For the sartorial minded September is the month that releases brick-heavy issues from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Furthermore, these September magazines are usually abundant with pages and pages for my own inspiration. But what is going on for 2018?! All I could see was a deluge of extremes. Puffy coats on steroids. Gym wear, ala haute couture. And, really?! A revival bringing the worst of the Eighties.
Yet, Marie Claire’s September offered some redemption. And it came by way of an editorial [no kidding!] titled “State of Grace”. Photographer Robert Nethery uses an exquisite flood of light in his work, so that model Tasha Tilberg appears beautifully near-translucent.
There is so much more behind my being mesmerized by Natasha Ramsay-Levi’s face that transcends the surface. Found in W Magazine’s Volume 4 2018 issue, I then went online to find out more about the photographer Paolo Roversi. Within the bio I’d located, I learned that Roversi’s first assignment for the AP was to cover Ezra Pound’s funeral – which alone is an auspicious start for a photographer’s journey. And in her position as creative director for Chloé, Ramsay-Levi has brought some extraordinary and admirable views and visions…
Photo by Paolo Roversi
My colored pencil depiction from the above:
The actual title I give this painting is “A Girl Can Dream” – as Marisa Berenson has mesmerized me since my own childhood/girl years. A case of Marisa envy, if you will. And the photo behind the painting is another I’ve held onto for I-don’t-know-how-long! The original was shot by Irving Penn. [Interesting side note: My father had been a commercial photographer and disliked the work of Penn. However, he never elaborated on this.] And with as much credit compliance I can provide, I can only assume that this Penn assignment first appeared in Vogue. That is my guess and can also only speculate on the year it was taken.
Marisa Berenson by Irving Penn
Plainly, a lot of artistic license factored in this. In addition to modifying her Adele Simpson outfit, I riffed a bit from Milton Glaser in transforming her hair. [See iconic image of Bob Dylan which Glaser illustrated for his greatest hits release, 1966.]
A Girl Can Dream
In posting this painting, I fear becoming known as “That Tim Walker-crazed painter”. Not only that, but Tim Walker – or his agent, anyway – may not be all that keen in my depictions of his inspired settings and/or concepts behind his photo shoots. Be what may: I joined two of his photos together here. While his bride appeared in a 2016 issue of “British Vogue”, the model in black originated in a 2009 issue of “Italia Vogue”. And I could not resist the contrast!
To Have and To Hold
First, an apology to adorable model Hyunji Shin. When working from Terry Tsiolis’ photo [in an editorial from the July 2018 issue of Elle] my foremost intent was to depict this incredible outline of the Marc Jacobs gown; I hardly did justice in Hyunji’s face! Yet, painting wet on wet is still rather foreign to me. One has to relinquish a lot of control – and those who know me will understand…
Hyunji in Marc
There are fashion magazine clippings which I have kept in a binder over the years… [And I do try to keep impulsive clipping at a reasonable binder management level. To “try”, being relative.] My most recent muse came by way of W Magazine and, more to the point, photographer Willy Vanderperre. His photograph offered me two elements I could not resist: lovely hand gesturing and challenging shadows. And I title this as Shear over Sheer because most challenging for me was in knowing when and what to omit.
Shear Blue Gloves
From a Rossettiesque photo by Peter Lindbergh, a Galliano gown is featured. I liked the near weariness in the model’s pose. And while the original photo [featured in Vogue, I believe] had her set against dark greens and what looked like ivy growing from the ground, I chose to add a bed of Iris instead. As my own Iris is now in bloom, will I follow them?
There is an adorable model who is not entirely depicted in this piece. And when I searched on photographer Marc de Groot’s online portfolio to look for her name, it couldn’t be found… But it was her hands that I loved most. Me, being me, I took some liberties with both her hair and the corset she wore. Maybe I should be calling her “Little Peacock”?
*Also, a thanks to the inspired work of Mr Barry Blitt!
“I’m so cold!” Even though Winter had transitioned finally to Spring, those three words had incessantly repeated in my mind. Half of my apartment is below ground – with little to insulate me from the rock it is built upon. My hands remained rigid, posing a problem in carrying out detailed paintings. So, the cold became a muse of sorts. Colored pencils occupied me until a new heater arrived. And my sanity, somewhat restored!
No one will identify über-model Karlie Kloss in this color pencil sketch – but then the same could be said in Tim Walker’s photograph of her, taken for a British Vogue fashion editorial back in 2010. That’s alright, as that wasn’t my aim.
And when I returned to using my own hand in my art, I hadn’t intended to focus a whole lot on mastering figure drawing. [Nor did I intend to use color pencils all that much!] Yet between this extraordinary pose and vibrant greens, I just couldn’t resist the challenge.
Right before posting I have a great temptation to change the title of this painting to “The Three Muses” – or, “The Three Graces”. Truthfully? I haven’t got the whole “Gods and Goddesses” background to pull it off. Not to mention that the costume designs were inspired by an era when The Flapper was all the rage…
This gouache painting measures approximately 10.5” x 8.5”.
The gown. That hair! Solange, that is. And with such an already musical name like that, why call this anything else? The source of it all can be seen on Elle.
I used some metallic watercolors for this 9″ x 12″ painting – a size which exceeds my scanning bed. The glint of the metallic gets lost on a monitor but I’m happy enough with the outcome here.