acrylic painting on wood book shaped box by Tara Fly.

As you might have suspected from my recent posts, I’ve stepped momentarily away from “Pride and Prejudice” …

Many months of pouring over a book I’ve practically memorized, and obsessing over the feline portrayals of each major character, has left me with something almost kin to resentfulness of Darcy and Elizabeth.

I almost loathe them now…

I needed a break, if not from Austen herself, then certainly a respite from her immortal words: “In vain, I have struggled, it will not do…”

I spent one weekend flipping through “Sense and Sensibility” and “Emma” – hunting down humorous or heartwarming quotes for greeting cards… but finally found inspiration and solace in “Persuasion”.

Jane Austen's Persuasion, original acrylic painting by Tara Fly

I think what I love most about the characters, and their gradual romance, is how identifiable they are…
Anne and Frederick were young childhood sweethearts; however she decided to reject his proposal, and has spent the last eight years wondering whether she made the right decision.

When he returns to the neighborhood, she discovers he has grown into a successful, handsome man – most popular with the ladies. (LOL, good ol’ Austen… and her wealthy young men always in want of a wife…)

Ah, such a sweet revenge to warm the hearts of all jilted lovers out there….

Who among us hasn’t made the difficult decision to break off a relationship, and questioned our judgement later?
How many of us have accidentally bumped into an old flame and felt that twinge of regret?

Especially if they seem to have flourished in our absence, as if we somehow were holding back their potential.

Jane Austen's Persuasion, portrait of Anne Elliot Cat, art by Tara Fly.

Okay, I don’t usually pine over lost opportunities – it isn’t my philosophy – rather, my belief in destiny and romantic outlook on life tends to mirror Jane’s writings, inasmuch as everything ultimately works itself out for the best…

But there have been fleeting “what if” moments, and I can definitely relate to the self-doubting Anne experiences.

Desiring to paint something new and different – onto some thing new and different – a melancholy vision of Anne (at the Cobb Harbor), gazing out at the distant ships… picturing Captain Wentworth in his naval uniform aboard one of them, sprung to mind.

And I chose to paint her portrait in acrylics onto this wooden box designed to resemble a book…

wooden book shaped box painted in acrylics by TaraFly.

You can find these unfinished wood boxes at local craft stores, like Michael’s and A.C.Moore.
I picked up a couple of them to practice a couple of ideas, because I recognized how appropriately purrfect they were for showcasing my literary cat portraits.

I’ve already commissioned Joe to build similar book boxes, with a couple changes that I made to the design, and hopefully will have some fully handcrafted pieces to introduce as a featured line in my shop(s).

When Anne Eliot is finished, I’ll scan her into the computer for reproduction prints as well. 🙂