Something Old, Something New by Paula Vaughan

'Something Old, Something New' by Paula Vaughan

'Something Old, Something New' by Paula Vaughan

Paula Vaughan is an American artist whose works call to mind the gentility of an era which has long since passed.  Many of her paintings have been translated into needlework patterns.

As we peer into this quaint bedroom, we chance upon a scene dominated by a Victorian wedding gown and veil.  In attendance is a large wardrobe in the background with a quilt draped over its door.  Sharing centre stage with the gown is a steamer trunk on the left and a bouquet of roses on the right.  The setting is steeped in romance and nostalgia.  You can easily imagine the young bride entering her room, for what may be the last time, to prepare for the most important day of her young life.  You can almost feel her joy and nerves vying for her undivided attention.  Being a closet romantic, it was inevitable that I would fall for this.  It’s the small details that make this so engaging.

Examine this portrait and you will see the gown reflected in the wardrobe’s mirror like a soft echo.  Looking to the left there is a small sampler on the wall.  Although you can’t read it, anyone who’s had experience stitching samplers can see its design is typical for the time.

The steamer trunk has small pictures in the inside lid and holds a child’s tea set.  Despite the tea set’s diminutive size, Ms. Vaughan does not stint on the detailing here.  Look closely and you will see a small rose on the teapot.  This tea set is more than likely a remnant of her childhood.  (Something old, perhaps?)  It may serve as a reminder that she is now about to leave her girlhood behind and become a young adult.

On the floor are a few stray leaves, presumably from the bride’s fresh bouquet.  (Something new?)

At the neck of the bride’s dress there is a small cameo.  It may have belonged to her mother or grandmother and has now been given to her as her ‘something borrowed’ for her wedding day.

But where is her ‘something blue’?  Traditionally the colour blue symbolized faithfulness, purity and loyalty.  Often a blue garter was worn.  If that is the case here, then we’ll not see it now or later as the blushing bride will be too modest to show us.  We’ll just take it on faith that she’s got everything she needs to embark on her new married life.

It is this kind of care and attention to detail in ‘Something Old, Something New’ that drew me to it and convinced me to stitch this as well as other Paula Vaughan creations.

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