Jules Fieffer illustrated The Phantom Tollbooth and there is a new book out about him “Out of Line”. Here’s the link to a great NPR story about his creative life. I just had to do a quick sketch after I heard his story.
On his mother’s drawings, which are included in Out of Line
“My mother had to make the family living during the Depression. So she was at her drawing board all day long doing these fashion drawings. And she would look at store windows, dragging me along and pointing out details of clothing in Saks Fifth Avenue, at Bergdorf — I was screamingly bored! And thought she was doing this to torture me, and in fact I saw it as torture. And she would take them down to the rag trade on Seventh Avenue and go door to door to manufacturers where she had some customers, and they would pick a design and give her $3 for it, out of which they’d make a coat. So it required a lot of skill, none of which I appreciated until I became aged.”
This is a painting of mine that few people have seen unless you’ve been in my studio. I love her! She reminds me of all the amazing old ladies—my aunts, church women and neighbors that I grew up with in South Dakota. These women had their own style, got things done and didn’t complain about wearing heels and hose and girdles all the time. My mother usually had a pot of coffee on and was giving someone a perm in my kitchen. I loved it. Her kitchen is still a real hub of activity and hours are spent there when I’m visiting. Most of those old ladies are gone now, but their spirits are a part of me. My apologies for the up the skirt shot, maybe that angle reminded me of what I was seeing when I was very young. Those girdles were pretty darn mysterious.
Happy Friday and I hope you get to kick up your heels!
This is a painting I did for my Mom a few years ago. I used some wallpaper for her skirt (my Mom, sister and I all adore paisley). The texture on her legs was quite a happy mistake. I used a paper towel (Bounty) to blot some excess paint and the texture came out for her pantyhose. OH, us creative types live for those happy mistakes. I love her energy and I think that both women want to be or be around her and men want to meet her—she is very fun, unfiltered and confident. I am thinking about my friends today. This painting make me think of the creative, funny, brilliant women I have the good fortune to have in my life. You know who you are and I don’t know what I would do without you. Do something unexpected for one of your friends today. Happy Tuesday!