Yesterday was the kind of day you only dream of as the best kind of day that you can have as an artist. I woke up like any other day and bounded out of bed for my morning devotional and coffee with my two companions, my cats, Rush and Ferrelina. The day and night before I had finished a series of paintings that I was very proud of the results, a very productive day so I posted the photos on social media.
I also quickly sent out a message to two prospective buyers for the largest painting, “Imaginations” 40″ by 50″, 3″ deep on board panel. The response was immediate I had a buyer and a buyer indeed.
Meet author, Laurel Davis Huber who wrote “The Velveteen Daughter” which just happens to be one of my Pulpwood Queen Book Club Selections.
Here’s the synopsis of her incredible story:
The Velveteen Daughter reveals for the first time the true story of two remarkable women: Margery Williams Bianco, the author of one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, The Velveteen Rabbit, and her daughter Pamela, a world-renowned child prodigy artist whose fame at one time greatly eclipses her mother’s. But celebrity at such an early age exacts a great toll. Pamela’s dreams elude her as she struggles with severe depressions, an overbearing father, an obsessive love affair, and a spectacularly misguided marriage. Throughout, her life raft is her mother.
The glamorous art world of Europe and New York in the early 20th century and a supporting cast of luminaries―Eugene O’Neill and his wife Agnes (Margery’s niece), Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and Richard Hughes, author of A High Wind in Jamaica―provide a vivid backdrop to the Biancos’ story. From the opening pages, the novel will captivate readers with its multifaceted and resonates with its multifaceted and illuminating observations on art, family, and the consequences of genius touched by madness.
Some incredible endorsements:
2017 IPPY Awards: Best First Book/Fiction, Silver
“. . . a masterpiece. . . . Incandescent, pitch-perfect, and destined for greatness.”
―Library Journal, starred review
“The Velveteen Daughter seamlessly weaves fiction into reality, and reality into fiction, quickly merging to become one truth that vividly reveals Bianco’s secret heart. This book is not only mesmerizing to read but of great importance, bringing Pamela Bianco as an artist to find her rightful place in the history of art.”
“…the novel fascinates…. Huber’s reliance on primary sources, coupled with her luminous prose, creates an unforgettable sojourn into the lives of early 20th-century artists. …fast-paced and difficult to put down.”
“Huber’s richly textured language is a wonder to behold, her prose every bit as luminous, inspired, and wise as either Bianco’s or Williams’s own work.”
“Combining the elegance of literary fiction with realistic period atmosphere and an emotional openness reminiscent of personal memoirs, the prose is entirely immersive, compelling read.”
“The Velveteen Rabbit was a beautifully tender children’s story, and after reading this gorgeous novel about the author Margery Williams and her gifted daughter Pamela the children’s tale has come to mean much more. Being real hurts terribly. Laurel Davis Huber has taken the true story of mother and daughter and fictionalized it but with precision, following facts so much that she seems to be channeling the entire family. From the beginning pages, I was already hooked . . . Add this to your summer reading list!”
” . . . compelling and affecting . . . . has great emotional appeal.”
―The Literature Quilter
“This is a dual fictionalized biography of Margery Williams, author of The Velveteen Rabbit, and her daughter, the artist and child prodigy, Pamela Bianco. . . . a beautifully written, entrancing book. . . . The novel delves deep into the emotional roller coaster of obsession, artistry, love, and familial pressures. Alternating between their two points of view, the novel presents different sides to each of the defining events in their lives. Their love, understanding, and forgiveness make this book shine.”
―Susan Coventry Blog
“With a wonderful touch, Huber makes a lost artist come alive in vibrant yet melancholic colors.”
“Beautifully written, heartbreakingly captivating and full of literary and artistic magic from the early 20th century, The Velveteen Daughter is sure to appeal to fans of Margery’s classic, and to anyone who has struggled to understand their parents or their children.”
―Shelf Awareness for Readers
“The Velveteen Rabbit” is still one of my all-time favorite children’s books but Laurel Davis Huber’s story, is the story behind the story, one which I find absolutely fascinating. To have Laurel purchase my painting for her home is to me my personal triumph as my mark as an artist. Laurel has made me REAL!
Laurel told me she loved my painting from the first time I shared “Imaginations” in the process of the many layers of alcohol ink paintings. I have to tell you my heart was literally singing all day.
Now a little bit about Laurel’s personal biography:
About the Author
Laurel Davis Huber grew up in Rhode Island and Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Smith College. She has worked as a corporate newsletter editor, communications director for a botanical garden, high school English teacher, and senior development officer for both New Canaan Country School and Amherst College. She has studied with the novelist and short-story writer Leslie Pietrzyk (the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner for This Angel on My Chest) and has participated in several writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center. She and her husband split their time between New Jersey and Maine.
My painting is going to her home in New Jersey. To have something that I created to go into the home of somebody I respect and admire so much, well, it is hard for me to put into words. This past couple of weeks, I have sold thirteen paintings, all going into homes of the most amazing people I have ever known from my dearest friend, travel companion, and The Pulpwood Queen of West Monroe, Louisiana, Margie Dilday.
Pulpwood Queen, Margie Dilday of West Monroe, Louisiana
Thank you too, and to many of my dear, dear friends in my former hometown of Jefferson, Texas, thank you big time Colleen and John Taylor for purchasing this work.
Thank you to Shirley Reiman for purchasing these works.
Thank you, Pam McGregor, for purchasing this work.
To think that my paintings will be installed in all these homes is a dream come true. Thank you also to those I am in conversation with on finding a painting just right for you. This is the life I have always dreamed.
Backstory…when I went to college at Kansas State University I wanted to be an artist, my high school counselor and my parents had other plans for me. They enrolled me at K-State with a major in Elementary Education. You know back in the day if you did not get married out of high school or became a school teacher or a nurse, anything otherwise was unacceptable. We, as women, have come so far. Those careers were the respectable thing to do. I was seventeen when I went to college and could give a flip about getting married, to me it was not desirable as my parents always were at war with each other. I did not even see that as an option. I probably would not have minded on being a teacher, as I adored all of mine, but a seed was planted by my teacher, Mrs. Boulden, that I had talent as an artist. She asked little shy, introverted me to do all the art for the background of our Christmas pageant at school. I was encouraged and it just so happens that was the same teacher that placed the book, “Honestly, Katie John” by Mary Calhoun that changed the trajectory of my life forever. The girl in the book was ME! I became a real reader that day and through reading and education I have finally found my way after 43 years of trying to work my way through college to graduate, Magna Cum Laude from The University of Texas in Tyler with a B.F.A in Art, minor in Art History. Nothing is going to stop me now. I worked too hard and too long on this journey to get where I am going.
I had a wonderful chat with Laurel Huber Davis yesterday. We talked about my work, how much her purchasing my painting meant to me but I am still in awe of the person and persons who purchase my works. You know in this life, you wonder how you will be remembered. What will stay with people after you are long gone? For me, my legacy first is my daughters, Helaina Amethyst Wilkerson and Madeleine Alexandrite Patrick. They are both beautiful women, strong, and pay it forward. They are even more beautiful on the inside, I always wanted to be remembered as the best mama. But as far as life mission? I hope that my life promoting authors, books, literacy, and reading will carry on and the worlds that I create from my love of nature and a lifetime of reading books will too in my artwork. But more importantly the relationships we have with one another, Laurel Huber Davis will always have my heart and you have to read her book, it is an incredible story.
My life’s journey continues, now on to more commissions, figuring out how to ship that gigantic painting, hahahaha. Thank you, Professor Pace, for teaching me that skill in Professional Practices. It is coming in handy. Thank you too to the artist, Daphne Roehr Hatcher too for the incredible conversation and sharing of artist yesterday. What a wonderful mentor and truly one of the loveliest friends I have ever had. She and her husband, my former professor, Gary Hatcher own Pine Mills Pottery which is a destination trip for sure just down the road from me. Go there, it’s an artist utopia and they are my inspiration.
Thank you, everybody, who is reading this for your incredible support and friendship. I owe all my successes to all of you. I truly believe that we never get where we are going alone so that I why I have to thank all of you for lifting me up on my way.
Truly, the REAL, Tiara Wearing, Book and Art Sharing,
Kathy L. Murphy
Artist/Author, fearless leader of The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation
For my Vida Home and Fashion designs: https://shopvida.com/collections/thepulpwoodqueen?rfsn=1292126.c09e0&utm_source=refersion&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=1292126.c09e0
P.S. Last I will leave you with words that I hold near and dear from “The Velveteen Rabbit”:
- The Pulpwood Queen Headed to Westport, Connecticut on “Warrior Goddess” Art and Fashion Book Tour! - June 18, 2018
- The Pulpwood Queen Stops on Tour to Visit The Pulpwood Queen of Bristol, Virginia! - June 16, 2018
- The Pulpwood Queen Arrived in Memphis/Collier!ville, Tennessee to Visit Artist, Alisa Free! - June 15, 2018
- The Pulpwood Queen Hits the Road on her “Warrior Goddess” Pop-Up Art & Fashion Book Tour! - June 14, 2018
- Pulpwood Queen Book Club Author Ends Her East Texas Tour in Tyler, Texas! - June 14, 2018
- Pulpwood Queen Book Club Author of the Month Draws a Big Crowd on East Texas Tour! - June 12, 2018
- 2019 Working Program for Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend, January 17 – 19, 2019! - June 11, 2018
- The Pulpwood Queen “Warrior Goddess” Pop-Up Art and Fashion Show Book Tour! - May 30, 2018
- The Pulpwood Queen Remembers Jane Ryder! - May 28, 2018
- The Pulpwood Queen Has a Scathingly Brilliant Idea! - May 27, 2018