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Goddess of Yesterday by suburbanbeatnik Goddess of Yesterday by suburbanbeatnik
Here's yet another painting from the vaults (and I promise to be showcasing some new art soon). Some years ago, when I read Caroline Cooney's wonderful novel about the Trojan War, "Goddess of Yesterday," I was inspired to do my own version of the cover- this time with a shoujo manga flair. The genius in Ms. Cooney's book lies in the casting of Helen of Troy as an absolute, unrepetant bitch; that's the chilly-looking blond in the upper left hand corner. Helen loves to make life a living hell for our heroine, the red-haired Anaxandra, who spends most of the book as Helen's slave. Anaxandra holds a primitive goddess figurine that is often mentioned throughout the book; it acts as both a talisman, and her guardian, through all the trials and tribulations that befall her.

The medium is light acrylic washes and colored pencil, on watercolor paper. It was my pleasure to give the original to Caroline Cooney, when I met her recently at a convention.

(A brief note about the costumes: those who know Bronze Age Greece will notice the generic drapery worn by the two women. The feeling in the novel was not of the strict accuracy as seen in, say, Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze, with the bare chests, tight, corset-like belts and flounced skirts worn by women in the Aegean in the second millenium BC; it had more of a vague pre-classical atmosphere. However, it served the novel very well in my opinion. It's really worth a read.)
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:iconjezabelledisreali:
JezabelleDisreali Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014
One of my favorite art pieces for "Goddess of Yesterday". It's awesome.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconladyblue-art:
LadyBlue-Art Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student General Artist
allo of my favorites... this is too amazing. I loved this book and you depicted Helen and Anaxandra very well <3
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconlunaxtsukino:
LunaXTsukino Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Student Photographer
I absolutely love the picture! I've read the book several times and you hit the women right on pot in my opinion. Thank you for sharing!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
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:iconjezabelledisreali:
JezabelleDisreali Featured By Owner May 23, 2010
overall a great picture. it would have been cool to see some of the other characters, like the guy that anaxandra eventually seems to go with. or maybe paris. when i read the book i wanted to see how she would look with short hair, instead of the long red. but a great picture
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. I did this ages ago (2003), and it's not really my favorite piece-- but hey, Caroline Cooney liked it (I actually gave it to her). If I did it again now, it would look completely different.
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:iconcocorichelle:
CocoRichelle Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010
It's gorgeous, even if it is 7 years old! Your other work is so beautiful.. I'm going to get lost in it for a little while~
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I admit, I cringe a bit when I look at this now. But it seems to get a fair number of hits, so I guess people like it. :)
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:iconempressofheaven:
EmpressofHeaven Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2009
I loved that book!! it was amazingly written. I love the composition of it. Its really lovely.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! You've probably seen in my comments that Caroline Cooney owns the original... that was so cool, giving it to her. :D
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:iconempressofheaven:
EmpressofHeaven Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2009
:jawdrop: that is so cool!! Caroline Cooney is absolute genius. Love her books. what was it like to meet her?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
It was great! We didn't talk long, but I presented her the pic, which she loved, and discussed the possibility of a sequel to GoY. I wish she had a website, so I could email her this page, and she could see all the comments. :D
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:iconempressofheaven:
EmpressofHeaven Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2009
she should have one! Meg Cabot and alot of others do!
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:iconjupiterinleo:
jupiterinleo Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009
I LOVED that book. I need to read it again.

Fantastic drawing, by the way. ;)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
It's a great book-- it really holds up to rereading. I'm hoping someday Caroline Cooney will be able to write a sequel...
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:iconbluebumblebee:
BlueBumbleBee Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009
It has been so long since I've read this book, but this makes me want to pick it up again. I'll always remember that scene with the octopus...

I like how evil Helen looks here.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I need to reread it too! :D

Helen makes the BEST villainess. Most authors try to make her a misunderstood nice girl, which is boring. I think she was born to be bad.
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:iconaberry89:
aberry89 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
I LOVE this book, and there is hardly any fan art from it! I am glad to finally see some! great job!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! It's a wonderful book, isn't it? And Caroline Cooney herself owns the original picture. :)
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:iconaberry89:
aberry89 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Really? That's intresting, how did you find that out?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Because...I met her, and I gave the picture to her? ;P
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:iconaberry89:
aberry89 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Ohhhh, I thought you meant the cover art on the actual book! Hahah, that's cool though! :)
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:icontheamazingauthor101:
theamazingauthor101 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
You've brought back my childhood! I read this book in fifth grade and loved it. Beautiful hair and coloring, by the way!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconumrann:
umrann Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2008   Digital Artist
I love your colors..
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:iconlord-retsudo:
Lord-Retsudo Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Lush and very polished piece of design/illustration.
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:iconlisabeth-eljae:
lisabeth-eljae Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2007
i've read this book and liked it. I really think your illustration matches the characters. Two thumbs up!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
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:iconsilversmithfire:
silversmithfire Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
That book is awesome and so is this picture! Beautiful!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
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:iconanaxandra182:
Anaxandra182 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
I LOVE that book! As you can see by my username...but good job! It looks awesome!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks... Anaxandra rocks! :D
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:iconandi-scribbles:
andi-scribbles Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2007
I love this book! You captured both Anaxandra and Helen very well!

PS-- This book was so refreshing, wasn't it? I love the fact that Helen was such an unrepentant, selfish bitch-- I'm sick of her being portrayed as the faultless ingenue who would plunge the world into hell just for some spoiled prince. Obviously, you've got to be either pretty stupid or pretty damn selfish to start the freakin Trojan war just so you can get some Trojan booty...

ahem, anyway, Anaxandra was a much more sympathetic character, wasn't she? :) Very good job!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Have you seen the new Margaret George novel about Helen of Troy? It seems straight from the typical "Ingenue Helen" formula that's so prevalent nowadays. (The Helen of Troy miniseries and the movie "Troy" were straight from the same mold.) I wonder why so many authors feel compelled to whitewash her. But I love how C.C. portrayed Helen as charismatic, even though she was thoroughly vile. While I was reading "Goddess" I kept wishing I could reach my hands through the pages of the book and strangle her!

But yes... *coughs* It is a great book, isn't it?
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:iconandi-scribbles:
andi-scribbles Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2007
Absolutely! And I'll look up the Margaret George one at my library... is it good?

Ps-Don't get me wrong, I loved Troy, and I loved the miniseries even more, (I'm an ancient world junkie :) ) but I can only see her portrayed so many times as a woman who didn't know what she was getting herself into or was blameless because "the gods decreed it."

And yes, yes, very great book. :)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Hmm... I can't really say, as the only M.G. book I liked was her first, about Henry VIII. Everything after that seemed to get increasingly silly (her book about Cleopatra made me cringe).

The only redeeming feature of the miniseries for me was Rufus Sewell... the other guys in the show tended to fade into the background. I can't even remember what Paris looks like! I enjoyed "Troy," but only enough to watch it once. (When I tried to watch it a second time, I lost interest about halfway through.) Diane Kruger was sooo bland... I kept wondering what it would have been like if they'd gotten some charismatic woman like Angelina Jolie in the role. That would have been awesome!
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:iconandi-scribbles:
andi-scribbles Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2007
Agreed.

Rufus Sewell can play the typical bad guys so well... only he brings the not so typical qualities to them that just makes them so complex. And you're absolutely right, Kruger was so bland! I was like, "THIS is the love they threw the world to hell for?! At least cast people with the tiniest bit of chemistry!" But I love how they portrayed Hector and Andromache in that story...
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I did like Hector and Andromache. But why, oh why, did they leave out Cassandra?! And why did all the women look like they were in a 1979 Vogue photo shoot (Disco in the Mediterranean)? I know we were only supposed to marvel at Brad Pitt and his buff bod, but still.. it would have been nice if the women had more presence.
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:iconandi-scribbles:
andi-scribbles Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007
Spot on-- especially Kruger. She looked like she had just stepped out of America's Next Top Model-- not a Greek myth. Ai.

And *guilty smile* I did, in fact, ogle. Pitt's half-shown naked arse was too good to resist... and HECTOR! (Yum, anyone?)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, the men were very pretty in that movie. I was able to happily watch it once, but I couldn't make it through a second viewing... The silliness just overwhelmed me.

BTW, did you know that it was filmed in Mexico?
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(1 Reply)
:iconkathrynlillie:
kathrynlillie Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007
This is incredible! I loved that book, and you have portrayed both characters very well, especially Anaxandra. Love her hair. Beautiful job!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I've read that book several times, and it was great meeting Caroline Cooney and giving her the original artwork. I asked her if she was going to write a sequel, and she said she really wanted to, but the hard facts (she said) were that her suspense novels were much more saleable, and she really needed the money. Well, hopefully she'll be able to do it someday...
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:iconkathrynlillie:
kathrynlillie Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007
That's too bad! I enjoyed Goddess of Yesterday much more than any of her suspense novels! It would be wonderful to have a sequel. . .
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:iconart-yooyoo:
Art-Yooyoo Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2007
Excellent drawing !!
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:icondensity-tmr:
density-tmr Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
This is excellent - great details - very eyecatching.
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:iconsusanburghart:
susanburghart Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
Great stuff Joanne! This one is really bold and stands out a lot. Love it!
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:iconsusannaaaa:
Susannaaaa Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
Nice to know Cooney wrote something better than the loopy time-traveling Strat-fest of the Both Sides of Time series.

I love Helen's expression in this, it's like big mad Robespierre's. :P The colours are gorgeous too, especially Anaxandra's hair.
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:iconcyrionb:
CyrionB Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2007
clears ears from kyria's scream of delight

Lovely indeed ~ seriously ~ but you knew that! *smiles*
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