She’s Been Everywhere, Man!: “Hollywood”
The Place: Hollywood
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. Dating back to its first motion-picture company in 1912, Hollywood now beckons tourists with landmarks like TCL Chinese Theatre and star-studded Walk of Fame. It is now world renown for prominent film industry giants such as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. and its historic music venues like the Hollywood Bowl, and Dolby Theatre, which is the home of the Oscars.
Old Hollywood has always held a special intrigue in my imagination. I day dream about a time when colorful classic cars lined the streets and MGM movie stars graced the big screen with glamour and talent. When I saw this beautiful photograph by Trent Sherill with Speed and Kulture Magazine of model, Adriana Karras, and the Buckley family’s pink ‘57 Caddy, I was instantly inspired to create a painting that reflected that long ago era.
For this painting, I wanted to place the Caddy and the pinup girl in a scene that had to be created from my imagination. With that said, I always paint from reference photos, so I dove deep into finding different angle images of the streets Hollywood during the 1940’s and 1950’s to create the overall composition. For me, the researching step is one of my favorite parts in creating a piece of art!
Once the sketch was finished it was time to add color. My vision for all of these paintings is to use bright glossy colors in layered shapes, to mimic the feel of a vintage ‘Paint-By-Number” painting. For the car and pinup in “Hollywood, it was important to me that they stood out from the “paint-by-number” looking background with a more realistic look. This was achieved by blending the colors together a little more than the shapes I created for the background. One of my favorite aspects of this painting is the illustrative quality and depth that comes from the black outlines on everything in the foreground!
I absolutely love the glossy texture from automotive enamel on canvas. I built this canvas as a “gallery wrap” so the painting could continue over the edges creating a 3D look. I have always enjoyed art with a gallery wrapped edge, especially illustrative work, because I feel like it pulls the viewer into the story of the composition a lot more.
It was a pleasure to binge watch “I Love Lucy” and make this painting during the dark days of quarantine, when client work came to an abrupt halt. This painting is the first of many in this collection, but it will hold a special place in my heart as it brought me through an unprecedented time in my career. It has shown me that absolutely anything can be seen as a blessing if you have the right perspective on life’s circumstances.
If you’d like to see more artwork and stories from this unique series of paintings just click here!
All ten original paintings, giclée prints, posters, and postcard gift sets are now available for purchase here!
What is “She’s Been Everywhere, Man!”:
“She’s Been Everywhere, Man!” is an innovative collection of paintings that will be created to preserve Americana and redefine “pin-up” with a modern standard of equality. These paintings will represent the importance of “place”. A sense of place is the emotions someone attaches to an area or title based on their experiences. Place can be applied at any scale and does not necessarily have to be fixed in time. Place can change over time, as its physical setting and cultures are influenced by new ideas or methods.
The series will depict historic locations and vintage cars, all of which have a need for conservation and preservation. Through my art I hope to encourage and excite others to not only visit these iconic places in America but do it in car that they have maintained with their own hands. After restoring my 1966 Jeepster with my dad, and traveling cross country in it with my family, I realized that our country’s rich history is defined by our willingness to maintain the things and preserve the places that established our unique, cultural identity in the world. Through my art and personal story, I want to start a conversation on the importance of maintaining and preserving things and places of the past to benefit future generations.
My contemporary interpretations of these places and automobiles will include classic figures, that were at one time sexualized as “pin-up girls” in the hot rodding community. Building a career as a female artist in the male dominated field of automotive paint, my mission is to create a empowered version of the female “pin-up”. The women represented in my work will embody a new place in the ranks of “pin-up” culture; one of class and feminine confidence as they drive their own vehicles cross country. I want the curves of the female figure and the bold lines of a classic car portrayed in my paintings to represent the same definition of strength, beauty, and timelessness.
My inspiration for this series stems from WPA travel posters, pin-up nose art, vintage car ads, and my own favorite photos from family road trips. You can follow my mood board with all of these images and more on my Pinterest!