A red coat and pigtails

When I was a little girl around four years old, I had a beautiful red coat. There are a few photographs of me in the red coat in family albums. My hair in pigtails with red ribbons and wearing a black and white smock under the coat, little white socks and black shoes. I think this would have been around 1970. I can’t really remember wearing the red coat, but I can remember being a happy confident little girl. As I grew older, I lost that confidence for a long time and became a dreamy, rather solitary child, not lonely, just happy with my company, quite timid and shy. Now, I still enjoy my company and am never bored, but am a much more social creature. My confidence in the last few years has returned but I am still very much a day dreamer. This painting is nostalgic, looking back towards that little girl I was in the red coat, when life was so simple.

little girl in a red coat reduced quality for etsy

“In my red coat – 1”

51 thoughts on “A red coat and pigtails

  1. I love your story behind the little girl. It’s such a pretty painting, and I love that she’s painted on a page called ‘learning to swim’. It’s nice to know there are other daydreamers out there too!

  2. Jen that is so very lovely . I feel it could almost be me .
    What a really nice open post alongside your dear little painting . What smart little girl you must have been … reminding me of Milly Molly Mandy somehow …
    Here’s to all us Day Dreamers, I’m sure we enjoy life so much more😉 X

  3. isn’t it funny how one can have all the confidence in the world, and then… i have enduring memories of skipping down the road where we lived (in the eastern suburbs of melbourne), singing at the top of my voice. my next memories are of being painfully shy, not able to say boo to a goose. i wonder what happens? confidence then has to be built back, little by little…
    a lovely story🙂

    • I didn’t know you lived in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, that’s where I am! It’s sad to see that early confidence fade away, but it’s lovely to see it being built back up.

  4. I love this post and the painting that so aptly portrays you as a little girl. We might actually be around the same age…I was 5 years old in 1970. I don’t think I had a red coat, but definitely pig tails. May your confidence and creativity continue to grow!

  5. Jen,
    Your red coat was made by your aunt Maureen cut down from my red coat. I wore it in defiance to your grandmother’s funeral when black was customary to show just how much I loved her. I couldn’t bear to throw it away and it seems its protective powers and memories have continued.
    Love MUM

    • I feel very emotional after reading this Mum, I’ve never heard this story before. I feel like we are two people who life has delivered some hard knocks to, but we have come out stronger in the end. Your inner strength is an inspiration to me. Love always, Jen xxxx

  6. Everything about it is wonderful. It is true art because the perspective would alter depending upon a persons life experience and yet it still retains the core of what you are expressing. I love it and to me I see a girl who has a strong sense of self in a world that doesn’t encourage this. Or perhaps I am just seeing through my own filters. Uncrushable I am.🙂

  7. Jen,
    Proof that I am loosing it! I wore the coat to your greatgrandmothers funeral, not your grandmothers. Her name was Alice Maude O’Reilly and I loved her.
    Mum

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