Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not Ali - original portrait by Gretchen Kelly

8.5" x 11" gouache + graphite on card
SOLD TO  collector in Maryland
Here's another one - breaking out of the box - portrait!
I am really having fun doing these and am being taken away. I can remember when I was around 11-12 years old in the late 60's creating "Mod" posters with my rendition of leggy girls and my own handlettering. I would look at fashion magazines that my mom had or in the NY Times ads for Bloomingdales or Women's Wear Daily newspaper that my Mom had laying around. All these publications had illustrations by Artists doing free and flowing colorful images of that era. I am greatly influenced by that time in life. My eyes were wide open looking at style + design + Art by Pushpin Studio Artists such as family friend John Alcorn, Milton Glaser, Seymor Chwast and who wasn't looking at Peter Max? I was a wanna-be hippie girl listening to the Beatles, Cream, Hendricks, Laura Nyro, Santana, Derek and the Dominos, the Temptations. I looked at female movie stars like Ali McGraw, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Jane Fonda (Audrey Hepburn! and Katherine Hepburn). I soaked in everything from those days. I can remember the velvet bellbottoms I wore to my first girl/boy 13th birthday party and the purple hand embroidered and sequined bolero vest that I made. I recently went to my 35th highschool class reunion. I had adult conversations with many people I hadn't seen in over 35 years (36 really - because I graduated a year early) One guy who I hadn't seen since middle school attended this reunion meaning I hadn't seen him in about 40 years!. He moved to a different neighboring town and stayed in touch with others ----but I digress--- He reminded me of the sweetest thing that I didn't remember. I didn't recognize him and he re-introduced himself and slowly he came right into focus. He said that in the mail he received an invitation from me, he was SOOO Happy to get it, to my 13th birthday party! He remember specifically that at the bottom it said "wear what you please" (!!!!) I remember making those invitations one by one with my own special handlettering, which I had mastered by that point in time. Each invitation was a different color combination that I handmade on origami paper. I wish I saved one of those....

Boy - I sure am rambling tonight! I think I am time traveling down memory through my Artwork.


Roxanne Steed said...

I just LOVE this image!! This series has really got me fascinated- (guess I'm around the same age) this is sooo COOL!

Art Within Art said...

Hi Gretchen!

I loved reading your trip down Memory Lane. I'm within a year of your age and like you, I absolutely adore the fashions of that era.

I remember my first pair of white Go-Go boots with fishnet stockings. I remember sewing a peace patch on my first pair of bell-bottom jeans. And I remember wearing those white peasant blouses that were embroidered with colored thread.

But for me, the most iconic fashion images from the 60's are of those swirling boldly colorful graphic patterns on the blouses and dresses and designs from fashion designer Emilio Pucci. I love those patterns and I was happy to see that they scored a well-deserved revival in the 90's that have continued on to this day.

When I saw your 2 most recent paintings on Daily Painters this week, the first thing that immediately came to my mind was the 60's and Emilio Pucci designs -- and that was before I read your blog postings! So please take that as my highest compliment to you and to your work.

I hope you'll be sharing some more of your groovy cool paintings.

Peace and Love,
Diane Schaefer

Christian Cazalla said...

Hi Gretchen,
Great portrait!!! I can remember that lovely time...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gretchen Kelly said...

What did that above comment mean???

Gretchen Kelly said...

Hey Diane, Roxanne, Christian-
Thanks! I will def do a GO-GO boot painting one of these days. That brings back special memories for sure.

loriann signori said...

Thanks for sharing that memory. Love your new work and its wonderful 60s feeling... 60s but so new and you.