Friday, March 16, 2012

a Q & A w/miss Olivia

There are few things that give me greater joy than finding out one of my idols is as clever and delightful in person.
Read my interview with Olivia, see if you don't agree. She made me laugh on a day when i really needed it. Bless your watercolor heart, you gorgeous artiste.

Q. Now you are teaming up with Neil Gaiman to illustrate POEM, his poetic take on what might be hiding under a woman’s clothes. What inspired you to work with Neil?

A. Well Cat... you did.
You put it out there- suggested it in your blog after we met at my Soap Plant signing.

(here we are at that very meeting, photo by Adriane Biondo)

I've tumbled through the creative wormhole into Mr. Gaiman's lair.
In 2009, we were sent to see Coraline by our friend Leonard Maltin, who said it was incredible and we must see it in 3-D. A few months later at SDCC I met Martin Meunier, the stop-motion designer of much of Coraline characters and faces.. Martin and his wife Nika have become great friends and we are working on many projects together. He invited me to his wedding where I met Henry Selick, director of Coraline. So, Neil's universe has been intersecting with mine for a few years.
I am currently reading/loving American Gods, I'm particularly enthralled by the consuming character, Bilquis, in chapter 2.

Q. did any work in your past direct you to the style of Neil’s POEM?

A. In his Poem, Neil is writing about nudity and the mysteries of concealment. I used one of my favorite models, Bella, who has an intense presence, perfect as this "Gaiman" woman casting her aware eyes back at the viewer. The tentacles Neil imagines reminded me of a painting I did in '79 of a heavily tattooed woman. She had tattoos of tentacles reaching up and outward, wrapping around her body. It was inspired by a famous 1841 Shunga print by Hokusai which depicted a woman engaging in sex with a pair of octopuses (octopodes). The concept in my version is reversed, the implication is that the imagined head of one octopus is her vagina, the uncontrollable Id within her, it's illustrated tentacles reaching outward.
In creating paintings of women, a Neil Gaiman woman is so very different from the woman I paint for Hugh Hefner. I love that I have been able to create for them both.

Q. You are an east coast girl, relocated to Malibu. Anything you miss being out west?

I was born in Long Beach, CA. but spent half my life back east. I went to NY School of Visual Arts in the late 60's and stayed in NYC for 20 years. We love New York, never thought we'd leave.
There are trade-offs being in the distant reaches of Malibu. We don't get into town much, so we miss out on a lot of what's going on in the art world.
I'm an obsessive worker. When I walk the beach, the dolphins, pelicans and parrots tell me what's going on at MOCA.

Q. You and your husband produced these prints, instead of sending to an outside printer. Can you share what you have learned doing this further step?

A. If you want something done right... do it yourself.

Q.. If you could meet any of Neil's fictional characters, who would you like to have a conversation with?

I'm not sure I'd survive long after meeting them.

Q. Who would play you in the movie version of your life?

A. Call Helena Bonham-Carter. She could mimic my obsessiveness and tics and make it all seem normal.
A few people have come to me wanting to do some kind of film about me. They don't have a real concept of who I am or what I do. The scripts inevitably --"First you draw this girl…and she's naked!.... your character is standing there with her paintbrush...and she's naked!"

Q. Do you have any upcoming projects you are especially excited about? New directions?

A.This Neil Gaiman "poem project" came to me at a time in my career where I'm starting to shift my focus. Of course, women are my subject-same as it ever was, but I'm returning to some themes that I worked on years ago. Over the last decade of my nearly 40 year career, I've been creating the pinup page for Playboy Magazine, with captions written by Hugh Hefner. I've loved working with him. But I'm restless and need to stretch. Visualizing Neil's Poem is a perfect beginning to this new chapter. I'm thrilled to be doing this with him.

Q. You will be at WONDERCON in Booth 942. Will you be signing? Any other future appearances?

A.I will be applying red lipstick, posing for pictures, and selling my wares! (no, not those), at booth #942
We will be launching our Neil Gaiman Poem print at Wondercon! Also, we will be at our usual post at SDCC.


So. To clear up any confusion, we have DO more of the Olivia/Neil prints, and I will have to catch up with Neil again (it's like chasing the wind) to get him to sign some more. If you show up at Wondercon in Anaheim, Olivia will be happy to sign/personalize the print for you as well. Go and see that fox in red lipstick!
you can click here to buy the prints from Neverwear.

and you can click here to see more treasures from Olivia.

like this fantastic tee that she sent me as a gift, which i am wearing as we speak! (i LOVE the cop Bettie on the tag, one of my favorite of Olivia's images)



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Collaboration between Olivia and Neil Gaiman

It was my great pleasure to meet Olivia, that gorgeous pin-up artist deluxe, at a book-signing last winter.
When I blogged that I wondered what she would do with a poem of Neil's, to my amazement, she answered me via Twitter.
(you can follow her here: @OliviaPinupArt)

We began a beautiful collaboration and I am enjoying every minute of this clever and talented woman.

Created by Olivia to illustrate and accompany POEM.
This poem was written by Neil Gaiman, a piece in which he marvels over the mysteries of what might be under a woman's clothes...

The print is hand-torn, printed on rag paper,
all done here in the good ol' US of A.

Size: aprox. 10" x 27.5".

We have a very limited number of prints
which have been hand-signed by both Olivia and Neil.
They are also each hand-embossed with each artists seal--here is a close-up of the emboss/signatures:

The edition is open-ended at this time, we have printed a very small run to debut at WonderCon this coming weekend in Anaheim. Olivia will be there at Booth #924 signing, and personalizing the prints. (at no extra charge)

Look at this face. I can't stop staring at her!


stay tuned for my interview with miss Olivia, an artist I have admired since my kittenhood.
She's just so damn cool. Her work has appeared world-wide---including countless times in Playboy.
She captures that secret heart of the female form, in such a way that the viewer is left wanting...more...

here's a photo of Neil holding the print taken this morning by Drew, who you can see in shadow-form in the lower right corner. Hi honey! (this one is signed in the photo and was taken before Olivia has done her signing, they also come unsigned at $80.00)

here is the poem:

I am continually disappointed by nudity

decently covered breasts could look like anything when revealed,

the nipples might be eyes or snake heads or flowers glowing gold,

they might be anything, but never are.

And as for the rest of it, the whole between-the-legs business,

when I was a boy, and simply wondered about women, why back then

it was the mystery of mysteries, 

and now, grown up

I still think,

I wonder what she keeps hidden,down there, beneath that cloth

imagining miracles and mysteries and dreams

conjuring secret mouths and lips that smile and sing

craving petals, tentacles and stars,

desiring the unimaginable.
The reality of nakedness

makes me mutter Jesus Christ with delight and awe as well, of course,

but still, the revelation is in its way prosaic. 
Just another gentle biped with bumps and flesh and cleft and hair always looking just

a little bit more awkward and less interesting

than when she wore clothes.

-Neil Gaiman © 2006

To buy this beauty, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

day off in Kansas City..

yesterday on a day off in Kansas City, I went to their premiere theater.

The line up of films showing was less than stellar. In fact, there was NOTHING i wanted to see, but I had it in my mind, i was going to see a movie and that was it.

plus, the popcorn was popping right there in the lobby….


I spent my afternoon with the new Captain Kirk, Tracy Flick and the cute guy from RockaRolla, aka the new Bane. Can you guess what I saw?

good news, it wasn’t the worst film ever.

Tom Hardy, you are a beautiful creature.

meanwhile in Neverwear business, we will be revealing the NEIL GAIMAN/OLIVIA team up this coming weekend. (I will be on a bus barreling to Canada with this tour...!)
I promise to put up a new post soon, time is flying.
Here are the Neil dollars being born....

every order that has been made since I have been gone gets one of these complete with code on back to take five bucks off anything, save them for your Olivias...!

here is a shot of our stage in Pittsburgh, the shows are brilliant...

photo by Eric Fox.