Joyce Ballantyne began painting pin-ups for Brown & Bigelow, having been recommended by the king of pin-up artists Gil Elvgren. But unlike her friend and studio mate Elvgren, she often used herself as a model. Ballantyne painted Shaw-Barton 1955 pin-up calendar in its entirety, and that demand was so great that it was reprinted many times.
But that’s not her most indelible accomplishment – that honor falls to the iconic Coppertone suntan lotion billboard that she was commissioned to create 4 years later. She used her then-3-year-old daughter Cheri as the model for the girl whose bathing suit is being tugged at by a rascally dog.
I met Kristina Carroll on a long-ago visit to New York City, through our mutual friends Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta.
These days I see her more often at conventions like Boston’s Arisia (where it was honor to reward her one of the show’s top prizes) and on her annual visits to Portlandia.
She loves working in real old-school (non-digital) media. Her elegant painterly works often feature the sorts of shiny rich gold that we digital painters envy.
She has been the driving force behind the marvelous Months of Love and Fear for 4 remarkable years:
Her work can be found on her site:
…and at Every Day Originals:
I saw a terrifying piece of LeUyen Pham
‘s years ago in a Spectrum collection. In it, a woman was being strangled in her bed by a terrifying creature of nightmare. Later, I saw a disillusioned mermaid and her neurotic cat. The pieces were remarkable not just for the artist’s obvious skills and sense of humor – but also because these first pieces were the only that I’ve seen from her like them. After a college internship at a giant animation studio (where she helped lead the charge of digital animation), she opted to go solo – into the world of children’s books.
A couple years later, we were both invited to display at the Pixel show here in Portland.
These days, her work is always a delight (though I cannot help wonder where her earlier sly and genuine darkness has hidden itself, and where it might next be revealed).
Thanks to her husband’s superb painting, I’d seen Laurie Lee Brom’s face long before I actually met her. But seeing her paintings was a different thing entirely – luminous oil portraits with a hint (or more than a hint) of the Gothic. Her work is colorful and elemental, and the same sensibility and delight at putting a raccoon into the hoops of a skirt somehow removes the inherently clichéd quality of fairy wings. It’s a fine (and beautifully scrolled) line, but she walks it very well indeed.
I met Pat Ann Lewis-MacDougall years ago (in the company of her equally talented husband, Larry MacDougall). Memory whispers that her background included work for the esteemed Canadian animation company Nelvana. But memory can be tricky. In any case, her award-winning work (often featuring animals and spirits) has been seen in a variety of forms and is now focused on in Children’s books.
I especially admire the animation in her figures and the joy with which they inhabit their worlds. I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm.
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law spent years in some of the same trenches I did (Games, Spectrum, Llewelyn books, et al). But where I seem to have emerged caked in mud, Stephanie has soared skyward. Her award-winning work is featured in galleries, books and her own deck of Tarot cards. Her elegant and detailed watercolors limn magical and unearthly vistas populated by very real animals. Enjoy!
I met Traci Cook years ago when she was still a student here in Portland.
It’s been a joy to watch her grow and evolve as a person and as an artist.
She has done all kinds of production work I cannot show here, but her bird series is happily something I can.
Her work can be found here: http://www.tlcookdesigns.com/
Amy Crehore is a fine artist and musician.
After a long career illustrating for magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy, her award-winning work is most often found in galleries these days (and sometimes on ukuleles).
She’s also an amazingly lovely person and friend (though I see her far less than I would like).
Audrey Benjaminsen is a wonderful young artist.
I know almost nothing beyond the beauty and charm of her work.
But sometimes that’s enough.
The first time I saw Daphne Yap’s work it was on a book cover in Bud Plant’s delightful catalog of art books. It was an orange cover with a curiously costumed baby. And I hated it. But when I encountered the book in person that year at the SanDiego ComicCon, the cover and its lingering aftertaste were rendered instantly moot. Inside was one of the most astonishing collections of pencil work I’d ever seen, and from an artist much younger (and better) than I. And while she went on to work on Avatar, and many other projects, I’ll always remember judging her book by its cover.