Well, hello there. Been a while since my last post – and I’ve been saying that way too often, I know, but yeesh, this winter’s been flying by. My birthday was earlier this week (Martin Luther King Day) and my daughter Lilith’s first birthday is next week. I can’t believe how quickly her first year went!

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to get in some studio time, but it’s been a challenge. I’ve got about half a dozen works in progress, pencil sketches awaiting those ever elusive licks of paint. Finally though, today I got one of them done.

This illustration is actually something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, and by that I mean a) a piece inspired by the burlesque dancer Michelle L’Amour, but also b) a tribute to what easily has to be one of the most innovative burlesque acts — ever. In it, L’Amour uses balloons as part of her costume, gracefully letting them float away a few at a time. With the color scheme, the balloons also kind of look like a bunch of grapes, which is somehow cute and elegant at the same time. I didn’t see the show live, but enjoyed the dance on video.

Some people might also know L’Amour for her having been a contestant on “America’s Got Talent,” and her Knight Rider car dance. I was fortunate enough to take one of her burlesque dance classes (quite the workout!) when she guest taught at the New York School of Burlesque a few years ago. And as I recall, she had some pretty good tips too for maximizing one’s sex appeal without really trying. (Or at least seeming like you’re not trying.)

Anyway while I wouldn’t quite call this latest piece a portrait, since I was focused mainly on capturing moments in time, I just hope it captures her sense of spirit and fun. Michelle’s based in Chicago so if you live around there, I definitely recommend going to one of her shows or workshops.