Nelly's Paintings and Stories of Hope 

Nelly’s paintings are, in some instances, illustrations to stories she wrote. She would sew the written narratives, along with her paintings, into little booklets demonstrating Nelly’s vivid imagination and creativity. It seems understandably clear that Nelly’s young imagination was captured by stories of freedom, escape, adventure, and seeing the world. 

A Week in the Country Series

This story concerns a family of peasants who spend time milking cows, washing clothes in the river and occupied with other daily tasks. The brother and sister of the family take great pains to dress handsomely for church, and the family meal around the table is filled with lots of humor and offbeat conversations. The final image of a swamp has interesting touchpoints with reality.

Vacation in the Country Series

"Mrs. Irina Arsztainow was a wife of a private engineer. Every summer they traveled to their little vacation palace. In the winter it stood empty; in the summer, the Arsztainows would arrive... The Arsztainows were very, very rich. When they arrived, the first thing they did after they ate, they undressed and then they were greeted with a bath. Magola scrubbed the tub for Mrs. Arsztainow before her bath. The bathroom was tiled, large, and light. Magola cleaned up the bathroom as well."

The Doctor Series

In this story, Maryla is on bed rest with scarlet fever, and lays ill in her very colorful and plush bedroom. The doctor comes to visit her and gives her medicine, and she is then visited by some of her friends, who come to lighten her spirits. When she is well, Maryla returns to school and receives a vaccination to prevent her from contracting the disease again. The tale ends with Maryla and her mother conversing in a well-appointed drawing room of sorts, as she fills mother in on the events of her first day back at school.

Eva and Her Knitting Business Series

"Eva suddenly came up with an excellent idea; she bought wool and is making sweaters. When she showed her dad her sweaters, he gave her money for the third and fourth ones. She called her friends over and they bought her sweaters. 'A beautiful sweater!' Olga said as she stood before the mirror. Wiki walks around the room with her girlfriend Lili, while the girlfriends are trying on the sweaters. Now Eva is earning money."

Gentleman Farmer Series

"The children were happy that it was Saturday and they would finally ride with daddy into the woods. Then Old Michal climbed on the wagon, took the whip, and they started off. Siwek was the children’s favorite horse. They had to take the wagon a distance away. That’s why the children could not go alone. Now, finally the gentleman farmer climbed in, and the children finally got to ride with their daddy into the woods. Zazula leaned lightly against the father and the boys sat up. Siwek sped up and the children were happy. They kept riding further and further away……”

Growing Up Series

“Growing Up” was meant to follow a group of children from their first days in kindergarten to their later experiences at the gymnasium, which is the European equivalent of an American secondary school that prepares students for university. Nelly imagined scenes of the students standing at attention, but also getting to play dominos, one of her favorite games while in seclusion. 

Nelly's Other Paintings

“In the long months of hiding, my mother became my girlfriend and teacher. We played many domino games together." And with no access to the outside world, paintings became Nelly's birthday card to her mother and her mother's birthday gift to her daughter.