I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not sure what it is about Barbie that fascinates or inspires me, but I love her. But, then again I love most things midcentury. Since I'm noticing a trend with my fascination of her, I decided that I would hunt down a vintage Barbie so that I could have her for my very own painting reference. Well... It was virtually impossible to get my hands on a "real" retro Barbie from 1959, so instead I picked up a Mattel reproduction from the 1990's that I picked up on Amazon. The box was in okay condition but, someone kept her all wrapped up nicely since it was never opened, and it wasn't the box that I was after anyway. I'm sure at some point even the reproduction might be worth a little something to a collector unopened, but for me she's worth a lot more outside of her box, where I can pose her on my desk and change up her outfits to be inspired for more new paintings. More on that in a minute!
What's really cool about the reproduction is that they even included a reproduction of the original box she came in from 1959. The loosely styled, vibrant colored illustrations are absolutely fantastic and there's a short little book included about the history of Barbie. Any idea what her last name is? I had no idea until now. Now, no cheating... looking it up on the internet, just take a guess and post me a comment. All comments will be entered into a drawing to win a single Barbie notecard that I have already selected from my series. But, hurry the contests ends Monday, June 14th. The winner will be selected at random and notified by email, so makes sure you put your email into the comment section.
Once I stumbled upon the doll, I thought wouldn't it be cool if I could find some retro doll clothing patterns for her. No, I'm not going to sew them, but my Mom who "loves" making doll clothes would surely be interested in the task. So, while I was on Amazon I also found to patterns loaded with different outfits, my Mom is chomping at the bit to get started. I figured that having vintage outfits made would help me in my paintings as well, and give my Mom something to do that she loves. Also... I'm thinking, my Mom might even like to start selling the retro-styled outfits in my Etsy store or a store of her own.
Also, I just finished up another Barbie watercolor painting to go along with my series. I'll be posting her as soon as I can scan it and get it ready to make prints. The original will be framed and for sale at the craft faire, coming soon in July! Ooh, I can't wait!