I tried to do several things here. I wanted to give the diploma and it's lettering a "parchment" paper/old style look. Diane used to tell her, "You can do it" and when she reached certain achievements, "You did it." Diane also had given her a turtle charm bracelet inscribed with the "you can do it" motto on its back so I wanted to include that.
The graduate also likes fairies. I thought this was so apropos, because it is a representative of magical possibility. Can't you imagine yourself clinging to an image like that as you begin a long journey from no high school diploma to graduating from college? It makes me want to cry for what she's achieved. Anyway, I thought I would give her a floating turtle to represent both a mythical and an earthbound symbol of determination, hard work, and magical reward.
Diane was also her encourager along the slow, plodding path of class building upon class. She was her "human" turtle so I gave her shirt the same green color of that sweet creature. Finally, our college's color is purple so the graduate is clad in it along with some purple thrown into the background. So there you have it!
Oil Pastel and Ink
9" x 12"