Tag Archives: New York

Rolf Armstrong Pinup Artist from the Art Deco Age

Rolf Armstrong Pinup Artist from the Art Deco AgeRolf Armstrong Pinup Artist from the Art Deco Age

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.


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Burlesque Dancer – Crypticon Seattle 2012

Burlesque Dancer - Crypticon Seattle 2012
Burlesque Dancer – Crypticon Seattle 2012


Just in case you missed Crypticon Seattle – and it is a show you should not miss at all, they will sometimes late at night as they are doing the dance party, will have other things going on. This year they had a bunch of new Burlesque Dancers on the stage and it was well worth seeing. I was one of two photographers allowed in to take pictures, one used a flash that lit up the whole room like lightning, I tried to use as much natural lighting as possible. But this is one of the drawbacks to using natural stage lighting, you get what you see. In this case they were using red LED lighting that was on the ground and aimed about mid body rather than at their faces. The original pictures are horrid requiring a lot of color balance and cleaning and fixing. When the lighting is bad but the picture is good, you break out the Photoshop and lightroom filters to try to fix all the badness so you can see the goodness.

The dancer is Morgue Anne, a relative minor deity – celebrity in the burlesque circles here in Seattle, so if you get the chance to go see one of her shows it is well worth checking out. She also does Jello Wrestling from what I understand, but I have not seen this yet.


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