Last month, I was contacted by a German magazine called Frauleinwunder (Girl Wonder), a magazine for pin-ups, rockabilly girls and burlesque stars…and artists that like all of these things! They wanted to do a feature on my paintings as a Frauleinwunder article, and who was I to refuse such a kind invitation?
They did a wonderful job of the two spreads, really showing off my paintings of Leyla Rose, Daiquiri Dusk, Miss Hell’s Belle and me (of all people). I was amazed that they printed the whole article that I wrote. I love how the issue was called their herzblut issue (meaning doing things with a passion). How appropriate!
Here is a transcription of the article in case you can’t read it on the photos.
You create beautiful paintings of Burlesque dancers – where does your fascination for this scene come from? How did you get involved with the scene?
I use a wide range of material for my paintings. I attend the Dr Sketchy’s Anti Art School sessions where models are drawn and photography is allowed, so I have both sketches and photographs to work from. I also attend life drawing classes at least once a week where I get to draw from life. Sometimes I am fortunate enough to have someone model for just me! Most of my paintings are produced from photographic material as the poses are often just not practical for the model to hold for long. When painting from photographs, I do tend to try and not just replicate what is in the photograph, but to capture a sense of the movement in the performance or the pose. I try to tell something about the performer as well as make a likeness of them and enjoy adding items to the paintings to add my own story, like the little ship in ‘Caught in the Fishnet’ where Leyla Rose is portrayed as a giant mermaid.
Is painting for you an obsession or more a “day job”? Can you put away your brush at 5pm when the painting is nearly finished? How does it feel for you during the process of painting?
Most of my buyers are just people who see the burlesque portraits as a window into a world of glamour, or as a bit of light hearted fun. My main buyers are middle to late aged women who connect with the strong personalities of the burlesque performers. I am finding that as my work is shown in new places, that more of my clients are male, and I have two collectors in France now! Most of my fans come from the burlesque scene, but sadly as they are artists too, they can rarely afford one of my originals. This is why I am branching out into limited edition giclee prints sold through my website shop, and more reasonably priced poster prints which will be available through newartcompany.com soon.
Speaking about the Burlesque performers. You surely have seen quite a lot of shows! do you have any favourite ones that you try to catch when they perform? Was there an act that you really liked?
It is hard to choose acts that I love as they are all so different, but one of the most original acts I saw was the Steampunk act by Chassy van Klass & sparky strange which is a double peformed to the soundtrack from the war of the worlds.
I read somewhere that you love to travel! traveling is always a great source for inspiration, isn’t it? Where are your favourite places so far – and what are your dream places that you still want to see?
You’ve got a huge list of exhibitions! What was – for you personally – the greatest success so far?