Annie, storyteller and artist

by Mary Beth

Recently, the 100-year-old pub in the next town over burnt down. It happened on Christmas Eve. It was a terrible tragedy, likely due to an issue with the ancient electrical circuitry in the building. The family passes the blackened ruins of the building often, and Annie has come up with her own theories for what caused the building to burn down. After thinking hard about the most likely explanations for the fire, she made some illustrations to further elucidate her theories.

1. Maybe there was a storm, and the inhabitants of the pub needed to light a fire to keep warm. And then they blew on the fire, and the pub caught fire and burned down.

You will note an orange and yellow fire in the foreground, presumably lit by the personage in the background – a young lady warming her hands by the fire. She has an orange hand and a green hand, just as she has an orange eyebrow and a green eyebrow, and her eyes are wide as if she were surprised by something. Like the Mona Lisa, we can only speculate on her emotions and what have caused them. Perhaps the fire is startling to her? Or perhaps the subject of her surprise, whatever it is, has caused her to neglect the fire and led to the disastrous conflagration. We may never know. You will also note she has long pink hair, not quite down to her toes. According to the artist, she never cuts her hair. Her mommy combs her hair, but she never cries during this presumably trying experience.

2. Perhaps someone inside the pub had a birthday cake with a candle on top, and she had to blow it out, and maybe when she blew it out the smoke went everywhere.

A birthday cake with blue candles. Compared to the typical oeuvre by this artist, more realistic and less abstract, with its pink and orange striped cake decorated by multicolored balls of chocolate. However the blue skeletal fingers holding the cake lead to inevitable and unanswerable questions – who is the blue person? What relationship does this person have to the birthday girl – and more importantly, to the fire?

3. Maybe they were cooking pancakes in the pub, and they forgot to turn off the pan and the house burned down.

A very large pink pancake with chocolate chips in it. There are four large chocolate chips and one baby chocolate chip to the left. The pancake is sizzling in a green pan, according to the artist. We are looking down into the pan.

4. Perhaps a car crashed into the restaurant, which caused it to burn down. It was a robot car without any people in it. We don’t see the crashed car when we pass the pub because it sank down into the water. Annie acknowledges that there is presently no water around the pub, and is not certain where the water went.

This is tending more towards abstract. In the foreground, you will note the pub, represented only by its pink windows; in the background, there are four green wheels. Originally it seemed that these wheels were going to belong to the car, but halfway through the illustration, the artist announced that she was actually creating an image of an airplane, with orange wing, rather than a car. There are some green and orange windows, floating in space, and some irregularly shaped objects that represent seats in the airplane. The artist did not choose to comment on why the identity of the vehicle changed so abruptly during the creation process. Was it a car, or was it an airplane that crashed into the pub? We will never know.

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