Creating a new Alice look was a fun challenge. I was happy to combine the traditional with the new, the scrupulously researched with the fanciful. I needed to forget all my preconceptions and work from the original source materials and my own imagination. For instance, the original book said only that the caterpillar was smoking a hookah. I took it from there, adding all sorts of Middle Eastern touches.
Originally, I designed this image to be darker but I decided to shed more light on the subject, especially when I wanted to delineate the trail of smoke from the hookah and its effect on the surrounding flowers. To give it even more light and a gentle touch, I painted Alice's reflection in the caterpillar's coffee pot.
I incorporated the emblems of playing card suits in both images to further the playing card theme that runs throughout the book. I all but hid them in the caterpillar's coffee table but they are the china pattern in 'A Mad Tea Party.'
I particularly liked working on the tea party because most of the interpretations I've seen picture the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse almost as grotesques. I wanted them to have the same charm as my other characters. - SG
Scott Gustafson - Alice in Wonderland Suite
Product Code: GUSAL1
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