Vintage Pin Up: Rolf Armstrong

rolf-armstrong

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Deadlier Than The Male

deadlierHiya,
Hiya,
Hiya.

Welcome to
another edition
of the Muscleheaded Blog.

A minor content warning–

— this blog is for
grown-ups only —
no kiddy winkies,1925
(or blue noses)
permitted.

‘Nuff Said.

In 1911,
the English writer
Rudyard Kipling
penned these words:

” When the Himalayan
peasant meets
the he-bearfight
in his pride,

 He shouts to scare
the monster,
who will often
turn aside.

 But the she-bear thus
accosted rends the
peasant tooth and nail.

 For the female of the species
is more deadly than the male. ” 

Well, as anybody
in the know
will tell you,
he was absolutely right.

And he wasn’t just talking
about Missus Bigfoot, either.

It’s one of the qualities
that has alwaysbaitingsuit
appealed to me
about women in general….

We men are supposed
to be rough, tough,
lean and mean.

But when it comes
to the feminine persuasion,
we go all soft in the head.

(Hopefully,
hard in other places,
but that’s another
post altogether. )

And it’s very much like
playing with matches,
keeping cobras as pets,
or messing with firearms —falcon

If you get sloppy with them,
or forget how dangerous
they really are,
you will pay.

And how.

They’ve got a way
of cutting a man
down to size
with one harsh look,
word, gesture,
or worse —
one cold shoulder.

And the ‘silent treatment’
should have been banned
by the Geneva Convention,
man.showem

Now, I know some
of my lovely female readers
might be feeling slightly
defensive right now,
(all 3 of them)
but I assure them
that I’m not being
at all critical or negative.

I like em the way they are…..
and so do most men, I think.

Now, it’d probably make
a pretty interesting story
about how I got on this
line of thought fortv
today’s blog,

— but suffice to say that,
despite my somewhat
middling middle age,
my extremely busy schedule,
and some rather important
problems that should be occupying my mind instead –

I can’t get them quickie
out of my head
for more than 10 seconds
right now,

—or at least long enough
to post about something else,
whichever would come first.

So, of course,
I’m going to be
pandering to the
charm and allure
of my more illicit,
stimulating interests
because —

well,davidwright
that’s just the
kinda guy I am.

I wanted to post some stuff
from the 1950’s and 1960’s
that reflected both
provocative sexuality,
and subtle sensuality–

not to mention the
loveliness of femininity
in general….

and I do believe
I found
(for the most part)
just the right content
to do that.

If I did it right,
there will be no need
to caption the pics,
or for a running
commentary
to explain them….

Each of them
just rubs me
in a place I like.

And I hope
they rub you
somewhere you like
too.

If so, there’s alwaysfurtherin
the possibility of writing
me a nice, long comment
on about great I am
and how good my taste is.

You can even,
— if you wish —
describe the place
rubbed
and under what
circumstances
the aforesaid rubbing
occurred.

Or, you can simply
enjoy yourself,
and give me the
karmic credit.

Hey, however
you’re feelin’ it.

!!!! HOY !!!!!!

alicewhite

Vintage Female Pin Up Artists

joyceballantyneToday’s post is all about
the greats of the vintage
Pin Up Art world,
who also happened
to be women.

(Or should that be:
women who happened
to be Pin Up Artists,
I wonder?)

Surprised?

You shouldn’t be.

The beautiful piece at top is an example:
It was done by Joyce Ballantyne.
(Famous for the Coppertone Ad)

In the 1940’s and 1950’s,
women painted some of the
best remembered pin-ups of the era.

zoemozertPerhaps their fame has been eclipsed by the Gil Elvgrens and George Petty’s —

But collectors remember the work of these ladies with the same fondness.

We’re talking about female vintage Pin Up Artists like:

Joyce Ballantyne, (top)
Pearl Frush ,
Zoe Mozert , (right)
Mabel Rollins Harris,
Irene and Laurette Patten ,
and Ruth Deckard .

I’ve already written posts
about several of these artists,
and they can be found be
clicking the links on their names.

For those I haven’t posted about yet,
well– now’s the time.

.

pearlfrushPearl Frush :

One of the most highly skilled artists working in the pin-up industry,
in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Pearl Frush first had formal training at Art Schools
in New Orleans, Philly
and New York —

She became a graduate of the famed Chicago Art Institute,
before opening her own
studio there in Chicago.

She was highly regarded for her
almost photographic style
using gouache and watercolors.

About Miss Frush,frushenchantment

Louis K Meisel , the founder of the Meisel Gallery in New York had this to say:

“When it comes to watercolor,
I’ve seen the best that exist.

Fifty years ago, Pearl Frush was way ahead of everybody.
Face-wise, she is on the level of Alberto Vargas.
Her paintings are not as sexy, but when it comes to painting a face, nobody surpasses Pearl Frush.
It’s too bad that she wasn’t
with a bigger publishing company.”

It’s said that Pearl’s limitation
was her choice of media —

And I suppose that’s true,
as far as how many works
could be reproduced en masse
for calendars, etc.frush

But, the beauty of her work clearly demonstrates her talent and ability,
and proves her place among the leading pin-up artists of all time.

And the last I heard,
Miss Frush was still alive and kicking somewhere in the Midwest.

PS:
Most of her work is signed.
But, there are also works of hers
that are signed:
Pearl Mann (her married name)
and Charles Brudon ( a pseudonym)
as in the picture above right .

.

.ladygodivairenepatten

The Patten Sisters :

This is one of Irene Patten’s best known works —

Called ‘Youth’ –
it is thought to have represented Lady Godiva.

Irene was a great artist,
whose life and career was cut short by at age 30.

Her sister Laurette also did fine pin-up work,
and she lived into her 60’s.

lauretteHere’s one of Laurette’s best known works,

— an exhibit card called “Lovely Little Lady”.

Yes, indeed.

And in the two head shots from the sisters:

You can see there are both similarities and differences in their art,
mostly in the use of color,
shading,
and facial detail.

It’s fair to say that while:

Laurette put most of her emphasis
on drawing beautiful faces,
and fashionable clothing. laurette

Irene like to draw faces with harder edges,
and sharper contrast,

(and did a good deal of full body art/lingerie work).

All the nudes that were painted by the sisters were done by Irene.

The Patten sisters were both born in Chicago, Illinois around 1910.

And,
while I certainly enjoy Irene’s work,

Laurette’s faces are often so beautiful and ethereal,
as to grab one’s attention away from the more sensual considerations,
— for a moment, anyway.

.

.rollinsharris

Mabel Rollins Harris:

She was also a popular female artist in the 1930’s and 1940’s….

Called “the finest female illustrator of the Art Deco era”
by Charles G. Martignette in his “All American Pin Up” ,

She was a protégé of Rolf Armstrong,
and he was responsible for
getting her a job with Brown and Bigelow,

which led to all sorts of
other opportunities for her.

She is probably best remembered
as a painter of children,bluende

but she also painted nudes for Exhibit/Mutoscope cards and calendars,
and several of her works are considered “classic” pin ups.

“Blue Nude” (right)
was one of the most popular calendar images ever published by Brown and Bigelow,

although she also was doing image work for several other companies at the time.

Her works seem particularly suited
for the applications and the era
in which they were applied.

rollinsWhat I always notice about her work,
is the sense of innocence she is able to convey on canvas –

This trait is a hallmark of her career,

and I guess is explains why
she was so successful painting children, too.

While some would argue that her pin-up work lacks sex appeal,

I would say they are very sexy, indeed –
— in the way they display a feminine sensibility,
freedom and subtlety.

.

.ruthdeckard

Ruth Deckard :

Interestingly enough, Ruth ,
known only as “Deckard” on her pin-up work,

was thought to be a man by most of her fans,
until the release of the “Great American Pin Up” in 1996.

As you can probably imagine,
biographical information on Ruth
has been rather sketchy.

But I would think it shouldn’t
have taken much intuitionruthdeckard
to have figured out her gender, though —

Her work displays a fun loving nature, and an unmistakably feminine touch.

At right, you can see her most famous pin-up,
which was called “Pin Cushion “,
from the early 1940’s.

Based in Chicago,
( along with the majority of
leading pin up artists at the time ),

most of Ruth’s work was published
by Louis F Dow Publishing,ruth
of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

She liked
bright contrasts of color,
stylish clothing/lingerie
simple lively backgrounds,
and humorous situations.

Her work is usually very distinctive,

and almost all of her work is simply signed “Deckard ” .

.

.

There are, of course,
many more talented women
working in the field these days,
like Fiona Stephenson,
Olivia De Berardinis, and Kelly X —

But the way was pioneered by the
wonderful vintage artists above.

We wrap up today’s post with
my favorite work by contemporary
artist Fiona Stephenson.

Cheers !!!!

stephenson

 

If Lovin You Is Wrong

(Memo from the
legal beagle office
of the
Muscleheaded Blog)

OFFICAL NOTICE
to all the V-D
haters out there:

While it is technically a
Muscleheaded Felony

to dislike Valentines Day,
and the fines are quite severe,
I have personally consulted
with counsel about your situation,
and we will give you
immunity 
in exchange for having to put up
with at least 3 more VD posts
that are still coming
down the pike on
this here blog.

So,baloney
please try to get in
the spirit of the thing,

as society itself hinges upon your cooperation,
and you’re going to be expected
to both read and comment
upon any and all posts on the subject in future.

Hey-
buck up buttercup.

Thank you.

We now return you
to your regularly scheduled program,

—- now in progress.

 

lildevil

My friends ,

I know I’m probably going to be drivin’
you plum crazy
with Valentines Day
stuff, but I just can’t
help myself, man.

— it’s beyond a doubt
a favorite holiday of mine, and I always
enjoy posting
about what it’s all about.

If I only really knew.

LOVE ?

You can call it love, sure.
fools
Or lust, sure.

Or romance, sure.

Or a combination thereof …
hell, that’s even better.

But, if there’s one holiday
that plum confuses us men
more than any other one,

It’s Valentines Day.

You ladies out there
have it easy on this holiday,
— because you know exactly cuffs
how to make your men happy—

But, we men don’t want
poems or poseys —
(but it does start with a ‘P’… )

(ok–
you can put your head back
in the gutter now, if you want… )

Seriously…..

Just give him something that’s
got anything to do with you naked,

…..and you got the ideal present.

Give him a naughty pic
with a dirty message,
and he’ll lust …

( I mean… ) …selfie
LOVE ya forever.

But for us guys…

that’s another story –

’cause women are complicated creatures….

with complicated wants, needs and desires…

Oh sure, it’s easy enough
to go out and order a
couple of the $59.99 specials
on long stem roses,

……. and the genericok
“Hey- you’re ok with me” Valentines Day cards.

It’s when you’re tempted
to get a little creative
that the trouble starts.

‘Cause there are all kinds of rules
about Valentines Day that no one
has bothered to explain to us…..

and I’m not sure even
WOMEN really understand…….

I’ll give you an example.

vaI have this friend who decided to do something nice for his special lady last Valentines Day…..

now, she was a BIG fan of lovemaking – a BIG FAN – and she was wearing this ole boy out….

(……. and he obviously never read my blog on supplementation for keeping the yang up…)

…… he figured why buy her flowers-
when he could sorta make an ‘investment’ –

he would get her something special,
that might take the ‘heat’ off a little…….

…….. so he went out and spent
about 300 bucks and bought her
this high-tech “love lounger” – – sybian

it’s this thing that has all kinds of attachments and vibrating parts and protruding items of all shapes and sizes…..

ummm hmmm…

well, it’s year later ….

he’s only gotten to see her 6 or 7 times since then,

and she has bought a SECOND ONE of these gizmos in the meantime….

bzzzzzzzzzz………..
bzzzzz……….. bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………………..

SO-

6footRule Number UNO:

—- whatever you get her , no matter what you do –

don’t make yourself redundant.

Just ask yourself –

is she gonna like the present more than she likes YOU ?

If you insist on buying a sexy present,

I recommend getting something SAFE-

something you can both enjoy –twsiter

maybe a sexy board game……….

hey, what red-blooded American girl doesn’t like a nice and lively game of Twister?

Mmmm….

…………. blue circles .

Okay, maybe a food item.

candyOoooo, I know….

…….. some candy hearts with secret, subliminal messages.

Stuff you might not be able say with words,

……… can still be said with the tongue, ya know.

and, if she has a sweet tooth….

well, ALL THE BETTER!

frenchDecisions, decisions.

Lingerie might be a good bet.

It’s certainly true….

… the old male maxim…

That there’s not a woman in the Universe,

who doesn’t look sexier in her undies…..

……………. but again, it has it’s pitfalls.

Like the man said, don’t free-overtime yourself out of a job.

damianaHmm… ok…

How about some exotic Booze?

You know,

… there are several types of alcoholic concoctions that are thought to
have aphrodisiacal qualities ……

….. like Bois Bande from the Virgin Islands………

(well, they were Virgins once…..)

or Damiana Liqueur from Mexico,

or my favorite …… ABSINTHE. absinthe

This is the stuff all those French artists went ga-ga over at the end of the 19th Century…..

and it’s got quite a reputation……

A good bottle of Absinthe can make all your V-D dreams come true.

Valentines Day, that is.

hey –

they didn’t call that guy Too-Loose Lautrec for nothing…….

(yeah, I know……………..
NEXT ! )

asmWell.
maybe candy IS safer—

Assuming, of course,
that it sends exactly the message that you wish to send—

Mistakes can be more than inconvenient, at times.

Remember,
when it comes to this kinda thing…

It’s very much like Christine McVie sang:
” If we can’t be lovers, then we can’t be friends —
and I got some pretty wicked ways to get my revenge. ”

Words to live by, my friend.

Now, you’re probably just gonna get her a card.

But, you have to be careful about what you say in a Valentines card –
tts
Things can get misconstrued quite quickly,

especially if you don’t know the lady that well,

and you’re trying to rectify that…….

The wrong choice of words,
or an incomplete explanation
can cause all kinds of linguistic and rhetorical difficulties.

See, that brings up another problem….

Valentines Day presents all kinds of temptations
to move a little too fast,
before you know a lot about a person….

Your Valentines Day card could be writing checks
that the rest of you ain’t ready, willing or able to cash……….

renoUnless ,
of course,
you’re just one of those one-stop-shop kinda guys.

And then…..

Well, I know a place
where you can get yourself hitched, inked and blotto
all in one convenient location.

Ahhhh, Reno.

hoosegowAnd you thought
it was only a dump with ten dollar hookers.

Seriously,
you really should think this one completely through.

I mean,
I hate to disappoint you,
but the course of treatment
you’re gonna need after your trip to Reno
is gonna cost you much more than 10 bucks….

Even if you just go for the bad ink,
quickie wedding,
and three day drunk route.

Ya know,
that $59.99 special on roses
is looking like a pretty good deal after all …..

HOY !!!

PS…

Thanks to Jen at Blog It or Lose It
for the 2nd and 3rd images,
and George Petty for this last one.

a1