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HYPER GLAMOUR, My Dolly Parton Paintings

Featured here on this page are paintings that explore culture, beauty, and mythos of rural Americana through the image of Dolly Parton. During 2020, Luscious Outside, was featured in the official Dolly Parton exhibition, "Dolly: P/N 35 National Juried Art Exhibition" held at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee. The juror was Logan Lockner, Editor, Burnaway Magazine.

The first time I became aware of Dolly Parton, I was a young child. She was performing on TV, and my mom told me that I needed to come into the living room and see this woman singing who was named Dolly. I loved playing with my dolls more than anything, and the thought of someone named Dolly seemed too good to be true. I thought my mom was teasing me! I eventually went to see what the fuss was about. Dolly Parton struck me. I thought that she was incredibly beautiful, and it was the first time tears came to my eyes while listening to someone sing: her voice was so fragile, tender, vulnerable, unique, and strong. This page features several paintings I have made that have paid homage to Dolly Parton. All of the works explore scale and composition. I will explain for anyone fortunate enough to see Dolly Parton perform, like me, one thing you will notice is how petite she is. Yet, in films, her characters often have a sense of scale, and she has a powerful presence on screen. I have realized that has a lot to do with camera angles. To that end, I have referenced films and, often, I have to pictorially "invent" or extend the surrounding areas of the implied space of the film's composition.

This is a portrait of Dolly Parton outside surrounded by three female figures.

Luscious Outside, acrylic on board, 14" x 16"

Creating a Dolly Parton series was a natural evolution for me as an artist, and so much of her life story is familiar to me. One of my favorite things when visiting Dollywood is to stop by the replica of her childhood home. It looks exactly like my grandmother's house when I was a toddler. She had 13 children, and the family experienced poverty, too. So visiting Dollywood always feel like a homecoming.

This is a portrait of Dolly Parton inside and surround by several figures. The context is a party.

Luscious Inside, acrylic on board, 14" x 16"

Painting Dolly Parton is challenging. Her facial features are delicate, and her make-up is bold. One must balance the iconography of both in the artwork otherwise, it will not feel like her.

This is a glamorous portrait of singer songwriter Dolly Parton.

detail of Hyper Glamour, acrylic on board, 14" x 16"

It is all about interpretation when an artist creates a painting about Dolly Parton or any icon. One must create many preliminary sketches from pop culture sources. This helps the artist to connect with the content that motivated them to make the artwork and to gain insight into the context that will resonate with the viewer. Creating artwork from the preliminary sketches gives the work an authenticity and authority it would not have otherwise. Great artists who created paintings from their preliminary sketches include Frida Khalo, Max Beckman, Edgar Degas, Susan Rothenburg, and Pablo Picasso

This is a preliminary sketch drawing in cross hatching of Dolly Parton surrounded by several figures at a party.

Preliminary sketch for Opening Act, pen and ink on paper 14" x 16"

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