My creative friends commission art from me to visualize their often quirky ideas and conceptions. This was one of them. The commission was to illustrate a scene from an early Andre Norton novel, THE PRINCE COMMANDS, a non-fantasy "Ruritanian" adventure story in which the American hero, due to an unexpected hereditary revelation, is called to become the ruler of a small middle-European country. In the story, the hero passes by a bridge which is populated by girls in traditional costume selling flowers. The hero meets a group of dirndl-clad flower-selling girls on the bridge. One of them is a spy's messenger with a message for him, signified by a yellow rose. My friend commissioned this scene, with the twist that all the flowergirls are represented by different alien-sentient females from different planets. I was allowed to create whatever alien species were necessary, as long as they wore dirndls and sold flowers.
Click on the picture for a closer look:
Here are the flowergirls from left to right: Back row: Psionic blue alien lady from another friend's fantasy world, Cyclops-eyed peasant girl from Julian May's PLIOCENE, insectoid with lilacs, one of the Mole People, sentient seaworm. Front row: black catwoman with daffodils, walrus woman with violets, blue lobster-woman with multiple sets of of arms, reptiloid ("Granny Lizard"), the Melaklos (see this post from last year) with the yellow rose, dressed all in grey; deep-sea holothurian from a heavy gravity world, holding hyacinths. Background details: Ferns, cat, mouse, cheese, newspaper, little yellow bird, beer bottle (St. Pauli Girl, for the dirndi costume). The buildings in the background are taken from Prague, Czechoslovakia. "Granny Lizard" is wearing a ribbon with the Austrian flag colors of red and white.
The "Alien Flowergirls" is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 16" x 9", October 1985.