I’ve been dealing, for the past few months, with some trashy behavior by an unsavory neighbor. It seems like these days I cannot look out the window without seeing her waddling around in broad daylight, wrapped in a towel, cigarette in mouth, shouting out her conversations and generally behaving like White Trash Neighbor No. 1 in a sitcom.
So it seemed apt that I was asked to paint “Sordid Lives” during this time. There were tons of cigarette holding, fried chicken eating, shotgun wielding, hair roller wearing and beer bottle clutching involved and it made me think about how life does imitate art and sometimes the other way around. Well, it’s clear that my neighbor is living her life as sordidly as she can make it, whereas I’m just painting it!
Set one features Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram, LaVonda DuPree, Juanita Bartlett, Sissy Hickey, Latrelle Williamson, Noleta Nethercott, and Dr. Eva Bolinger.
Set two is all about the same characters but some in different outfits: LaVonda again, Noleta but with runny make up, Earl all gussied up, Juanita, Sissy (this time in a matching plaid short and shirt ensemble), Latrelle and Dr. Eva.
Thanks Scott and Craig! You guys rock!
Every now and then I get asked to paint a family portrait, a favorite project of mine. The thing is, being a bit on the shy side, I never dare to ask the buyers if I can paint their families in costume. I’ve done it once a long long time ago where the couple had asked me to paint them and their cats as pirates and that had been so much fun. But dreams do come true. Not only was the family I was asked to paint open to the idea of having them garbed in costumes, but in old horror movie monsters costumes! It’s a mash up of my two favorite things in the world!
Here we have the family dressed up as (Dad) The Werewolf, (Mom) Bride of Frankenstein with a real wig that I needle felted with glee, (Daughter #1) as the Dracula’s Daughter and (Daughter #2) as a Bat Baby. The family dog is a reflection of the only sane one in the lot, but if asked, I would’ve happily come up with something to put on her too!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some family portrait sets so here they are!
This one is of a very lovely family. I kind of wish that pink star shirt comes in my size now.
And look! A bully!
This one features Rachel Bloom of the CW show “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” It’s meant to be a Hey-You-Won-A-Golden-Globe-Congratulations-So-Awesome! present from her friends and family to her.
The last doll is, of course, a Golden Globe.
I spent a few days thinking about how best to proceed with the Golden Globes award. Finally, I had the Hubs 3D print the base of the item and then went through my giant box of beads and got it all sorted out!
And here’s the nicest customer appreciation photos from the couple!
This one was so much fun to do mainly because I got to go into my box of bling to jazz up the Queen’s crown and gown!
This set of the Royal Family features the Queen, Charles, Princess Di (in an outrageously outdated dress bless her heart), Prince Harry, Prince Wills, Kate, Prince George, and baby Princess Charlotte. But never mind them…check out the Queen’s shiny things!
I used a combination of glitter glue and nail art rhinestones and painstakingly separated glitter fragments to create the effect of priceless jewels.
The crown proved to be a bit difficult, but the Hubs was able to 3D print me a base for the crown and I got out my glue gun and some shiny baubles from my collection of charms and fun bits and went to town. It’s a shame the crown is about the size of a Nyquil dosage cup, or else I’d happily wear it myself!
Did I ever mention I was a bona fide musical theater nut? It helped that my BFF from way back when was totally into theater too so we more or less spent our allowances on theater tickets growing up. Later on, when she’s away at school in Boston, she’d make frequent trips back to the Big Apple so we could take in a matinee or two. One of the first musicals we’ve ever gone to see together was “Gypsy” starring Tyne Daly as Mama Rose. Later on, I was the one to make a trip to Boston to see the very same BFF take on the part of Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee at a community theater production. I figured for her very first Bobo Babushka set from yours truly ought to commemorate this musical. Of course, it was a hard choice between Gypsy or the guys from Monty Python, another one of our favorites in our teenage years. What can I say? We did not have a run-of-the-mill childhood.
This one features Mama Rose, Gypsy Rose Lee, Herbie the boyfriend, young Louise and Baby June.
Happy Birthday, Irene! (That’s right, she and I also share the same first name. In her house I was known as “The Other.”) Hope everything’s coming up roses for you always!
These days I’ve been getting a lot of requests to paint families, both established ones and brand new ones. Pets are always included, of course. Can’t count them out! I know my Bo would be really upset if we left him out of the family census. Here are a few that I’ve worked on recently.
All right, this one wasn’t that recent. It was a present for Mother’s Day from a delightful young lady to her momma.
This one was for a lovely man down in Melbourne whose Dad was celebrating his 80-something birthday. Go Dad! It had been an emergency rush job, but I didn’t turn it down as my own wonderful father-in-law had just passed away shortly after celebrating his 84th year on this earth so painting this set was a bit of a therapy for me.
This one was another emergency rush job wherein I cranked it out over a frantic weekend. But that had been all right, as I was able to listen to the entire audio version of “A Confederacy of Dunces” in nearly one sitting and had an absolute blast.
As there was some time constraint and time difference to deal with between the customer and myself, I didn’t get photos of the last member of the family until the eleventh hour. I had to rummage around in my stash of loose dolls and actually found one that is half the size of my thumb nail to turn into a dog.
By this time I was so sleep deprived and delirious that I don’t really remember how this one got painted.
Oh, this had been a great one to paint, although I felt bad that the recipient had to wait so long for me to get my act together and crank it out. The cats don’t fit into one another, so it was a lot of fun to shake them out of the dog.
This was a thank you gift to a couple who generously loan their home to one of my favorite customers for her wedding. Her vivid description of this couple was so fun that I wish I had met them myself. That’s the thing, I get to meet so many interesting people doing what I do that I don’t see how I can do anything else!
This year on my birthday I woke up feeling a bit cranky as the Hubs had insisted on giving me my presents at midnight, which was sweet of him, but one of them had been a bluetooth speaker so of course I stayed up an extra hour setting it up and Led Zeppelin-ing it all over the place. I had to spend the following day working on yet another Rocky Horror set, but I got to have cake between layering the glitter!
The other member of Hayley Williams’ band Paramore gets a rather special treatment: A not-so-traditional family portrait in Babushka form!
Gotta love that suit!
I’ve always had a bit of trouble painting babies on the dolls. But all issues are solved when we decided to paint the baby onto the Momma doll.
Which leaves the third doll available for their little pooch, cowboy.