"A good reason to be famous, though, is so you can read all the big magazines and know everybody in all the stories. Page after page it's just all people you've met. I love that kind of reading experience and that's the best reason to be famous." Andy Warhol
"More than anything people just want stars." Andy Warhol
Recently, Canada AM, (a national morning show on CTV), featured a segment about an exhibit in Toronto of many of Andy Warhol's art and memorabilia. Warhol contributed over 100,000 pieces of original work to the art world and many celebrities were included in this body of work. Most of us would easily recognize his silk screen panels of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and John Wayne, which have become as iconic as his Campbell soup cans.
Last summer, a friend gave me a stack of People and Star magazines. I sat by the pool and started thumbing through the articles on the various goings-on of the Kardashians, Bruce Jenner, (sorry, I don't know her name now), Princess Kate and all the other celebrities who are fodder for these tabloids.
After going through 5 or 6 issues, the stories became annoyingly repetitive and I felt like I was reading the same magazine over and over again. Unlike Warhol, I can say that I am not even remotely interested in what these stars and celebrities think and do. However, I was very appreciative to have received all the spring issues.
Thanks to my friend's thoughtfulness, I was able to collect a very nice stash of photos of stars to practise my pencil and mixed media portraits. I am now started on a theme. The first series of celebrity portraits are appearing in this post.
I am using the Strathmore Toned Tan spiral bound sketchbook to practise painting the stars with a combination of acrylics and prismacolor pencils.
The stars featured in this post were some of the ones whose photos were large enough to use as models for my paintings. Katie Holmes appeared several times in many issues. The reason? She has found a new boyfriend. Another Hollywood star of course, but don't ask me his name. It seemed so trivial a news item for the space it was given!
Reese Witherspoon was given a full page spread because of her "bouncy waves, pink lipstick".
So now it will be easy to find a subject for my sketchbook. The photos of the stars I collected are all tucked away, ready to be taken out and painted when I need inspiration.