The Alice in Wonderland Suite
“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.”