Wednesday, July 25, 2007

American Women Authors, Part 2

Before I discovered Gone With the Wind, I was all about Little Women. Again with the big poofy dresses, right?

I reckon it was another inherited taste I have via my mom and grandmother. My grandmother, Gammon, told me how she and her sisters all would pretend to be the March sisters when they were little. Gammon was the youngest, so she was Amy, which kind of disappointed me because I always felt Amy was a bit bratty. Beth was my favorite. Beth liked kittens and played the piano, like me (at the time). My mother had a Beth Madame Alexander doll she played with so much, the doll's painted on eyebrows wore off. I inherited my mom's copy of the book and her Beth doll when I was a little girl, and man, let me tell you, between Gone With the Wind and Little Women fueling my imagination, I played my little heart out with all my various dolls.

As a sort of aside, let me just say I had a crapload of dolls. A crapload! And I played with them all the time. Mostly they were variously heighted and costumed Madame Alexander dolls. Unfortunately, most people associate these dolls with collectors, and especially with the tacky movie and holiday themed little 8" ones that have gotten out of control since Madame Alexander's death. But mine weren't tacky -- they were classic little girl dolls. My mom hated Barbie, and so I was given this bit pricier but MUCH better alternative for playing with. And such drama for the poor dolls, too. Everyone was always sick and dying from either pneumonia or scarlet fever. I was a morbid but very imaginative and happy little girl. Much thanks to all the Civil War dramas for that influence. ; )

Anyway, kudos Louisa May Alcott! Generations of girls have grown up with the March girls, and are better for it. Pin It


Neva Austrew said...

I love this series you're doing! You know, you're absolutely right about your pallette maturing since graduating! I can see that in these pieces. You're not afraid of the muted softer colors.

Neva Austrew said...

Oh, and by the way, Little Women is one of my favorite books of all time. That and The Secret Garden!

Although, I didn't have too many fancy dolls, I did have a few porcelain dolls that saw quite a bit of action. But I was a huge Barbie Doll fan too, so they would sometimes all get mixed together.

alicia said...

I loved The Secret Garden too, but not as much as Little Women. ; )

Thanks for the compliments on the palette shift, although the next piece of artwork (that I'll be posting in a few minutes) is pretty vibrant in color, but then it's also pretty limited so far as the number of colors in it (or rather, used in it). Maybe limited palettes are the key.

Kennon said...

I love these, they would make a great book (if you haven't already thought of this). I just read a random trivia about this lady in a Civil War book I'm currently reading but it was a few days ago and can't remember the reference. I'll try and go back and find out...

Also, I'm curious, do the flowers that frame the authors have any significance?

Great work!

alicia said...

Kennon- You'll have to let me know what bit of trivia that was you came across, when you remember it.

So far as the flowers go, yes, there is a bit of significance. Margaret Mitchell is surrounded by peach blossoms (Georgia, peaches, Peachtree street being a major street in Atlanta, get it). I chose the yellow roses for Louisa May Alcott when I couldn't find an offical "Union" flower. So, I gave her the national flower, the rose, and yellow because yellow roses are a symbol of friendship, and then there's my own association I mentally have between yellow roses and yellow ribbons...(Civil War, etc.). There are two other authors, who at the time I've inked, but not painted in. One is from Georgia (again) and is surrounded by the Georgia state flower, the Cherokee rose. The other is from Mississippi, and is surrounded by magnolias.

So there you go. : )

I don't know if I'll make a book, but I was thinking maybe prints or stationery sets. What do you think?

Kennon said...

Well I'm not sure what you already know as I'm not familiar with Alcott other than she wrote Little Women and I just run into her name while studying the Civil War from time to time. Here's what I found out in this particular book:

She's the daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott who founded the utopian community called Fruitlands in 1844.

She was a nurse in the Civil War until she caught typhoid herself and returned to Massachusetts where she collected letters about her experience in the book Hospital Sketches, her first published work.

Kennon said...

And as far as a book idea, I'd say an illustrated book with short biographies/trivia on each of the authors would be an awesome idea.

I think you're on to something...

And great use of the flower significance. I knew when I noticed they were different flowers that there had to be something that you were doing with those. Nicely played. Again, something very interesting for your book ;)