in the 1940's, 50's, and 60's, there was a popular series of juvenile books about a mystery-solving nurse named Cherry Ames. apparently, she inspired a lot of kids to pursue careers in medicine. (maybe some private investigation too!) she had a large enough impact that the Palm Healthcare Foundation decided to update the series with hopes that she could influence contemporary kids also.

this illustration was commissioned for the cover of the first new book. the manuscript wasn't finished when i was hired. (i don't know if it's finished yet.) characters were added and subtracted. the protagonist herself changed names more than once. so, my only instruction was to create "a strong, beautiful, brave, and intelligent female nurse." think Nancy Drew meets ER. i added my own personal goal of referencing the original illustrations somehow. to that end, the composition is based almost exactly on the cover of the first Cherry Ames novel.

© 2004 rama hughes