Literary Portraits

queen-of-snow_oil-on-canvas_48x60

Queen of Snow, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 60″

The night is darkening round me,

The wild winds coldly blow;

But a tyrant spell has bound me,

And I cannot, cannot go.

 -Emily Bronte, ‘The Night is Darkening Around Me’

summer_oil-on-panel_12x16

Summer, 2016, Oil on Panel, 12 x 16

Shy as the squirrel and wayward as the swallow,

Swift as the swallow along the river’s light

Circleting the surface to meet his mirrored winglets,

Fleeter she seems in her stay than in her flight.

-George Meredith, ‘Love in the Valley’

jane-eyre_oil-on-panel_16x20

Jane Eyre, 2016, Oil on Panel, 16 x 20

‘Were you happy when you painted these pictures?’ asked Mr.Rochester presently.

‘I was absorbed, sir: yes, and I was happy. To paint them, in short, was to enjoy one of the keenest pleasures I have ever known.’

‘That is not saying much. Your pleasures, by your own account, have been few; but I daresay you did exist in a kind of artist’s dreamland while you blent and arranged these strange tints.

 -Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

afternoon-tea_oil-on-panel_8x10

Afternoon Tea, 2016, Oil on Panel, 8 x 10

Gwendolen.  I had no idea there were any flowers in the country.

Cecily.  Oh, flowers are as common here, Miss Fairfax, as people are in London.

 -Oscar Wilde, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

jack-and-algernon-eating-muffins_oil-on-panel_12x16

Jack and Algernon Eating Muffins, 2016, Oil on Panel, 16 x 12

Jack.  How can you sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out.  You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.

Algernon.  Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner.  The butter would probably get on my cuffs.  One should always eat muffins quite calmly.  It is the only way to eat them.

Jack.  I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.

Algernon.  When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me.  Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink.  At the present moment I am eating muffins because I am unhappy.  Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins.

-Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

milly-wings-of-the-dove_oil-on-panel_18x24

Milly: Wings of the Dove, 2016, Oil on Panel, 18 x 24

‘Everything suits her so—especially her pearls. They go so with her old lace. I’ll trouble you really to look at them.’ Densher, though aware he had seen them before, had perhaps not ‘really’ looked at them, and had thus not done justice to the embodied poetry…. ‘She’s a dove,’ Kate went on, ‘and one somehow doesn’t think of doves as bejeweled. Yet they suit her down to the ground.’

 -Henry James, The Wings of the Dove

miranda_oil-on-canvas_22x30

Miranda, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 22 x 30

Miranda. Sweet lord, you play me false.

 -William Shakespeare, The Tempest

tempest-chess-game_charcoal-on-arches_20x30

Tempest Chess Game, 2016, Charcoal on Arches, 20 x 30

the-tempest-where-the-bee-sucks-there-suck-i_oil-on-panel_12x12

The Tempest: ‘Where the bee sucks, there suck I,’ 2016

Oil on Panel, 12 x 12

Where the bee sucks. there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

 -William Shakespeare, The Tempest

athena_oil-on-canvas_36-x-48

Athena, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48

O, warlike Pallas…
Gymnastic virgin of terrific mind,
Dire Gorgon’s bane, unmarried, blessed, kind:
Mother of arts, impetuous; understood,
Rage to the wicked, wisdom to the good:
Female and male, the arts of war are thine…

Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray,
With supplicating voice both night and day,
And in my latest hour, give peace and health,
Propitious times, and necessary wealth,
And, ever present, be thy votaries aid,
O, much implored, art’s parent, blue-eyed maid.

-Orphic Hymn to Athena

 

flora-poste_oil-on-canvas_30-x-40

Flora Poste,  2016, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40

Flora inherited, however, from her father a strong will and from her mother a slender ankle. The one had not been impaired by always having her own way nor the other by the violent athletic sports in which she had been compelled to take part, but she realized that neither was adequate as an equipment for earning her keep.

 -Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm

lawrence-seldon-house-of-mirth_oil-on-canvas_36-x-48

Lawrence Seldon: House of Mirth, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48

He had seated himself on an arm of the chair near which she was standing, and she continued to question him…

‘Don’t you ever mind,’ she asked suddenly, ‘not being rich enough to buy all the books you want?’

He followed her glance about the room, with its worn furniture and shabby walls.

‘Don’t I just? Do you take me for a saint on a pillar?’

‘And having to work—do you mind that?’

‘Oh, the work itself is not so bad—I’m rather fond of the law.’

‘No; but the being tied down: the routine—don’t you ever want to get away, to see new places and people?’

‘Horribly—especially when I see all my friends rushing to the steamer.’

She drew a sympathetic breath. ‘But do you mind enough—to marry to get out of it?’

Selden broke into a laugh. ‘God forbid!’ he declared.

 -Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

elizabeth-bennet

Elizabeth Bennet: Pride and Prejudice, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40

Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.

 -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

lady-slane-all-passion-spent_oil-on-canvas_36-x-48

Lady Slane: All Passion Spent, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48

Sitting there in the sun at Hampstead, in the late summer, under the south wall and the ripened peaches, doing nothing with her hands, she remembered the day she had become engaged to Henry. She had plenty of leisure now, day in, day out, to survey her life as a tract of country traversed, ….And what, precisely, had been herself, she wondered—an old woman looking back on the girl she had once been? This wondering was the softest, most wistful, of occupations; yet it was not melancholy; it was, rather, the last, supreme luxury; a luxury she had waited all her life to indulge. There was just time, in this reprieve before death, to indulge herself to the full. She had, after all, nothing else to do. For the first time in all her life—no, for the first time since her marriage—she had nothing else to do. She could lie back against death and examine life. Meanwhile, the air was full of the sound of bees.

-Vita Sackville-West, All Passion Spent

fanfare-in-purple-and-gold_oil-on-canvas_24x30

Fanfare in Purple and Gold, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 30

Art is a goddess of dainty thought, reticent of habit, abjuring all obtrusiveness, purposing in no way to better others. She is, withal selfishly occupied with her own perfection only – having no desire to teach.

 -James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ‘Ten O’Clock Lecture’

 

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Published in: on December 8, 2016 at 11:00 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Maud ~

    I’ve fallen in love with your portrait of Flora Poste, and I was wondering about the price. “Cold Comfort Farm” is one of my very favorite books.

    Thank you!
    Michaela

    • Dear Michaela,

      Thank you for getting in touch! It’s good to hear from a fellow admirer of “Cold Comfort Farm”! Flora Poste is one of my favorite literary characters. The painting of Flora Poste is still available. It is currently at my gallery, Susan Calloway Fine Arts, and you can find out more about it on the gallery website: http://www.callowayart.com/gallery/contemporary-art/maud-taber-thomas. I believe the price is $5500.

      If you’re interested in purchasing it, you can contact the gallery: gallery@callowayart.com, or let me know, and I can put you in touch. I would love for the painting to go to someone who appreciates the book!

      Best,

      Maud

      • Thank you, Maud! I just saw your reply – sorry it took me so long to respond! I will check out the gallery site & consult my bank account. 🙂
        Such wonderful paintings!!!
        Warmly,
        Michaela


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