ABC’s Wife Swap Looking for Retro Rockabilly family

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 30th, 2007

Below is the body of an e-mail I received from a casting producer for ABC’s Wife Swap. They are looking for a retro style family for an upcoming show. I’ve wathced the show a few times and although the premise seems ridiculous, it seems that both families learn a lot from the experience. If you’re interested you can contact Rachelle Mendez (contact info at end of the bulletin). Don’t forget to mention you learned about the show here and good luck !!!


ABC TV’s Wife Swap seeks families for remaining episodes for 3rd season. Casting Producers currently seek families who are passionate about all-things-retro and enjoy a glam sensibility/ wardrobe.

Ideal candidates would be families with vibrant personalities were everyone regularly visit vintage shops, enjoys rockabilly, attends car shows, and who love non-stop-bop! Fifties enthusiasts should apply.

All families featured on the show receive a $20,000 honorarium. Referrals for families are extremely welcome; the more the better! The show offers a $1,000 finder’s fee to individuals recommending families who are then featured on the show.

Potential families can live anywhere in the continental United States and should consist of two parents who have at least one child, age 6 or older, living at home.

The premise of Wife Swap is that one parent from each household swaps places for a week to experience how another family lives. It is an incredible family opportunity to both learn and teach different family values. The New York Post says, “It should be called ‘Life Swap’ because it’s not just the wives who learn something here. It’s the families.”

Thank you,

Rachelle Mendez
Casting Associate Producer
ABC Television’s “Wife Swap”/RDF Media
440 Ninth Avenue, 11th floor
New York
, NY 10001
Phone :( 212)404-2442

Rachelle Mendez | Casting Associate Producer
440 9th Avenue| 11th Floor| New York| NY 10001
tel. + 1 212 404 2442 | fax. + 1 212 404 1423 |

sticking to my goals and more Vargas inspiration

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 16th, 2007

I’m steadily progressing toward completion of my latest painting. It’s a battle at times between wanting to get it done and knowing that taking my time is what gets me the results I’m looking for. In the words of Alberto Vargas, “Don’t lay your color too fast, build it gradually.” I read that in a book of Vargas’ work published by himself and Reid Austin simply titled Vargas. Published in 1978, this is the only work I’ve found that has anything written about Vargas’ technique, and of course it includes tons of prints of his amazing watercolor pinups.

weekend read of my biggest inspiration, Alberto Vargas

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 15th, 2007

I’m often asked what inspires me to paint pinups. Besides the fact that I’ve always been fascinated by the glamour of 40’s Hollywood and grew up watching old Elvis movies (and imagining myself to be his next conquest!), I am inspired by the work of pinup artists who reigned supreme during the WWII era. Chief among these artists in my mind is Alberto Vargas, creator of the Varga Girl that graced the pages of Esquire magazine for years. I love the subtle shading and sultry eyes of Vargas paintings, and that his two favored mediums were pastels and watercolors - which were the first mediums I used to create my pinups.

I recently got my hands on a new book titled “Alberto Vargas, Works from the Max Vargas Collection” and spent the weekend studying never before published Vargas paintings, sketches, and studies of pinups from the 20’s through the 60’s, including Vargas’ rarely seen legacy nudes. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves retro pinups - whether you love to view them or paint them, or both. Clck on the link above to view more details about the book and purchase at

seeing spots - leopard, that is!

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 15th, 2007

Setting goals each day seems to be working - I planned on finishing up the fabulous leopard print pants on my current pinup painting today and it’s done! Next up is her smooth as silk skin - I’ll leave that for tomorrow since the kids are off from school today and I really need to do some desk work! Since today is all about leopard print (my fave!), I’ll leave off with a link to one of my favorite online vintage boutiques and their category designed just for me Leopard Prints at :)

setting goals to paint more pinups

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 10th, 2007

I’ve been receiving so many requests from models and fans to paint more pinups that I have to set daily goals to get them done. Today I planned on completing the hair for my pinup of Texas Tara - mission accomplished! I read an article recently asking an artist about inspiration - for me the many fans I have and the daily friend requests I receive on myspace are enough inspiration to keep me focused on painting my pinups! I received a friend request today from Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz. If you’re not aware of their hotrod blues music, check them out on myspace or their website. They rock!!!

watching Rachael Ray while working on my pinup’s hair

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 10th, 2007

When I’m working on a painting, I need something in the background to break the silence. Sometimes I listen to music, but for an hour today I tuned in to Rachael Ray’s talk show. I have enjoyed watching Rachael’s 30 Minute Meals on The Food Network for years, but her talk show is something else. She had so much going on that before I knew it an hour had passed and I’d completed about a third of the complicated hairstyle sported by my pinup. It’s a great way to pass the time and if you can’t see the show, has lots of info about the show, recipe links (I made the Montalcino Chicken with Figs and Buttered Gnocchi last night - it was a big hit with the entire family), and an online shop. Way to go Rachael!

a hot new pin-up sketch to chase away the cold!

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 9th, 2007

Just got the ok to work on an image of one of the loveliest ladies to blossom onto the retro pin-up scene, Cherry Dollface! I’ve had an eye on Cherry’s work for some time and decided to pay tribute to the Marines who have adopted Cherry as their mascot. The piece I’m doing is based on an image by Caitlin Gustin titled “Semper Fi”.

Here’s the finished sketch:

Cherry Sketch

modeling tips from pro pin-up Heidi Van Horne

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 9th, 2007

One of my favorite pinup models, Heidi Van Horne, recently started an advice column on Java’s Bachelor Pad titled Ask Heidi. Every month Heidi answers a number of questions from aspiring pin-up models. Her advice is sound and true to her personality, it’s a joy to read - like spending a little time with a trusted girlfriend. Anyone interested in learning more about what goes into making pinup should take a look.

pinup reference books I love…

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 4th, 2007

I get a lot of questions from my fans about where I get my inspiration and how I create my paintings. I plan on posting in-depth how-to’s in the future, but for now I’d like to share some books that have greatly influenced my style. The first was written by my all-time favorite pinup artist Alberto Vargas and the other by his modern-day counterpart Olivia. Both showcase the amazing talent of these artists and include essays on their technique.


Cheesecake Chronicles Volume 1: Art of Olivia (Olivia’s Cheesecake Chronicles, 1)

busy painting tattoos, lining up my next model, and lot’s of reading….

Posted by Susan Heidi - January 4th, 2007

Well, I’ve been busy at work on my painting of Texas Tara. I’ve been hard at work recreating the amazing tattoos on this lady. Working so closely with photographs of the model gives me such an appreciation for the small nuances that all together add up to one beautiful image. I’ve also been working on getting my next painting lined up - a real retro beauty with a penchant for Marines! Stay tuned! In my spare time, I’ve been doing a little reading to keep me abreast of the art industry and the rapidly changing publishing world. If you’re interested, here are a few titles to check out:

Complete Guide to Self Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Own Book (Self-Publishing 4th Edition)

Inside the Business of Illustration