Lady of the Alamo
Click Here to Read Her Story
"Dedicated to all
those who have had to carry on, after the
battle was over."
|"Lady of the Alamo, Her Name is Courage"
||20½" x 26"
|200 Giclée Edition S/N
16" X 21"
|11" X 14"
25 S/N Giclée
|27" X 36"
"LADY OF THE ALAMO, Her Name Is Courage"
Inspiration: Susanna Dickinson
What began as
the highest honor (being asked to do a piece to benefit the Alamo),
quickly became my greatest challenge. Facing the daunting task
of creating a work that honored the brave heroes of the Alamo almost
overpowered me. Dipping into the depths of my experience and
still coming up blank, I promised to open myself to whatever the
Alamo spoke to me.
Given the rare
opportunity to sketch in privacy within the Shrine, I could feel the
presence of the dead heroes filling the space. Being inexplicably
pulled to a room called the Sacristy, I sketched its arched
doorway. Then I was taken to meet the Curator of the Alamo so he
could answer any questions I might have. It was there I was struck
by the sight of a tattered petticoat (shown in the artwork) as it
was being preserved. It had belonged to Susanna Dickinson, one of
the six women who survived the Battle of the Alamo. And the room
where she and her baby had endured the siege had been the Sacristy,
the very room that kept calling me.
Walking away I
shivered with chills as I imagined her terror and despair over their
desperate plight. Experiencing the purest sense of inspiration I
have ever felt, I knew I had no other choice... I was supposed to do
tribute to Susanna and the other women whom had stood in defense of
her story I learned her love for her husband, Almeron Dickinson, who
had brought her to this place. They had moved from Tennessee to the
frontiers of Texas in search of a future filled with limitless
promise. As hostilities grew against the tyranny of Mexico, Almeron
had proven his leadership with the cannon defenses at Gonzalez and
now served as Commander of the Artillery at the Alamo. Only 22,
Susanna had stayed fled within the walls of the Alamo with their
baby so she could be near her husband's side as Santa Anna
Col. Travis on the last night of the siege to try to return his ring
to his young son, she slipped it on a string and tied it around the
neck of her 15 month old baby, Angelina. Now she carried yet one
more burden as she faced the possibility of their impending death.
Yes, she had
been given the opportunity to leave the sanctuary of the Alamo
before the final onslaught began, but had chosen to remain with
those brave souls who eventually fought to their death in defense of
freedom. Much is made of those brave men who sacrificed their lives
against the thousands of soldiers under Santa Anna, but the silent
sacrifice of the courageous women with them also has its place of
honor in our history.
What was in
her heart, and in the hearts of the other women who chose to stay
behind? We suggest it was those same words that are assigned to the
heroes of the Alamo. Hope, Faith, Honor, Courage and Sacrifice. In
this piece we find young Susanna contemplating her fate and the fate
of her loved ones. The ring of Col. Travis is held in her hands.
Overwhelmed with the weight of her burden, she has time to pause for
one last prayer.
depth of Susanna Dickinson's emotions was the most difficult thing I
have ever attempted. Many tears were shed with her at my drawing
table as I struggled to portray her grief and despair. Creating a
piece where every woman can step inside to help her carry the burden
became an obsession. I hope I have done her honor.
information related to the LADY OF THE ALAMO story...
It is reported that
Susanna was brought before Santa Ana during the morning following the
battle and was and invited to accompany him to Mexico to become a part
of his concubine. She refused, and was put on a wagon and sent toward
Gonzales to spread the word about what had happened at the Alamo.
lived her final years in Austin, Texas, where she died at age 87.
Susanna's daughter Angelina died in her mid-60's, after having spent
most of her life in Austin.
Charles Travis, who
was 9 at the time of the battle, never received the ring his father
wanted him to have. Years later, Susanna reported in an interview that
about one year after the Alamo Battle, a gentleman knocked on her door
and introduced himself as Col. Travis' best friend from boyhood in
Alabama. She gave him the ring, asking that he find young Charles.
that Charles spent some time as a Texas Ranger at age 17. He reportedly
died at the young age of 27.
Col. Travis's ring
came back to the Alamo 109 years later. In 1945, a gentleman arrived at
the Alamo with the Travis ring indicating it had been in his family for
many generations. At a recent reunion the family had decided the ring
should be returned to the Alamo. It is presently on display in San
Antonio in a glass case in the Long Barracks.
depicted in the piece is copied from one of Susanna's actual petticoats
that is part of the Alamo achieves. It was presented to the museum by
Angelina, following her mother's passing around 1902.
Sherry Steele is a pen and ink artist from Austin, TX. Self-taught,
she has created a unique technique of stippling and overlaying various
shades of colored ink to create an almost three dimensional result in
her art. Shunning the traditional approach of using watercolor washes
over pen and ink, she mixes all of her own colors of permanent inks and
literally "paints with her pens". Constantly pushing the limits of this
unforgiving medium, Sherry is recognized for depicting the full range of
human emotions in her subjects.
"LADY OF THE ALAMO,
Her Name is Courage", is available in 4 print sizes.
information, please contact Sherry at (512) 892-3553 or email
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