Modern Gent Limited (www.moderngent.com) tells about everyday women having classic WWII style pin-up photos taken at Pink Kitty Studios in Los Angeles to send to their loved ones in the military who are stationed abroad. Today’s retro pinup models are a tough act to compete with, so I commend these women for going the extra mile to stay connected with their loved ones. Kudos to Pink Kitty Studios for marketing their services to “regular” women, and for those military guys without a partner back home, there is always professional pinup photography and artwork to fill the gap Viva la Pinup - whatever form it may take!
In an article in the Philadelphia City Paper titled “Philly Cheesecake” (catchy title, don’t you think?), Ashlea Halpern discusses the merits of pinups and pinup art and questions the longevity of the kitschy, cheesecake style. I’m not sure if Philadelphia would ever be considered the pinup capitol of the US(the tagline reads “Philly is All about Pinups”), but the author does give well deserved kudos to one of my favorite pinup photographers, Viva Van Story, describing her as “mouth wateringly talented” - I couldn’t agree more! In the article, artist Shayna V. McConville captures the issue best in stressing the emotional connection between the subject and the viewer. Whether by eye contact or body language, that’s what pinup is all about - drawing the viewer into the image (be it a painting or a photo) and taking them away from the business of everyday life, even if just for a moment in time. Such diversions will never go out of style in my book and are equally intriguing to male and female viewers - who doesn’t want to daydream a little?
I’ve added some more links to the “Links” page on my website. You’ll find links to more retro inspired shopping sites (of course!) and some more of my favorite sites, including a link to the trailer for Revolver the Movie starring one of my favorite pinups, Veronica Varlow. It’s an amazing featurette that just takes me away every time I watch it. I invite you to spend a few minutes enjoying this wonderful short film that will take you cross-country and across many eras to a far-off time, simply wonderful!
I am thrilled that the online fanzine Simple Pleasures Music Fanzine has posted an Artist’s profile in it’s “Stuff Happens” section featuring me and two of my pinups, “Red Doll” and “Salute the Troops”. The feature includes an interview in which I answered some questions about my background (you’ll learn some things you never knew about me), artistic influences, and some of my favorite things. I invite everyone to check out the interview and browse this awesome website that features retro rockabilly inspired “stuff”.
I just finished reading an excerpt form author Tara Hanks’ upcoming novel “The Mmm Girl” - a novel about the life of Marilyn Monroe as she might have told it - and it gave me chills. In her book, Tara delves into the mind of the legendary actress and tells her story from Marilyn’s own perspective. I’ve read several biographies of Marilyn’s life (she is the quintessential pinup, after all) and always thought to myself, “I wonder how it must have felt for her coming from a broken home and making it so big …” and here, Hanks has found a way to attempt to answer that question. I hope you’ll stop by Tara Hanks’ website www.tarahanks.org and read the excerpt from the novel. I’d love to know what you think of it. Tara also has a links page dedicated to Marilyn Monroe On the Web and many articles related to Marilyn can be found in her blog.
I’m nearing the end of my painting of Sabina Kelley (such a gorgeous and lovely pinup model! - you can find her at www.switchbladestilettos.com) - and don’t really have much in the way of news. I always get very introverted when I’m finishing a painting - it kind of haunts me because I have so many things I’m thinking of that I want it to become. Anyway, I’m very thankful for everyone who has given me their kind words - especially the models and photographers who are so wonderful to work with! - it’s very encouraging when I’m in the final stages of a painting
I’ll be posting the finished painting of Sabina as soon as it’s done - I’ve also started on another which I’ll let everyone know more about once I have the study fleshed out - I keep going back and forth about the outfit - very “girly” of me
I’ve gathered some more links that I’ll be adding to my website this weekend and I will also be updating the sketches section.
Thanks again to all who’ve taken the time to view my artwork!
The beautiful model Dana Hamm is sponsoring an art contest on her myspace blog (www.myspace.com/danahamm) for any interested artist to post artwork based on her images. The prizes for winning the contest are Dana Hamm merchandise and promotion of the artist on her website (www.danahamm.com). As an artist, the real prize is the opportunity to work from so many wonderfully themed images of such a beautiful woman. I was only able to pull together a quick sketch of Dana due to time constraints, but I’ll definitely think about doing a full scale pinup of Dana in the future.
Dana Hamm Sketch by Susan Heidi (based on an image by Michael Scott)
As follow-up to my earlier blog entry “Pin-Up Girls and Cocktails”, I was offered the opportunity to review the Impact Theatre’s new book. I downloaded the pdf version (easy enough) and the book is also available in a print version. My review will speak to the retro feel and pinup images, since I’m not an expert on cocktails (but I would love to try some of these recipes after reading this book!).
Pinup Girls and Cocktails? I wasn’t sure what to find inside the pages, knowing only that the theatre company had put together the book starring their own members as the “Impact Pinup Girls” to accompany the cocktail recipes. The cover image, showing a classic pin-up shot in a black negligee, is intriguing and suggests that the book will definitely have a retro, vintage flair. The rest of the book is no disappointment either. Each of the thematically named cocktail recipes is accompanied by a kitschy phrase and wonderful photographic reference (I hate when recipes don’t have accompanying photos – how else do you know what the drink should look like?) and a pinup girl to match. Many of the classic pinup poses are captured and the styling does have a retro feel. While viewing the pinups, I kept in mind that these are professional actors portraying pinups – not today’s top pinup models that I’m accustomed to working with. The Impact Theatre gals do a wonderful job of adding to the enjoyment of the book. Much as the Petty Girls were designed to sell merchandise, The “Impact Pinup Girls” definitely capture the subtle, sexy, and fun tradition of pinup while selling the cocktail recipes – vintage pinup!
details: Title: “Sinfully Delicious: The Impact Theatre Cocktail Book” Author: The Impact Theatre Staff Photographers: Kevin Berne (pinup girls); Cheshire Dave (cocktails) Size: 36 pages, full color, perfect-bound Cost: Print version, $17; downloadable high-res PDF version, $7
You can find more information on “Sinfully Delicious: The Impact Theatre Cocktail Book,” at the theatre company’s website: http://impacttheatre.com.
Released this week, “The Jayne Mansfield Collection” 3 DVD set includes the first official release of one of my favorite 50’s movies, “The Girl Can’t Help It”. There’s a review in the entertainment section of the SanLuisObispo.com (scroll down to paragraph 2, Also Released this Week) which accurately states that it’s the music that makes this movie, with lots of live footage of the Rock ‘n Roll greats Fats Domino, the Platters, Little Richard, and Gene Vincent. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. The 3 DVD set is available at Amazon.com. I haven’t seen the other two movies that are included in the set but I’d say it’s worth it for just this one.