Holiday Homework #1

December 22, 2011

For anyone who has been faithfully refreshing this page, hoping for an update: I haven’t abandoned this blog. In fact, I actually did paint quite a bit over my ten-day “vacation” that ended not too long ago (*moment of silence in which to mourn the end of said vacation*). I also had a couple of my paintings framed, although I’m still agonizing over their arrangement, so these paintings will have to suffice until I get around to putting them up and taking some photos.

More to the point: I’ve been wanting to do book covers for a while now. Partly because I hate leaving my books on the shelf with no protection and partly because it would involve my thinking about the themes of the book, before coming up with a design, which is my idea of a good time (not even kidding).

The only book I’ve done thus far is for a Jane Austen Collection as pictured below:

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The front cover is representative of the quick and always entertaining back-and-forth that is a particular trademark of Austen’s.

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The spine of the book just uh, bears the contents. So, yeah, pretty self-explanatory.

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This, of course, is the back cover. With this, I wanted to represent both the apparent image of a ‘marriageable’ woman (as viewed by society) in the lace (Not to trivialize the work that goes into its making), and  women who were accomplished in their own right (the piano) and who saw purpose in life outside of marriage and who were intelligent and capable, but whom Austen’s contemporaries valued only in the capacity of ‘wife’.

Also, more to the point: pianos and lace just look nice.

Yes, very deep.
It is easy to classify these books under ‘romance’. But they seem to have some worrying undertones of dissatisfaction and entrapment. That marriage seemed to be the only way to not get left behind and that not many women could stand up to the pressures of society is apparent through Austen’s seemingly light-hearted jabs. I view the novels as not ‘happily ever after’ so much as at least partly a documentation of Austen’s struggles, that are still relevant today. Apart from that, it’s just an incisive, brilliant portrayal of family and society in the early 1800s and the many joys that were to be had (despite the obvious trials) for someone in possession of Austen’s sensibility and wit.

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