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Happy Birthday, Barbie

July 23, 2009







Since Barbie and I both turned 50 this year I thought it would be appropriate to finally do the portraits of her I’ve been imagining for so long. The first portrait was of a 1960 Pony Tail Barbie done as a birthday gift for my friend Christopher who is an avid collector.  I liked it so much that when he gave me a beautiful 1963 Bubble Head for my birthday last month I decided to do a series. It was so much fun setting her up in different lighting and photographing her. I approached it in  a  semi classical way as I do most of my paintings beginning with a neutral ground color then an under-painting in burnt sienna acrylic and finally building the rest up in layers of oil color.  It was so interesting  painting the same object 3 times; they all look alike yet each one seems to have such a different personality.  It was especially fascinating painting an inanimate, plastic face as opposed to an actual human face. I just love how the mood changes depending on the angle and light source.  I’ve since borrowed a few Pony Tail Barbies to photograph for a new series. I can hardly wait to get them started.


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