A potential wedding dress arrives in the mail, and just like my dream last week, it’s at least two sizes too big.

I take a break from how to alter silk and ruffles, overcome with a compelling urge to give another try at rendering our turtle. In case, you’re new to the Archives, a painted turtle wandered into our yard last week and she has become the latest member of the family.

Her name is Zelva (the Bohemian helped with the Czech name for ‘turtle’), and on her first night with us I was artistically inspired. Never meant to be a realistic interpretation, (more fantastical, really, as I couldn’t get the Grateful Dead’s “Terrapin Station” out of my head) I played with color and lines.

But Zelva has had more to show me since that first night. There’s not much to do with a turtle except sit with it in the sunshine and watch every deliberate movement. She’s a natural mystic in perpetual meditation. And these backyard lawn sessions have given me more time to contemplate her shell.

So while the white Neiman Marcus dress hangs in the bedroom saying I’m a size four not an eight, I’m at the kitchen table trying a second take on Zelva’s little turtle body. There’s a bit of fantasy in both of these shells I’m trying to size. The wedding dress will have some kind of veil and the turtle, well, her likeness gets a little gold marker bling.

It’s summertime with turtles, wedding dresses and late night art projects. And just some mysterious thread I’m following.

Zelva, take one
Zelva, take two

One thought on “Sizing the Shell

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