Alison Davis Lyne's

Historical Illustrations





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The source materials for most of these illustrations are snapshots taken over the years at the Renaissance Fair in Triune, Tennessee. The individuals, their costumes and their surroundings have been modified to fit a theme I wanted for each particular painting. People in period costume make better subjects for historical illustration than models in jeans. There is a different style of movement for breech and hosen or farthingale and gown, than for jeans and cutoffs. This subtle difference comes through in the final painted figures.

I have always enjoyed the idea of showing historical life on current day subjects. In school books the different painting styles across the ages never truly communicated the feel of the subjects, to my newspaper and TV addicted eyes. After seeing snap shots of just about any activity, a stylized medieval engraving of the same action just doesn't stack up. I want my art to breathe life into the old woodcuts, statues, and illuminations by giving the old actions a current look. I want today's young eyes to see history in a new light. If you don't learn from history you are doomed to repeat its mistakes, or at the very least it's endless trial and error!

There are many historical re-enactment societies across the U.S. There are also many webs sites devoted to just about any period in history. For an introduction to medieval re-enactment the Society for Creative Anachronism is a fun place to start.

The basis for the Indian Maiden above were photos taken in the late 1800s of Native Americans. I was commissioned to draw different Native Americans in their home environments for a interactive display for the Kentucky History Museum. You can see more about it here on my INDIAN page. I was also lucky enough to be commissioned to illustrate a children's picture book “On Earth As It Is In Heaven” by Linda Leaf-Bolin. The book was a Native American view of the Lord's prayer.

The basis for the American Revolutionary woman to the right is the story of Molly Pitcher. I became interested in her story when I wanted to explore sequential art....as a form of visual storytelling. I went on to do a five page “story” of Molly Pitcher, and a seven page story about Mercy Otis Warren, and finally a three page short about Thomas Paine. You can see about all of them by going to my Sequential Art main page.

My love of historical costume led me into an interest in history and from there to historical architecture and to all types of historical designs.

All materials shown here are copyrighted by the artist

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