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Posted by on Jan 28, 2009 in Blog, Drawing | 67 comments

Flower Girl.

Flower Girl.

I recently finished this drawing that I’m excited to share 聽with you today .

Flower Girl (small)

Today, instead of explaining the meaning of this piece, I would like to ask you a question: Is there anything in particular, any idea that comes to mind when you look at it?

Flower Girl detail 1

I’m curious to know what you think. Thanks in advance for your comment.


  1. First thing I thought was that beauty can catch you!! 馃檪
    Congrats for your work Elsa!!

  2. First thing I thought was that beauty can catch you!!!
    Congrats for your work Elsa!!!

  3. This drawing for me means, being caught up in SOMETHING wonderful but not seeing/experiencing the beauty of it because you are thinking about your daily worries or all the other stuff that is going on.
    SOMETHING can be a vacation, parts of your life, just any experience.
    Like taking things for granted.
    Hope this makes any sense to you.

  4. my first thought- was flower girl is the title because that is how it can sometimes feel being in a wedding.
    upon further reflection i want to stare at it a bit more… the girl does not like where she is. she is trapped in something beautiful- yes, but it is just not for her.
    hmm…. that is what i see anyway, but i may be projecting.

  5. When I see something really beautiful – a view, a tree, a colour, I have this intense urge to consume it. I’m never sure why perhaps because by eating it, the beauty could be a part of me forever – more perfect than the memory itself.
    So that’s what the flower is trying to preserve the beauty…by eating it.

  6. Your work is truly beautiful.

  7. Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. [from Modern Fiction, 1925]
    I immediately thought of this line from Virginia Woolfe. I think just how transparent and our position within this envelope depends on us and the forces of nature within our environment. Your little flower girl has taken up an awkward position and thus although the beauty surrounds her she is unable to see all of it or interact with it .

  8. What a lovely drawing! It’s also a little bit disconcerting – it makes me wonder how she got there. Is she a part of the flower, and if not, what’s going on? Looks uncomfortable.

  9. For me this piece signifies a young girl being trapped by her own sexuality. The flower, which reminds me of the beauty of the female area, seems to be restricting her and not letting go. I think its a very strong symbol of how a girl can feel when trying to blossom in some area in her life. Her lack of confidence is holding her back. She should just look closer and how amazing this obstruction looks and create from it.

  10. to me it says:
    unexpectedly and completely captivated by the beauty of the rose/nature. surprised and stunned into silence but using the moment to quietly contemplate… on “pause” before resuming my life

  11. I can almost feel the compression of the petals around the girl. This piece I find disturbing – that the rose is so beautiful and the girl so fragile, and yet crushed and squeezed by the rose. So like society’s expectations of women, their beauty, their femininity, their lifestyles, crushed by the weight of the expectation of the need for the constancy of a pleasing aesthetic regardless of the needs of the woman in her inner life.
    …And relax!

  12. Elsita: I see this as a young girl caught in the power of is beautiful, but I am not sure if it is a happy picture..she seems a bit frightened.

  13. she it stuck and stunned!
    cool drawing though…..

  14. “Help, help! I’m stuck in this rose and I can’t get out!”

  15. viendo el dibujo me ha venido a la cabeza esas situaciones en mi vida en que sin saber c贸mo estoy atrapada en una situaci贸n en la que yo misma me he metido sin saber c贸mo salir, algo que supuestamente deb铆a ser bonito se convierte en una experiencia horrible quiz谩s por mis expectativas ante la vida, quiz谩s porque no he aprendido a煤n a disfrutar de la belleza y simplicidad de las cosas sin ponerle mucha cabeza.
    Por eso me imagino cuando veo este dibujo a m铆 misma empe帽ada en salir de una situaci贸n cuando lo que deber铆a estar haciendo es pararme a disfrutar del olor de la rosa.
    Gracias por esta reflexi贸n en forma de dibujo, gracias por esta pausa!

  16. It looks to me like the girl is in shock…or playing dead so the flower will let her go!!! Or maybe that’s because my brother is production designer at the moment on the new Day of the Triffids tv drama and it kinda reminds me of that!

  17. My first thought was WOW! Is Elsa so creative, what inspires her! I wish I could think/see things like this! Second thought is how did she ever come up with something like this! Third thought I need to start drawing maybe I can try to come up with things like this! Then I saw the girl was trapped in a rose! I don’t understand it I just know I admire the artist who came up with this drawing! I wish I knew you personally, maybe some of your talent could rub off onto me!

  18. I think she knew this was coming – she’s used to being trapped by beauty.

  19. When I look at your drawing I see a young woman who feels bound in some way or who is going through a rite of passage. She’s stuck in the flower and the flower bud is tight and has not blossomed. Even her clothes are tight. What a wonderful drawing Elsa!

  20. It could be that she’s trapped by the rose bud. Then again it could also be that she was trapped in the soil and she’s being saved (unknowingly it seems) by the rosebud as it grew? Interesting.
    Either way the girl doesn’t seem too happy. But if she only were to wake up and realize that she’s not really trapped. She’s so narrow that she could just slip out the rose head first. If only she were to look around and understand that. 馃檪

  21. What’s interesting to me in this image (besides just your usually lovely strangeness) is that the girl appears stuck in the flower, but she doesn’t seem distressed or unhappy about it. There’s a fairly serene look on her face. She’s not “blooming” from the flower, which would be a cliche, I’d say, and not at all odd enough for Elsita. 馃檪 Instead, she’s enmeshed in its meatiest part, sideways!–and there’s no appearance of destruction, meaning she hasn’t been shot through the flower or anything like that. She’s just there, almost as if she always has been, but not quite. For me, the piece suggests a kind of calm or resignation with a strange, confining situation. I’d imagine she woke up and found herself here. She doesn’t know how she got here, and she’s just waiting to see what will become of it. 馃檪

  22. What I see: a girl who is captive by a beautiful rose.
    My interpretation: I see that this girl is not allowed to flower in terms of her own gifts and talents. She is being held in place, captive of her own beauty. She wishes that she could be recognized for more than what appears on the surface of her body.

  23. at first: “at least she got stuck on a flower, I got somewhere else hard…”
    after: “I also need a flower in my head”
    whatever that might mean… but I think I know…
    …again… so many beautiful things. so inspiring. obrigada.
    (sorry my bad English)

  24. I see the growth process in action. The rose is still a bud, waiting to blossom. The girl is holding the bloom from happening. Also, the girl’s feathered dress wants her to fly but the rose keeps its gentle hold. They both are not ready for some reason… but soon….

  25. The flower saw her first and picked her before she could pick the flower. As all Flowers know little girls can not pass up a flower to pick even before it has fully bloomed. This flower had a thought and acted on it. as most flowers just get picked on and taken away from there gardens. I wounder what the flower will do with this little girl. HA HA maybe put her in a vase of water. What if. would a flower see you pretty enough to pick.

  26. even the loveliest of things (like a rose) can crush you or bind your hands

  27. Para mi, simboliza todas esas cosas que se supone que te tienen que gustar, ya sea por cultura, tradici贸n, etc…y en realidad te hacen sentir inc贸moda, atrapada, insegura, paralizada. Me encantan las flores, para olerlas, mirarlas…para respetarlas. Tambi茅n me gustar铆a que “ellas” me respertasen a mi.
    Gracias por tu blog!
    Un beso,

  28. First thought was humorous: “oops, I shouldn’t have crawled in here and now I’m trapped”
    Second thought: She’s trapped by societal convections
    Third thought: Ok, i didn’t have one but I like to do things in 3’s so I’ll just say I really love stopping by to see what new creative things you have done!

  29. I think of the girl as having trouble in her life (hence the expression) so either her happiness was taken away (nipped in the bud) or she is blossoming after unhappiness.

  30. Dionaea:)
    the Venus Flytrap, – a carnivorous plant that catches and digests insects.
    this one catching little girls:)

  31. Bird to girl or girl to bird. Either way she does seem bird-like. I see a transformation going on. This is what happens to little birds that don’t look where they are flying. They bump into flowers and get trapped. When little birds stay immobile for too long, stop flying, they revert back to their human form. She does not llok too happy about this. This bird would rather fly.

  32. Well, before I influence my answer by reading everyone else’s, I will say this: The girl looks young; on the cusp of becoming a woman. The flower is still in bud, not yet blossoming. When I was at that age it was very uncomfortable; I needed a lot of support, which this girl also appears to need. When I was this age, I was beautiful, but I was also not able to see my beauty because I felt trapped and conflicted and that expectations of me were now somehow different. The freedom of childhood was now not as available… It seemed that to run free with my hair a mess and my feet bare was no longer acceptable. I had to dress a certain way and I had to worry about what boys and men might think of me.

  33. Sweet Elsita, I see the girl in a very unnatural position. And I worry that she cannot use her arms. I would want to get out, but she does not seem to mind.

  34. beautifuul 馃檪
    somehow the drawing reminded me of a pierced heart, the girl being the arrow piercing the heart which is represented by the flower…sometimes we can pierce our own hearts when we get too caught up in something. the thought of a carnivorous flower also crossed through my mind, but somehow the flower doesn’t seem to be holding her against her will (aggressively). rather, the girl seems to be making a difficult, perhaps painful voyage through her own self.

  35. She looks to be stuck in all her prettiness. The rose being a symbol of all things pretty and pretentious.
    It looks to me as if the girl is a willing captor to the superficialness of having to appear “rosey”. And she feels obliged to convey the false fact that all is right in her world. When in fact, she is a hostage to all the pettiness and pretending she must put up with in order to fit into this world.
    The look on her face says that she is thinking about something other than her “being stuck”. Aside from her two flailing hands she seems indifferent to her situation. Are her hands a give-a-way to her desire to be free?
    The Rose appears stronger than she and it supports her and even consumes her.
    The feeling I get is that she is just going along with what ever the outside world expects of her even though inside she is begging to be free of it all.
    Wow…that’s kind of deep huh? I wrote this all before even reading other comments because I didn’t want to be influenced.
    Now I can read what others thought!
    Cheers and Peace…

  36. Hola! My first thought is that the girl looks uncomfortably trapped. xo

  37. The first thing that springs to mind (no pun intended) is that the things that hold you back in life can seem extremely appealing. So appealing, in fact, that sometimes you don’t even notice that they’re actually keeping you from moving foward, and are nothing more than a gilded cage.

  38. To me, it looks like this girl is waiting for the petals to unfold, so that she herself has a chance to “bloom”. The petals could represent repression- as a girl she is expected to be seen and not heard. She is restricted and repressed by others expectations of her. If they would only let her open up and be herself,(like a flower opening up to the sun) they would see how truly beautiful she is.
    But I feel she knows that flower will release her at some stage, perhaps when she is a little older and stronger. When she is truly ready.

  39. A few things I noticed…The flower has been cut…and is not in water…and not likely to be beautiful for much longer. There are no thorns on the stem…? a natural defense. It will not bloom because of the hole through it….Ruined, like roses in my garden that worms have bored into…As creepy as this sounds….the poor girl may be bait for something….luring who knows what. She most certainly didn’t choose this position…Someone really should give the poor child a hand. Thumbelina? Elsa….is there a part two to this story?

  40. Elsa, I related to the girl in the rose as being trapped by the constant ignoring of her own instincts and therefore not being able to bloom the way she was meant to. Her blossoming thwarted by the unnatural choices that she has made, therefore stunting her growth potential. Will she find her way out of the trap she has created by freeing herself of the tight, constricting environment she has come to be familiar with but not comfortable with? She fights hopelessness, she wants to be free.

  41. I thought of inner beauty! Jamie V

  42. Consumed by love or nature or life, held there, no longer feeling.

  43. Dear friends, you are amazing, I am so in love with your interpretations of The Flower Girl drawing! Each comment is unique and great! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your ideas in this post!!!!
    Now, I would like to tell you that this drawing was born after a deep conversation that I had with my Mom before she headed back to Florida. We sat around the kitchen table and then we started talking about so many things: about what is like to get old, about how tricky the whole idea of beauty is for women, about how much time we waste worrying about the wrong things, about how we get trapped into small traps that we create ourselves without even knowing it…
    We talked and talked and then I felt that I wanted to draw something, I didn’t have any specific idea, I just started drawing and a flower came out but it felt so poor, I needed to add something else and then the little girl came out in the most unexpected position/situation.
    I enjoy it when something unexpected comes out in my work. My Mom asked about the meaning of the drawing and I said that I didn’t know exactly. And that’s true, I normally let my hand create something and later on I make an appointment with my mind to see the possible explanations.
    I look at the piece and try to read between lines. But as always, the most interesting explanations never come from myself but from other people. For example Natalie; when she saw the Flower Girl drawing she said: hey! that’s sooo funny!!!! That girl was messing up with the flower and now the flower is eating her! run for your life little girl!!!!
    And that’s the best part of art, the freedom that it gives us to express ourselves in infinite ways as the creator of the piece or as the viewer. Behind what we create or see there is never an absolute truth or explanation, anything visual is free to change as we change. I am sure that in 20 years I will see a lot of new things in this Flower Girl drawing that I don’t see now.
    Art isn’t really alive, think about that, we are talking about objects, what is really alive is us and all the ideas coming out from our mind when we interact with that object.
    Lots of Love!
    Elsita 馃檪

  44. my first thought was “wow, i wonder what that rose tasted like.” thinking the girl mustve tasted it when she went thru. and having tasted rose petals myself the taste came to mind. my mouth watered. now i cant get it out of my mind – flying thru a rose and tasting it 馃檪

  45. such a beautiful piece of art as always! what i see when i see this is a girl caught in something that everyone else sees as beautiful – the flower – but it is not beautiful to her, it makes her feel trapped.

  46. I think she must be trapped by beauty. Unable to accept or flee from her own state.

  47. What does this beautiful drawing mean to you, Elsita?

  48. Hola Elsita
    pues mi interpretaci贸n personal es la de un ser atrapado en el momento de un transcurso, como un nacimiento, o un hecho en concreto.
    No se porque me ha venido a la mente la imagen de Frida cuando tubo el accidente tan traum谩tico que marc贸 su vida, algo le atraviesa el vientre.
    Estoy deseando conocer tu explicaci贸n.
    un beso enorme

  49. There are moments/things in our life that at 1st sight are wonderfull, everything we think we need, and suddenly we get caught and they just turn out to be the opposite of what we truly believed they were. PS: The drawing is lovely

  50. I haven’t read many of the comments, so maybe somebody has said this already. It looks to me like the flower grabbed the girl in its “mouth”.
    It appears to be standing tall and is very proud of itself. However, the flower is only playing and is harmless. He/she’s done this a million times before.
    The girl knows this, so is not struggling. She knows the flower will put her down in a moment. Until he/she puts the girl down, she is bored…and waiting…ho hum. Ok flower. The game is over. Put me down, ok?
    Made me chuckle.

  51. What I notice about the pic is that : this is one seriously strong flower…just because they (flowers) are breathtaking, this does not necessarily mean that they are weak.
    I also thought how cool: instead of picking the flower, the flower picked the girl!!! 馃槈
    I love it!
    Lucia in San Francisco

  52. I see a little girl is growing together with the flower, waiting to blossom up and to show all of her colour, beauty and spirit and than do experience on her own. The flower gives to the girl and the girl gives to the flower.

  53. My very first thought was that’s how I feel. That I’m surrounded by beautiful ideas but I won’t let it just go and let it blossom as it should. If I did that it would mean “the flower” or my dreams will open up, and I’ll fall from my comfort and have to walk.

  54. Elsita, what an interesting exercise! What I see in this drawing is someone who is trapped by traditional and preconcieved ideas of what defines “beauty”. Beauty is not only present in flowers and sunsets but also in dead leaves lying in the gutter and in the lined and wrinkled face of an elder.
    Thanks for this opportunity to reflect and wonder!

  55. beautiful
    The rose bud is often used to symbolize the heart. When I looked at the piece it seemed like something was being birthed by the artist…in that point of transition…perhaps a little stuck but coming just the same.

  56. The girl is enveloped in the love and giving of another person. She looks a little perplexed?

  57. I’d call it, Perplexed in the Desire.

  58. I’d call it, Perplexed in the Desire.

  59. The first thing I thought of was of my mother, and how she was molested by her father as a child and always felt that she had to be “perfect.”

  60. she reminds me immediately, not the way she’s drawn but the overwhelming feeling of the drawing, of the danger in the remarkable illustrations by Arthur Szyk in a book of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales i had as a child – still have, in fact. There was one that so disturbed me that i would turn quickly and not look at the page when i came to it. the others also had a dangerous/mysterious quality – seductive to children – they are extraordinary.
    p.s. i just wandered around the net and found the very illustration here:
    god how i love the internet…

  61. She is patiently waiting to be freed, which she will be once this restrictive bud matures into a forgiving bloom.

  62. hello this drawing remnded me of the bound man in the tarot deck – who appears to be imprisoned and in an uncomfortable position but only needs to exhort himself to easily break free – in other words to put yourself in an awkward position, without danger, in order to achieve something. the rose will open, bloom, the petals will fall but the girl will go on with the strength and beauty of the rose to sustain her – she will be more unique because of her intimate connection – and more alluring as well, a deep insight into our need to be immersed in order to absorb knowledge. lovely. thank you

  63. a girl trapped by her own beauty…
    that was the first thing to come to my mind

  64. Everyone’s comments are so thoughtful! My first thought was of a new breed of Venus Flytrap Rose which attempted to eat the girl as she smelled it. Oh, and growth and love and sex and beauty, too! Whatever it means, it is just beautiful.

  65. I think the flower looks like a pregnant belly. The girl is kind of bemused at the whole process of growth that has taken over her body–i’ts confined her a bit and carried her along and made her hair grow very long to boot! It reminds me of what my sister told me while she was pregnant, that she was just waiting for her life to begin again after she had the baby (she gave her baby up for adoption).

  66. You asked if anything particular comes to mind form this drawing. When I was around 8 years old, we had a swing set in my back yard with two swings side-by-side. I used to lie with my feet in one and my arms in the other and swing sideways, dangling like the girl in your drawing.

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