A trip through the past
I've been taking a journey through early artwork of mine, pulling the pieces out of boxes, portfolilos, folders, places that I haven't explored in a long time. They range from my high school years, college years, early years of marriage, early teaching years, years as a grad student and then art instructor at Indiana State University, early years as a mother and a continuing education instructor. It wasn't common or practical in those days to photograph all of your paintings. Occasionally I'd get a slide made by a professional photographer of one or two of them, to use to enter an art competition. So with my new perusal of these pieces, I'm spending time documenting them with digital photos, filing them away in my computer. In the 60's and 70's I had a strong interest in fashion work, longed to be a fashion illustrator, religiously followed the New York Times magazine section, and the exquisite fashion drawings in the newspaper in general. At that time I completed many drawings of my own fashion designs.
Later on in my life, while living in Michigan I had the opportunity to do some of that kind of illustration in an advertising column in "The Eccentric Newspaper", in a section called Pizzaz!. Loved doing that! The fashion years of the 60's and 70's were inspired by Rudi Gernreich, Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon. Their ideas became very dear to me. In the above mixed-media painting, done in gouache paints on brown Kraft wrapping paper, garnished with wallpaper which I adhered to the clothing of some of the figures, and in some cases then applied paint on top of that, the ideas flowed from hairstyles, fashions, cosmetics, and models of the times (including Gernreich's favorite, Peggy Moffitt). I lived out my own dream in my own space and time, while sporting my mini-skirts, ant the "no bra Bra". Rudi was hailed as one of the most original, prophetic and controversial American designers of the 1950s through the 1970s. (You can see some of my fashion drawings on this site, on the page entitled "Fashion Figures" .
As I explore my past art adventures, which continue to evolve and morphose today, I decided to include you in on some of those early works, posting their images, and filling you in on some information about them, from time to time. Hope you enjoy the journey, too. See Below:
10/6/2012 12:49:09 pm
Hi Karen, Love your blog. Love the southwest...and think your paintings are quite wonderful. I am an artist myself. I had been doing a search for a fashion artist from the late 60's who, at that time I would wait to see every Sunday in the Times. This is how I stumbled on your blog. I think he illustrated for Bergdorf and signed his work simply Halpern. His illustrations were B/W pencil very elegant and haute couture. Do you have any memory of him. I see you too were a follower of fashion in the Times during that period. It is strange that I find nothing on him or his work. He illustrated for them for at least a year. I would love to find some examples of his drawings to see if they were a wonderful as I remember them. Just curious..even if you can confirm that I have have his name right would help. Keep up your passion. I am now semi retired. I am a Graphic designer with my own business for 20 years, doing websites and corporate collateral. I hope to move to the Southwest i the next year or two, and paint and do my photography.
Thanks for your input and praise. I can't believe that someone else loved those fashion drawings by Halpern. I can see them in my mind's eye even now. Yes they were the finest around. I don't think I saved any of them. If I find one, I'll post it for you to see. Those illustrations in that time period were really something. They did inspire me! Wish I could move to the Southwest myself, specifically New Mexico, and get my work in galleries there. Best of luck! Write again! I felt like we were soul sisters!
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