This piece was inspired by the story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, specifically on the sister, Ophelia. She spirals down into madness after the death of her father and accidentally commits suicide when she decides to get into a stream and float down the stream with the wildflowers she has tossed in earlier. Her garments, soaked by the water, get heavy and pull her under. So, the scene seems peaceful, almost bucolic, but it foreshadows something tragic. I utilized the image of the teddy bear, an iconic symbol of childhood innocence, which floats down the waters of the subconscious, to give further meaning to the piece. Waiting in the shadows of the background is an alligator that is eyeing the teddy as it floats by, threatening the peacefulness of the scene. The pastoral woods in the background are behind the home where I grew up. I painted this image about a year after the death of my mom.