What is an American Beauty?
Every woman ever born!
What are my American Beauties? The things that dreams are made of I guess. At least my dreams I should say.
When I was a small boy of eight, I used to go to my grandparent's house, sneak into the basement and leaf through my Grandfathers Pinup Calendars. Gil Elvgren did the calendar art and I was in awe. Not just in awe of the beautiful women he painted but of his painting style. I knew then that some day I would create my own series of beautiful women. I just had no idea when that would be.
So finally in 1999 at the ripe old age of 60 I figured I had better get going on this series before I got too old to remember what a beautiful woman looked like. Just kidding!
I sat at my drawing board and began to sketch. I had no idea what I wanted to do. No clue what direction I wanted these paintings to go in. What I had was my love of art and an overwhelming love of the beauty of women.
I knew one thing. I knew that I did not want my paintings to look like the great masters of Pinup art from the 40's and 50's, Gil Elvgren, George Petty, Haddon Sundblom and Alberto Vargas. I knew I wanted to set them in the 40's and 50's but they had to be mine. I didn't want anyone looking at my art like I was copying these great artists. I want people to see my vision of Pinup art.
After weeks of drawing I finally realized that no matter how hard I tried, the sketches that I liked the best were full illustrations. Corner to corner so to speak. And so the series began. And so did the lists.
I sat for days making lists of possibilities. What did the girls look like? Where were they? What were they wearing? What were they doing? What were they thinking? Questions, questions but no answers. I was making myself nuts. I had so many possibilities I didn't know where I wanted to start.
So my agent suggested that before I made myself crazy I should pick a genre and start there. Sounded like a plan to me. So I picked Noir and focused on those possibilities.
I decided that the first painting would combine elements that were close to my heart. So I decided on a stripper in a Jazz bar. I love Jazz. I decided that the guys in the picture had to be friends of mine, other artists, just for the fun of it. And I decided that the girl had to be a red head. Not sure exactly why I picked red but it certainly worked with the dress.
I found the right model, Shannon, and the right dress, not that you see much of the dress, and I posed the painting. Emerald Evening was born and as my agent says the rest is history.
Here I am 4 years later with 35 paintings in this series and I still have a mountain of sketches on my drawing board. I have decided that if I lived five lifetimes I would not be able to paint all the images of beautiful women that I see in my mind.
So I keep sketching and picking individual pieces to paint. I keep searching for the perfect model to fit my images. I keep buying vintage clothes and stuff to use in the paintings. And I keep hoping that I have another 30 or 40 years to paint.
American Beauties was a long time in the making for me. I hope you enjoy the art as much as I enjoy creating it. I hope my American Beauties art has the ability to transform and inspire you. I hope that it stirs passions within you. And I hope that it fulfills your fantasies and dreams.
If after you have viewed this series I have achieved even one of the above then I have succeeded in my quest.
Thank you for stopping by. Come often to see what's new and tell your friends. I would greatly appreciate it.
So little time! So much to paint!