Paintings – Betsy McCall, in post Katrina Nola Series

Betsy McCall, in post Katrina Nola, Wondered How Her Life Would Have Been Different Had She Been Brenda Starr
35 by 19.64 in
Digital Painting 2007
Click on the image for overlay enlargement.




For model I used as resource a DeviantArt stock via PersephoneStock. The stock picture is here. Thank you to them.

For the background I used as resource one of the shots I took in November of 2006 when visiting Katrina-ravaged NOLA and Mississippi.

* * * * * * *

Preoccupation with style is annoying, but I can’t discount its importance in identity. Take someone and put them in another person’s clothes (especially forcing them into another person’s style) and you’ve got an identity crisis at hand. Style can be an expression of the individual’s creativity and one’s values but can also submerge the individual in identification with a group.

Perhaps there are some unfamiliar with Betsy McCall, which was a fashion paper doll for children. Don’t know if it’s still around, but when I was a a little girl it came out once a month in McCall’s magazine. One was given the impression, even as a young child, that with the right clothes, Betsy McCall was prepared for anything.

It’s style over substance, in replacement of substance, that I was thinking about when working on the above, and how the legacy of Betsy McCall–who always had the just right clothes for every occasion–continues, and how it separates from experience, one’s own and that of others.

I’d been holding onto these NOLA pics since November, wanting to do something with them, and when I saw some of the Blow-Up styled poses it occurred to me to paint them as settings for fashion shots, reflecting on the above.

There you have the basic thoughts, in as few words as possible.

Worked on this series back in February.

Detail of the painting at actual pixels (done 300 dpi at 35 by 20 inches).

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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