|VOL 7 ISSUE 9||September 2004|
Pregnant belly paintings are supposed to be nice, cute, and sweet. They are supposed to garner responses like, "ahw, isn't that adorable?" And what's cuter than a little Gerber baby with Alice Cooper make-up. O.K. so maybe I like to paint outside the lines a little, but I couldn't resist the idea of breathing life into Alice Cooper's 1973 album cover for Billion Dollar Babies. Although I was only 6 years old when this album was released, my older brother had a copy and I remember thinking it was the coolest cover. The green snakeskin billfold, the diamonds, and the baby coin were burned into my mind along with the hit songs No More Mr. Nice Guy, Elected, and of course the title track, Billion Dollar Babies.
I didn't think that it would be easy to find a pregnant model who would be willing to do a project with such macabre and nightmare overtones, but not only was Jez Obmana willing to do it, she was very enthusiastic about it. She was less than a month from her due date when we met at O'D's studio to paint her belly. I have to give her kudos for not only for driving all the way from Tucson for the session, but then patiently sitting through an hour plus of belly painting and then turning on the evil charm for over 200 pictures by photographer O'D.
Alice Cooper is still a very prominent celebrity here in Phoenix. He is the night DJ on 93.3 KDKB radio station (syndicated all over the U.S.) and his restaurant, Alice Cooperstown, is thriving. We're hoping that he gets an opportunity to see a picture of this belly painting!
It was Nicole's birthday. Bill Crosby, publisher of Playtime Magazine, bought her a gift she would not soon forget. His gift was a birthday suit for her to wear to her to wear to her birthday party being held at an adult nightclub. Traditionally the phrase birthday suit implies pure nudity, and in this case that wasn't far from the truth. Nicole was only wearing a coat of paint for the party. They gave me complete freedom to paint whatever I wanted and I had been toying around with the idea of painting a black panther for some time now. I only had a window of about 2 hours to set up, paint, photograph, and clean up so I wasn't sure if I would be able to complete it in time, but I was up for the challenge. The painting took about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Nicole was great to work with and she has some of the coolest eyes that I have ever seen. Look for more pictures in the upcoming October issue of Playtime Magazine.
Anaiah wrote on her on-line profile that she was interested in adding bodypainting images to her portfolio. Photographer Kevin Schirmer contacted her to see if she was willing to fly to Phoenix for a project and he told her about my bodypaintings and turned her on to my website. She was interested and the rest is history. In our initial discussions of the project, Anaiah was interested in being painted as a "metallic comic book goddess." I had a vision of what she was talking about and did a photoshop rough-draft. Her vision, however, was completely different. She sent me a pencil drawing that I assumed was done by a really talented artist friend of hers. It turns out that she drew the picture. She's an excellent artist and the picture that she sent showed a very cool outfit design. Although she was showing it to me as a rough idea of what she was looking for, I was so impressed that I tried my best to bring her fashion design to life without exception.
We did the painting at Jim Goodwin's photography studio and then headed out to Scorpion Gulch for the photoshoot. Anaiah was only in town for the day and had to fly back to San Francisco in the early evening. This gave the project a tight time constraint and unfortunately the photoshoot had to be rushed a little bit for her to catch her flight. She was great company and very patient throughout the whole painting process and I must say that her portfolio images, although beautiful, don't do her justice. She has a knock-out figure and perfect facial features so it was a pleasure working with her. Visit her website at www.anaiah.net and visit Kevin Schirmer's on-line portfolio at http://www.onemodelplace.com/photographer_list.cfm?P_ID=8804 .
- Upcoming events this month include the CopperCon science fiction convention on September 11th, and the Blue Ball at the Alwun House on September 25th, and recently added Club Jenna on September 30th. Also coming up on the first Friday of 2005 I'll be featured again at the Paper Heart Art Gallery's annual Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll extravaganza.
- Look for an article that I wrote for Sonik Magazine and their upcoming music issue. The article is about tribute bands.
copyright 2004, Mark Greenawalt
THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED ON 9/4/2004