Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Maidens Part 4: Odd (high) Ball Maiden





This is the fourth and final installment of the Maidens. I bought these paintings at a flea market in upstate New York about fifteen years ago. All four for ten bucks. If there had been more of them, I would have surely bought them as well. As with most thrift store art, they possess a naivete and are anonymous. Well, not quite. They're signed "Scottie," and I always assumed that Scottie was a man, until recently, an artist friend of mine, (who happens to be a woman) very astutely pointed out to me that the handwriting in the signature was that of a woman's hand. "Curvy letters," she said. Of course! And then there's the "ie" instead of "y" at the end of Scottie. It all made sense. Only a woman would paint another woman in such a manner. They are tender and bitchy all at the same time. The remarkable prose poems written in ballpoint pen on scraps of paper and lovingly Scotch-Taped to the back of the canvases set these apart from the usual still life studies, embarrassing attempts at nude figure painting, and the ubiquitous clown paintings that are found sadly waiting for a second life in flea markets and thrift stores everywhere. Scottie had artistic vision, and what she lacked in painterly skill, she made up for in her Spillane-esque scribblings or tough-girl fiction. I'm guessing she was one and the same with the women depicted in these paintings, and was trying to pass the time (or justify it) in whatever go-go or honky-tonk bar they were at. Or maybe she was trying to pursue her artistic aspirations while she whiled away the hours getting loaded and dancing in a titty bar. Who knows? I like to think of Scottie as an outsider Toulouse-Lautrec, but working on the inside, and a pretty good writer as well.

Download:

"Reptile Style" mp3
by The Reigning Sound, 2002.
available on Time Bomb High School

"Hip Hug-Her" mp3
by Booker T & the MG's, 1967.
available on The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968

"Soul Finger" mp3
by The Bar-Kays, 1967.
available on The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968

"Slum Goddess" mp3
by The Fugs, 1965.
available on The Fugs First Album

Painting and Poem:
Odd (high) Ball Maiden
by Scottie, 1973.
Acrylic on Canvas 8 x 10 inches
(click on image to enlarge)

5 comments:

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Cuidado said...

I've been hanging around (lurking) for years. Never comment. I love the little paintings. I'll bet Scottie is an artist now. She was trained and this may have been an assignment. Love your blog and try to check in every week or so.

Ted Barron said...

Thanks, Cuidado.

Santa Claus said...

Ho Ho Ho! We're all enjoying the music up here in the old workshop!

All the best,
Santa

Anonymous said...

wort the 10 bucks. The mystery of who scottie is and where is she now makes it all more interesting