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Picturing a World

Sarah Stilwell Weber

Sarah Stilwell Weber is known primarily for her illustration of children, which fits nicely with my heroine Mattie who works in children’s publishing; but I have selected this Collier cover because it is so richly striking. Weber studied with Howard Pyle and was associated with his famous female students, the Red Rose Girls. This picture suggests to me that she also kept up with larger art world and knew the work of Gustav Klimt. It’s always a mistake to think that creative people are limited to whatever work makes them famous or pays the bills!

For more about Weber, click here and hereRead More 
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Female comic book illustrators

Website alert: Golly, a whole new dimension for Mattie Palmer’s world of publishing (and suffagism): Women Who Conquered the Comics World. Via Two Nerdy History Girls.
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Sisterhood and creativity

I try to keep these posts short and connect you to something you might use. This one is longer because, on this anniversary of the Trump inauguration, I’m pulling together several things to help myself move through and beyond the grimy, depressing aspects of the present day to something life-enhancing. I hope it helps you, too.

First, sisterhood: Reports on the Women’s March redux is enheartening. In the era of #MeToo, it’s good to focus on women’s worth—enlightened male companions welcome. We must also remember that it’s not just sexual predation that is an issue. I was interested to read in the January 12, 2018, Guardian, that “[a]fter 2017’s Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets included only four women, 250 writers have agreed to boycott anthologies, conferences and festivals where women are not fairly represented.” Read More 
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Pre-Raphaelite women artists

Blog tip: This montage of paintings by Kate Bunce, Evelyn de Morgan, Marie Spartali Stillman, Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, Emma Sandys, and Joanna Mary Boyce heads The art of creating a life, a post at Terri Windling’s Myth and Moor blog. Her primary focus in the post is another woman, Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, whose life would have been an inspiration to my characters, Jeanette Palmer (for her art) and Mattie Palmer (for activism in the woman’s suffrage movement). Read More 
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People and animals

Blog alert: The post for October 20, 2017, Animalness, at Terri Windling’s Myth and Moor took my breath away for the wisdom it quotes and its images by Virginia Frances Sterrett. If you love Golden Age illustration or have been pondering where we fit in the animal world, check it out.

For the full on-line edition of Old French Fairy Tales with Sterrett's illustrations, click hereRead More 
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American Women Artists: 1860–1960

Exhibition alert: A show of twenty-five works by American women artists is on view at Avery Galleries, 100 Chetwynd Drive, Bry Mawr, Pennsylvania, October 13–November 10, 2017. Read More 
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Elizabeth O'Neill Verner

What we see is partly a result of what we are taught to see. Elizabeth O'Neill Verner must have encountered the kind of 19th C paintings of flower sellers that have been the topic at It’s About Time in recent weeks. My guess is that familiarity with the motif contributed to her noticing and championing the flower sellers and basket weavers in her own town of Charleston, S.C. A move was afoot in the early 20th C to have these African-American vendors banned from the street, but Verner led the effort Read More 
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Asta Nørregaard

I saw this painting by the Norwegian painter Asta Nørregaard at an exhibition while I was researching Where the Light Falls. At the time, I was unable to find an image on line, but memory of it influenced how I imagined Jeanette’s first studio of her own. Its spareness and gray walls, in contrast to the lusher studios so often depicted during this period, seemed specially appropriate to Jeanette’s pocketbook and her mood at that point in the novel. At the time I was writing, I thought that it was Cousin Effie’s love of Whistler’s decorative schemes at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878 that made her to want to paint the walls yellow; I suspect now that the colors in this painting also subtly influenced my imagination of how the two characters would react to a studio space.  Read More 
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Anna Ancher’s flower arrangers

Blog tip: At It’s About Time Barbara Wells Sarudy has been posting a series of paintings under the title of “Arranging Flowers around the Globe.” This one by Anna Ancher is clearly a study, not a finished work (note that the artist did not sign it). Artists can treasure each other’s studies, and collectors often like to own them. (Not so likely for first drafts of short stories and novels!) Read More 
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Emma Lambert Cooper

Where do you suppose this picture was painted? I would guess either Italy or California. Emma Lambert Cooper and her husband, Colin Campbell Cooper, spent time in both places. (The Chianti bottle might tip the scales for Italy; then again my research for ANONYMITY indicates that Chianti wine with straw baskets for the bottle was popular among American Bohemians at the turn of the 20th C.) Read More 
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