I am somewhat pleased with how this one turned out. Not entirely satisfied by any means, but I think it looks quite nice. I really like the style (and the mashing of two styles with the background vs. her), so I can’t complain too much. Still getting the hang of the learning curve that comes with the whole art thing.
Best viewed at full size. This thing is PACKED with detail. Seriously.
Anyway, this is Emma Smith, wife of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. Don’t let the religious aspect turn you off, though. No matter what your beliefs are, she was one of the coolest women to ever exist, and, like most female historical figures, doesn’t get enough credit.
I’m no biographer, and I can’t even pretend that I could do her justice, but the best way to explain her is basically “a Mormon Eliza Hamilton”. That tells you everything you need to know about her personality. Their lives also have some incredible parallels, but I’ll refrain from getting into that. You know how I babble if I get the chance.
Emma went through unimaginable grief in her life, and remained one of the strongest and kindest women her friends and family knew. She had many miscarriages, gave birth to stillborn twins, and then her adopted child passed away from illness after a mob came in to ransack the house and let the freezing air in. All this while living with constant anxiety that the love of her life could be murdered any day. Can you imagine that? The kind of bravery it takes to even stay alive in a situation like that?
But she didn’t just stay alive. She was the president of a women’s organization called the Relief Society, which was dedicated to charity. This still exists today, and is one of the largest women’s organizations of all time. She lived in a constant state of fear and grief, and still managed to focus on helping others. I hope I can one day be half the woman she was.
The quote on the bottom of the image is one that I saw tucked away in a corner of a museum, above some information about Joseph’s burial. It simply said,
“Oh, Joseph. Have they taken you from me at last?”
It hit me so much harder than I could have anticipated. Something about that one phrase perfectly captured both the grief of the moment and the anxiety that she lived with for her entire marriage.
My only regret is that I’m not better at art, because I’d like to give her proper recognition. For now, this will have to do.
Anyway, I hope you all learned something new today, and if not, well, I hope you had a lovely day anyway.