Friday, November 20, 2009

Sophie's War cover portrait

TOM:  For us, writing and illustrating children's books is an ecstatic way of making connections in time and space — and with a face, such as my search for a young girl's face for the cover of Sophie's War, a Civil War story. It led to an album photo of Janice when she was 12 turning 13. As soon as I saw it, I knew she was my Sophie. And Janice didn't mind at all because in the writing process she became Sophie. I painted the portrait in the style of 19th century German Texan artist, Richard Petri, but I was also inspired by Jan Vermeer, 17th century Dutch painter. And speaking of space, we purchased the marbled paper that surrounds the portrait in a small shop in Venice.