My early summer trip took me through Washington’s Tri-Cities to northern Montana on the way to Glacier National Park: werewolf territory according to Patricia Briggs‘ Mercy Thompson series. This pin-up of Mercy was inspired by the idea of strength and competence with beauty, brains, and a whole lot of muscle – “a modern ‘Rosie the Riveter'” in Briggs’ words. This is a girl who can take care of herself, and you’d be lucky to have her working on your car. It was a delight to paint her. And moreover to create an old-school garage calendar. Not only matching the format of those classic pieces as best I could, but riffing on the style of Pin-up great George Petty.
I grew up never knowing about Petty, but I admired the work of his less-expensive replacement Alberto Vargas. For all his skill, Vargas never surpassed the man he’d been hired to emulate.
Petty was so famous in his day that Hollywood made a film called “The Petty Girl”. His style often involved the use of contours painted as vermillion watercolor outlines – even when they overlaid or interacted with a fully-painted figure. The discovery of Petty’s work was one of the reasons I wanted to reconsider the Pin Up, and the satisfaction of those red lines cannot be understated.
Patricia Briggs’ new book of Mercy’s adventures, “Frost Burned” is coming out in March 2013 with a beautiful new Dan Dos Santos cover. His Mercy cover for “Iron Kissed” is my favorite and in my opinion one of the best covers of the last decade.
You can pre-order calendars at The Tinker’s Packs. And stayed tuned for next week’s unveiling of Jim Butcher’s pin-up!