Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Plant City artist Debra Bryant teams with author to create cover art for “Sword of the Wild Rose,” released this month by Ambassador International

Debra Bryant, an accomplished Plant City artist, has completed her painting, “The Price of Freedom,” to be used as the cover art for award winning author, Ruth Carmichael Ellinger’s latest historical novel which released this month to book stores and online sales venues. Sword of the Wild Rose, is the 3rd book in Ambassador International’s best-selling inspirational ‘Wildrose’ series. “Sword of the Wild Rose” will be distributed to international markets, as well as in the United States.

The collaboration of artist, Debra Bryant, and Ruth Carmichael Ellinger, local Brandon author, began when Ellinger attended a function at Center Place Arts and Civic Assn. in Brandon, FL in December. The artist had a display of her artwork, titled “The Masters as Teachers” on exhibit in Mook Gallery there. Impressed by the subject matter and sensitive renderings of the oil paintings, and discouraged by the prevalent use of cut and paste graphic art designers and their inability to visually capture her ideas, Ellinger contacted Bryant with the suggestion of creating the book cover she envisioned. Delighted with the project, Bryant used the text of the manuscript as her primary inspiration for the painting. She also drew upon her research into vintage period clothing, as well as the Davidson family history and colonial historical references in compiling the piece.

In “Sword of the Wild Rose,” Ellinger relates an engaging tale of her patriot ancestor, Derick Davidson, exiled Scot, and Daniel Morgan, Winchester Virginia’s intriguing militia Captain. The narrative is set in 1773 Colonial America, just prior to the Revolutionary War. On reading the manuscript, Bryant said, “Ellinger’s inspirational story and compelling literary style creates such a wealth of material for an artist, and I was honored to work with her on the cover art. In creating her characters, she reveals layers of strength and honor with emotional depth, inspiring dimensional visuals in the reader.”

Two oil sketch drafts were painted, depicting elements designed to capture the heart of the story. From among these, the artist and the author chose the strongest visuals and worked out their placement. These decisions made, the artist succeeded in capturing the essence of the story in pictorial form. About the painting process, Debra said, “This has been an invigorating project for me artistically, and very fulfilling personally. With each painting session, I was catapulted back into the story, re-living the chronicle of Derick Davidson, Daniel Morgan, and Kearan Mackenzie, and their choices in the quest for personal freedom and the independence of a nation.”

George R. Schember, Winchester VA historian, has this to say: “In her latest historical novel, Sword of the Wild Rose, Ruth Carmichael Ellinger not only tells an endearing story, but also accurately portrays the character and spirit of Daniel Morgan, a real life revolutionary war general in America’s War of Independence.”

GEORGE R. SCHEMBER is a distinguished Virginia historian, President of the Winchester Frederick County Historical Society, and holds an MA in history, University of Tennessee

Debra Bryant is a charter member and officer of The ART Lounge Gallery, a local artist co-op, located at 119 E. Reynolds Street in Plant City, Fl. You can view some of her paintings online at: or visit the gallery Tuesday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Currently with 12 artist members, The ART Lounge Gallery hosts Art After Dark, an open house with light refreshments, on the second Saturday of each month. Debra Bryant also teaches an ongoing oil portrait class at Center Place Fine Art & Civic Assn. in Brandon, Fl. For information call: (813) 423-1423 or e-mail:

A book signing event with the author and artist in attendance, is planned for June 26, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Life Way Christian Bookstore, 169 Brandon Town Center Drive, Brandon, FL 33511

(813) 653-9828

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