Move over Jessica Rabbit…

September 20, 2010 – Pin Up Girl with Gas Mask Illustration

So what if I have a thing for blondes in heels.  And gas masks… and tattoos well a guy can dream can’t he?  Classy and trashy… what a wonderful combination.

This piece was inspired by the work of Pearl Frush. The Pin-Up Files wrote this about Pearl:

“As one of the top three women pin-up and glamour artists in the calendar art market at mid-century, Pearl Frush readily commanded the respect of the art directors, publishers, sales managers, and printers with whom she worked. Yet because she worked primarily in watercolour and gouache, her originals could rarely be reproduced in large enough quantities for her to achieve widespread popular acclaim. A close examination of her work, however, reveals a talent for meticulously realistic images comparable to those of the far better known Alberto Vargas.

Frush was born in Iowa and moved to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi as a child. She began drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon in her hand; when she was ready for formal studies, she enrolled in art instruction courses in New Orleans. After additional training in Philadelphia and New York, Frush joined her family in Chicago, where she studied at the Chicago Art Institute under Charles Schroeder.

Frush opened her first studio in Chicago in the early 1940s. While she accepted freelance jobs, she also worked at the studio of Sundblom, Johnston, and White. By 1943, she had become one of the Gerlach-Barklow Calendar Company’s most important artists, creating a string of popular series: Liberty Belles, Sweethearts of Sports, Girls of Glamour and Glamour Round the Clock. In 1947, her Aquatour series, a dozen pin-ups all located in aquatic settings, broke all sales records. By 1955, Frush had become a “hot property” in the calendar-publishing business, so it was only natural that Brown and Bigelow should seek her out. A year later, the firm published its first Frush pin-up, a horizontal picture especially done for “hangers” (large wall calendars with one print attached).

A vigorous and attractive woman, Frush enjoyed sailing, canoeing, swimming, and playing tennis, and she would often incorporate sport themes into her work portrayed in a crisp, straightforward style, her pin-ups and glamour paintings effectively captured the spirit of young womanhood. Her girls were wholesome and fresh, shapely but never overtly sexual. Somehow they were able to look both like movie stars and like the girls-next-door.

She sometimes signed her paintings with her married name “Mann”. Her renderings were always done with great precision, capturing every nuance of a subject in an almost photo-realist technique.”

5 thoughts on “Move over Jessica Rabbit…

  1. I am a tattoo artist in the Chicago ‘burbs and on Friday i will be doing a pin up inspired by this image you have created. My client pointed me to your work and said “I want something like that”.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Hi Kara! As someone who hold tattoos and tattoo artists in very high regard it’s always an honor to me to have my work or work inspired by mine translated into flesh and ink. Please email me photos and some info about your shop and I will share your work on the blog!

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