The Woodcutter, needle punchI got this idea from a photo of someone walking through the woods. I roughly sketched it out as a guide for a punch needle piece. As I started to work with the punch needle, it made me think of Hansel and Gretel, and I put in two tiny figures into the landscape. But the figures did not work out, no matter what I did. (I was getting hung up on their shadows. It seemed to me that the shadows were a very important part of the piece.)

Finally I admitted defeat and took out the second figure, and it was then that I realized that the piece was not about Hansel and Gretel, the two little children that were lost in the scary forest. No, it was about the woodcutter — the person who had led them into the forest and then abandoned them (as woodcutters do) to leave them to die.The Woodcutter, sketch

According to the story, the woodcutter protested at the plan to abandon the children, but he did the deed anyway. To my mind, the woodcutter has a lot to answer for. After all, everybody knows that the wicked witch is evil and that she is out to get you. No one warns you about the woodcutter, who puts the children “in harm’s way.”

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