Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Coppertone Baby Artist Passes

I just learned that Joyce Ballantyne Brand, the artist who painted the famous little blonde Coppertone Girl with her doggie, passed on this month. Her daughter (the model for the Coppertone girl, actually) sells on eBay and I just found this news on one of her auctions.

Joyce Ballantyne was most famous for her paintings of American pinup girls. Ballantyne's style immediately struck me as similar to Gil Elvgren's, and then I learned that Elvgren was one of her teachers and mentors, so that's not so surprising. She, like Elvgren, believed that a pinup should be the girl next door, only moreso; not some unapproachable beauty, but an everyday American gal caught in a moment of surprise for the passerby to see.

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