Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Little package

Last week when I went down to check the mail I got goosebumps.

There was a little package from Illinois, from a farm I contacted in the course of my research for Priscilla and the Hollyhocks (the book I am illustrating right now.) The story is about a girl sold into slavery, who carries hollyhock seeds around with her as a sign of hope and connection to the place where she is from. Its a true story, and eventually the real Priscilla settled in Illinois, where she planted her seeds.

This is what was in the package. They are seeds harvested from the town where Priscilla planted her hollyhocks 150 years ago. Descendants of the flowers she coveted. I can't help but get shivers when I look at them, it makes the story so real in my mind, and gives purpose to my ridiculous 7 day a week painting schedule.

Now when I paint Priscilla, I keep a little dish of the seeds on my desk. They remind me of her courage and poetry.


Libby Koponen said...

Oh, Anna! Just reading that gave ME goosebumps.

And beautiful painting.


Jeff Newman said...

Agreed! The painting is great (particularly the foliage--I always have trouble with foliage)!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift!

gail said...

And what a wonderful story! I bet you'll be keeping that little dish of seeds on your desk for a long time. How nice of the farmer in Illinois to send it to you.


P.S. I got a cool package in the mail yesterday courtesy brg! (I posted it on my blog.)

Agyw said...

Ahhhh, this is why I love this (and so many other reasons!!!! Wonderful story, but you must also keep in mind as much as this story touched you and this sign of generosity made it real-- your efforts must have had a similar impact for the package-sender to send such a wonderful gift. I so look forward to this book!

Elaine Magliaro said...


That's so touching. I remember the hollyhocks that grew in the garden along one side of my house when I was growing up--a long time ago. My mother, who is nearly ninety, lives in that house today. And the hollyhocks are still there, too. They are pretty sturdy plants. I am looking forward to the publication of PRISCILLA AND THE HOLLYHOCKS. It sounds like an interesting book.