Friday, August 16, 2013


For a number of years we were ever so busy creating art for kids . . . one-kid-at-a-time. 

We were commissioned by loving parents to create imaginative environments to help inspire their children to have curiosity and the mental acumen to reach beyond the 'ordinary world.'

We weren't getting famous doing stuff like this, one-kid-at-a-time, but we were paid well and were given some free reign to create full-sized paintings beyond the norm. One special little girl was the recipient of a trip to Wonderland.

© 1993 Haller Buchanan

We were commissioned to tastefully fill the child's nursery with our version of Alice in that other realm— starting with her amazing dreamy descent down the rabbit hole. Alice's adventures have been pictorially rendered by many illustrators over generations, so it was hard to ignore their influence. In fact, we embraced the many influences through our various paintings by here and there paying homage to those who had traveled Wonderland before us.

You don't need to be terribly observant to see that we deviated from most versions by bestowing raven black hair upon Alice, and you might ask, 'why is her raven-hair like a writing desk?' Becaws, I mean, because the child who was to inhabit this room would be born with dark hair. That's right, the child wasn't yet born, but we were decorating her room with some foreknowledge that 'it' would be a 'she' and she would have the parents' gene for dark hair. I don't remember how that was determined so early, but it indeed turned out to be the case. 

SO, it was gently decreed that this Alice deviate from her literary blonde heritage. Interesting to realize that this lovely child is now 20 years old.

As indicated last post, this 6 foot tall canvas progressed in the non-traditional way of painting the foreground figure first, and then assembling the background behind her. It was always a curious thing, this rabbit hole, how it was full of things of the world decorating its long descent into the underworld. But rather than questioning the logic, we again embraced the concept and went to it. That map is of Tolkien's Middle Earth and the other stuff was, um,  stuff and nonsense.

More to come about this wonderland nursery.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Orange Marmalade

©Thomas Buchanan

Of course you know who this little girl is supposed to be and why she's holding a jar of marmalade. Hmm, such dark dark hair.  

This was painted with acrylic on stretched canvas, and only shows the first stage of completion. Normally I might paint a background first and paint the foreground figure over it, but I tend to work in contradictory ways.

Next post will show the background and will write up some notes about the project.