative in this picture. Narrative paintings have definitely gone out of fashion. If you go to the National Gallery, it’s full of paintings that are a snapshot of a story, but you rarely see that sort of thing nowadays. Anyway, I like to think that if you showed this one to a six year-old, it would inspire a good fairytale! What is behind the door? Is she locking someone behind it? Did she just take the keys from someone to get through? Has she just come through the door or is she just about to go? Is she showing someone else that she has the keys and is about to let someone out of it?
That’s up to you!
Some of the making of this painting is in my latest YouTube video at 19:21, and if you’d like to watch the full process, please take a look at joining the lovely community at my Patreon page.