Monday, March 15, 2010

New Old Jane...a retrospective - childhood drawings

As soon as I could hold a pencil my mother sat me down at a little red table in a corner of the living room and gave me a sheet of paper. It kept me out of her hair and made me very happy. I would labor away quietly for hours. Pretty soon I was drawing recognizable horses and cowgirls and all that good stuff. None of those early works were deemed worth saving. 

I guess no one thought that it was unusual for a child of three or four to be using that much detail in their drawings.  But some of my later work from school days was saved.

Since I seem to have entered another hiatus with the dolls I thought I would fill the gap with some stuff that is pretty funny from my early days of acute fashion awareness. 

My source of inspiration was usually the Eaton's or Simpson's catalogues where I was assured of a ready supply of models that didn't move. As anyone who knows me can attest I have gotten over that keen fashion sense now, preferring to slop around in stretch pants and baggy t shirts. I do however watch America's, Canada's. Britain's and Australia's Top Model and Project Runway every chance I get.

The earliest ones I have are from when I was eight years old. The paper is quite fragile now but they have stood up incredibly well considering they spent almost 60 years rolled around a cardboard tube in one attic or another.

You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them. In this one I was ever so careful to be sure that the little red boat on the dress changed shape with the folds in the dress. Yes. I have always been anal. It is genetic.

Dig the matching socks for the broad in orange. And the pageboy hair style.

Remember this hair style? I was anal enough at eight years old to try to paint lace with my bristly little dime store brush! 

From a very young age I was attracted to stilletto heels. I wobbled around on my first pair of  four inch heels at probably 17.

I was still wearing four inchers to work and even shopping afterwards when I was in my fifties. A friend used to call them my CFM pumps. That all changed when I moved to Ecuador. The cobbled streets, muddy paths and potholes were decidedly stilletto unfriendly.  Running shoes took their place.

I have many more of these fashion type drawings and paintings but these are fairly representative. 

Some artist friends and I got together once to look at each other's art work from childhood.  One friend who hated her large flat feet never showed feet in any of her drawings. They were always off the bottom of the page somewhere.  In my own drawings most models had tiny pug noses which reflected my hatred of my own generous shnozz.

Making art represented an escape from a sometimes frightening, lonely and painful childhood into a world of my own creation where I was safe. It still does.

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