Thursday, September 12, 2013

Redheads - OH MY!

My daughter, Sarah, has been blessed with gorgeous red hair and she comes by it rightly.  My grandfather’s nickname was “Red”; when I was young,  my hair was as red as Sarah’s.  (Now it's more gray then red - HA! ).  I have pictures of the two of us when she was small and our hair color was exactly the same.  I remember detesting my red hair as I was growing up.  I wanted to be blonde – you know, “Blondes have more fun!”  My daughter also wished she had different hair until she was in her 20s.  Now she loves it.

A portrait of Sarah I painted on an 8x10 porcelain tile

Throughout history, being a redhead was not necessarily a healthy thing to be.  Redheads have been subjected to discrimination and fearful prejudice, being viewed as untrustworthy, mischievous, temperamental, and lustful. In ancient Egypt, red hair was seen as so unlucky, red-haired girls were burned alive. According to Greek myths, redheads turn into vampires when they die.

In medieval Europe, the infamous witch-hunting manual, Malleus Maleficarum, instructed that red hair and green eyes were marks of a witch, as were freckles (which most redheads are prone to have). This belief might have stemmed from the general consensus that redheads were evil, wanton, and hot-tempered. In the Bible, Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot are often portrayed as redheads, as was Lilith, Adam’s first wife who insisted on sexual equality. Even Jonathan Swift, in his 1726 classic Gulliver’s Travels, characterized redheads as being wanton and promiscuous.

Elizabeth Siddall was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s model in the 1850s until her death in 1862.  Her image is recognized worldwide as the model for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  She had glorious red hair which was not considered socially acceptable in the Victorian era.

Beata Beatrix by Rossetti

Over the years, I’ve studied the paintings of Master Artists who have lived through the centuries.  Through this study, their paintings take on more life and meaning as I learn more about their lives and come to understand their trials and tribulations.  

I'll share what I've learned about Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites soon.  It's absolutely FASCINATING!!

What does this have to do with cross stitch and needlework?  Stay tuned ;)

Happy stitching -


  1. wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
    so pretty.
    i am truly impressed.
    hugs x

  2. How pretty your daughter is.:) I love red hair...I have straight hair and I always wanted to have curly hair...:)))
    I am stayed tuned...:)

  3. ooOoo! Kim you have a gift from God. Such talent! My daughter and I have the same exact hair color. Well, same thing, we did. Now I have about 10% white also. ;)

  4. I have always wanted red hair... But no I have mousy brown - but my niece has the most gorgeous red hair. I love the portrait you did of your daughter - it is beautiful as is your daughter :)
    Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve!!

  5. What a beautiful daughter! Kim, your artistic talent is wonderful.
    Each one of my 4 kids has a different color hair, with my youngest son being a redhead.
    I was born blonde but now the little grays are creeping in :(

    I'll be staying tuned for more on our redheads!

  6. I'm a redhead too .... but far from being this pretty! :D

  7. I remember you and I and Julie W. were the redheads in school. Isn't it funny how sought after red hair is now. That could be a self portrait. Take care.


  8. Hi Kim, I received the beautiful painted heart dish that I won. I just love it!
    The painting of your daughter is beautiful. I love her hair!
    My daughter loves art and art history. She teaches art at an elementary school and does some painting when she has time. I'll have to show her your blog.

  9. Kim-I am anxious to see what you have up your sleeve!??