Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pauline et al

Oh, boy, I fell behind on posting this one.

Basically, my churchy lady developed somewhat beyond just being a doodle. She's got a name, Pauline, and two nieces, pictured here. Augustine is the grumpy teen, with Sophie, her younger sister.

Pauline lives in America, and her sister Margaret, the mother to the two girls, is married to some rich banker and lives in London. The girls are usually shipped off to Pauline's for a couple of months each summer for that wholesome New England air that Margaret misses occasionally. I'll paste a chat I had with a friend towards the end of the post, if anyone cares to delve deeper into their backstories. Anyway, here's the trio posing for a ye olde tyme photoe.

And these are (from left to right) - couple Margaret sketches. Most of the 1930's dress design seemed to be about streamlining the silhouette. Since Margaret's hips are anything but slim and boyish after having two kids, I was trying to find an appropriate solution - she's quite the fashionista (and married to a rich banker means you can afford to indulge in every clothing whim), so she still has to look lovely, despite whatever shortcomings in her proportions.

In the middle, Margaret is brushing Augustine's (or Gussie's) hair, whilst her daughter is moping about not being pretty enough, or something. Her mother embarrasses her by sharing her insecurities when she was Gussie's age. . . Naturally, Gussie thinks her mother is making light of her personal tragedies, because the things she's listing off seem foolish.

On the far right is a random sketch of Pauline from her missionary days in Africa. Yep.

And here's the log of my chat for anyone interested:

Derek: That is going to turn out excellent. Is it an expansion on the churchy lady, or am I crazy?

me: It is!
And you are not!

Derek: Phew. =x

me: XD
Those are her two nieces

Derek: One too young to be angsty and the other one just old enough?

me: Perhaps.
There's sibling rivalry here, too

Derek: Ahhh!

me: Sophie is pretty much the golden child.
Augustine often feels she was thrust into this world as a sort of... rough draft or a practice child.
And while their parents love the girls equally, they sort of tend to disregard Augustine's wants and preferences, that are often at odds with the role her parents are carving out in life for her.
For instance, she wishes nothing to do with her singing tutor, and envies Sophie for being the one designated to learn ballet.

Derek: And who can blame her!

me: Likewise, French bores her.
And Sophie adores her tutor.
(they have different ones, with different approaches to teaching)
And of course, Augustine had to get the boring one.
Sophie gets to play all sorts of games and do 'learning activities' with hers!
(of course, were Augustine to look closer, she'd realise her parents don't hold much hope for Sophie's intellectual gifts)
But at her age, she's still a half-child, and wouldn't really care for that fact even if someone were to point it out to her.

Derek: I'm impressed, that's a very detailed backstory! =x

me: XD
They are staying over for the summer at their aunt Pauline's estate.
(She's our churchy lady)
And Augustine's father promised her all manners of freedom and fun.
Swimming, fishing, taking pony rides through the countryside.
Yet, no.
Pauline decided to provide the girl with some good, well-mannered experience, and roped the poor girl into volunteering with the church choir.

Derek: Ech. Awfully unpleasant.

me: The girls live in England (Pauline's sister, their mother, married a rich English banker), and Augustine feels infinitely cheated, because she may as well have stayed at home.
At least it wouldn't be so bloody hot there!

Derek: And where is this bloody hot estate?

me: oh, Pauline is of good new-england stock, of course.
One of those solid, down-to-earth women with good sense and strong faith.

Derek: Naturally!

me: You should see it in her curves
She's somewhat concerned about Augustine (Or Gussie), as the girl is entering the troubled years, turning fourteen in August.
At her age, it is especially important not to stray from the path and come under the influence of all sorts of corruptions in this world.
So Pauline strategically took the teenager under her wing this summer, hoping that the healthy New England air and the proper church environment will do her good.

Derek: And it is likely to have the opposite effect?

me: Well, Gussie hates it.
She especially cannot stand when Pauline talks to her about young gentlemen
And how she ought to take care to keep her daintiness about herself.
Which Pauline feels the girl is regrettably lacking.
(this no doubt has carried over from her mother's wilder days in the 20's... such a shame!)
All this, of course, because Gussie loves animals and wants to go on a safari and do other very unladylike things.

Derek: How dare she!

me: Indeed.
Why, when Pauline was her age, she kept her thoughts pure.
It was about then that she decided to do missionary work.
I'm too into this, aren't I? <<

Derek: Why would you say that? I think it's great!

Anyway, Pauline and her sister's parents passed away in an unfortunate train accident so she was left to manage the estate when she came back from the missions.
Her sister was in finishing school.
And she met her future husband soon after

Derek: She being Pauline?

me: No, the as-of-yet unnamed sister

Derek: Oh, okay. =x

me: Pauline herself never married

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