We always want to find something inspiring and wonderful when we are doing art. Ideas of those that have gone before us and cut new ground are often something that we use when we are working with our own ideas. Sometimes we simply need an idea book, and today I am going to propose getting to know Rolf Armstrong. He is one of the original Pinup painters, and his work is simply the staple of what happened later with Vargas and other pinup artists from the 1940’s on through the 1960’s.
Rolf was quite simply one of the most popular pinup painters of the Art Deco age. He spent some time in Seattle, Michigan, and went on to school in New York and Chicago. Paris and then onto other places as a war started and raged across Europe. He was also on the board for commercial artists during World War 2, eventually to die in 1960. His work is storied and he usually worked with live models to keep the ideas fresh in his head.
His work was often found on sheet music, magazine covers, and World War II propaganda. He started the ground work for what would later on become one of the staples of art and photography, the classic Pinup. Truly a visionary, he has some of the most amazing art work you can follow along for your photographic art idea books. Or even if you are a painter, the style, vivid vibrant colors, and posing are all there. Truely the originator of an art form it is always good to know a little art history when you are looking to be inspired for your next art or photographic session.
The good part is that there is a lot of data about his work online so you don’t need to go out and purchase any books. There is an amazing Pinterest of his work right here, along with the obvious Google Image Search function to help you out. He makes for a good place to start your pinup idea book if you are interested in the Art Deco style like I am. He is a good artist to start with and take a look at his work, his life, and the times that he lived in. His World War II art inspired thousands of bomber girl pinups that lived and died over the skies of Europe and the Pacific.
Have fun looking him up and learning what you can learn about some of the very earliest pinup work out there.