A friend, Troy Weidenheimer, and I had an email exchange and he, being a talented man, told me about his work primarily in oil paintings. He posted a link to his site and I saw and liked what I saw.
Which put me in mind of photo friends I knew who had created “albums” accessible to the public to share their wares so I looked around and found a trove of my watercolors I made during my Barney Steels days.
There was a Certain Painting I saw and was forced to look at due to its placement that so offended me I said “I can do better than that.” and commenced working on my dormant drawing skills.
To shorten the saga I will say I disliked the idea of oil painting because of its inherent odor and messiness and went for watercolor. It helped that this was Alberto Vargas’ medium too. I also focused strictly on women, using photographs in lieu of live models although I did pay one lass who had a perfect figure a modelling fee to come and stand naked in front of me while I looked closely at the Female Body Assembly which is a subtly elusive thing to catch on paper.
Time was spent going from doodling on napkins to various types of paper and paints. I discovered the Windsor Newton Series Seven number two brush by reading a book written by Bill Mauldin and Vargas inspired me to take up the airbrush…
I also learned calligraphy and spent a couple of months designing a signature “Paper Dolls by Vann”
I’m not all that good an artist. The extremities are generally too small…hands and feet… but after they trend they become a trademark almost. But still, a trained art major can make me look like a finger-painting first grader. I sold a few but not enough to even make a chicken scratch in the money I spent on materials but, be it music, writing or art, I get driven and consumed by whatever stokes the creative furnance.
I had photographed many of my efforts but analog film takes a toll on color that digital does not so the colors are not true here, unfortunately. But, they are all I have. Some of my most iconic are gone…probably in landfill. Some I made I did not photograph and are forever beyond my reach. Sadly, in August of 2016 I was forced to move and my new digs did not have room for my remaining paintings, easily over a hundred items. I had to abandon them except for a few rescued head paintings and by now are gone forever.
Still, I wanted to be able to share some of my stuff, some that I dug up here and there. It was a fascinating period of creativity in my life… I love women and I like to think some of that shows in this slide show.
It might be worth checking back from time to time to see if I found any more photos…