Yes! I have finally finished two new paintings, which I’ve been working on, for quite some time. It’s exciting to be able to post them! As you know, I haven’t created any new drawings or paintings, in a long time. I’m getting back to this. However, I was wanting to try out something new (the jewelry, that is), before continuing. Like many creative people or artists, I have endless lists and materials, which I would love to use, in my artwork. I’ve discussed this before, and I find myself, overwhelmed! So, I’m concentrating on a small series of paintings, right now, before I get into anything else. In no time, there will be something to distract me, but I must stay with it, though.
The first painting is entitled, Dime Store Doll. I created an entire scenario around the young girl featured. If you’ve been following or reading my blog posts, then you know, I love vintage 1960s and 1970s “Big Eye” art, which has come into popularity, in more recent years, but I actually liked this type of art, way before its resurgence. I could get into more detail if I wanted to, but it’s time to get down to business.
I imagined a preteen girl, taking a trip to a drugstore, back in the 1970s. While I didn’t grow up then, I still wanted her to look the part. I decided she should wear a peasant top and an oversized patchwork, driver’s cap. From my research, I discovered the “prairie” look was in, and of course, the character, Holly Hobbie, was everywhere. Instead of using the calico paint colors, I selected pastel colors, for the cap. I wanted it to look “delicious,” where it looks as though, you could dip a spoon into it, like you would, in an ice cream sundae. I feel like it works. It was challenging, to shade the cap. I decided to leave it alone, though. I have her posed, as if she’s leaning in front of the counter, about to buy a gumball. Yes, that’s a shiny, new penny, in her hand. I’m not so sure, 1 cent gumball machines existed then, but I imagined this drugstore to be more like an old-fashioned one, where candy was less expensive. I really worked hard, on the gumball machine, to make it accurate. It’s still a bit amateurish. However, I feel it’s fairly good, for the style. I think the shading and value look good, too. I had difficulty with her skin tone, but after experimenting, I finally figured it out. She definitely has the “big eyes!” Hopefully, she doesn’t look older, than she’s supposed to. This is one thing, I still have to work on. It’s a constant struggle. I’ll accomplish this eventually, I’m sure. I did want the colors to be bright and vibrant, even a bit gaudy. It adds to the “kitsch” factor, I think. Obviously, the title is self-explanatory. I actually finished this painting, in late 2016.
The next painting is entitled, Poodle Princess. I actually had an idea for this illustration, 4 years ago, but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it, so I decided to try it again, as a painting. It worked! Well, at least I think so. Excuse my excitement. By the way, you can find the first illustration, under the category, 2013 Spring Drawings. The blog entry is titled, A New Drawing With Lots Of Ingredients.
Anyway, the real inspiration comes from a doll, named, Angie, from the Dawn doll line. They are small, fashion dolls, which had both separate fashion sets and playsets, that could be purchased. She is one of the many friends, of Dawn, who of course, is the leader. They were all produced by Topper Toys, between 1970 and 1973. I was inspired by Angie, because she has a fashion set, consisting of a white fur hat and matching coat, a white top underneath, with white hotpants, and white go-go boots. Oh, and let’s not forget, the small poodle! Unlike some of the other dolls in the line, Angie has really long, dark black hair. Okay. Enough with the “doll talk.”
I imagined a young girl/woman from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, walking through a park, like Central Park, in New York, with her Teacup poodle. Obviously, it’s late in the afternoon, on a winter day. As I worked on the sunset, I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t look right, when I finished it. I looked at quite a few references, while I was painting it, and I just decided, that I would have to take a chance. It may be a bit “cheesy” and again, “amateurish,” but I like it, regardless. This time, I wanted the subject matter to look as though, she’s wearing makeup. After all, she’s a young woman. The Teacup poodle was difficult, in its own way. It probably looks more like a “stuffed animal,” than a real one, by the way its legs are hanging, limply. Again, I used many reference sources for this, but I had trouble finding a small poodle, being held, this way. I know the eyes are a little spooky. However, if you look at a small poodle’s eyes, they are big and round. I thought it would be cute, to paint the poodle black, to match the young woman’s hair color. I didn’t have as much difficulty, painting the skin tone, for this one. Her eyes are “big,” but in a more mature way. For this painting, the colors are more subdued, with some contrasts, here and there. This scene is also, quite “kitschy,” and I’m okay with that. I would say, the title could be self-explanatory, too.
Both of these paintings are done in acrylic and measure, 11 x 14 inches.