Sunday, February 28, 2010

Punk rock

Punk rock has its roots back in the 1970s, at least that's when I first came across it when I lived in the UK.  Wandering down King's Road, Chelsea in London, the streets were populated with a variety of different punks with unique hairstyles and clothing, all seeming to try to outdo each other in terms of outrageousness.  The Sex Pistols and The Clash were the new musical movement.

Lots of people found them intimidating, and some punks used that to their advantage, but I never had any problems.  I found them quite interesting in fact and was fascinated by the hairstyles and how they got them into the peaks and spikes and colours.

One of my stronger memories of the punk days in London was when I drove into the centre of London on one of the hottest days of summer to bring my father in law, visiting from Ireland, to his hotel.   I got him settled, then headed down in the elevator to go out and show him around.  The elevator stopped a few floors down and in entered three punk rockers.  Their hair in stiff spikes, coloured like rainbows, eyes rimmed in kohl, ; safety pins were the piercing jewelry of choice; ripped jeans and heavily studded leathers completed the outfits.

I glanced at my father in law, who hadn't been exposed to this culture previously and hoped he'd keep his opinions to himself at least while in the elevator.  He studied them for awhile, then leaned forward and said in his strong Cork brogue 'Does your mother know you look like that?'  Well, there are points in life where you wish the floor would open up and take you or you see your life flash before your eyes.   This was one of those times.

However, they kind of laughed and ignored the comment, then luckily the elevator reached the ground floor and we all went our own ways. I then explained to my father in law how it likely wasn't a good idea to provoke some punks with comments like that.  I tried to explain that he wasn't back in Ireland where he could strike fear through threat of parental disapproval of what you wore. 

Ages ago I came across an image in Deviant Art by nothingreal0 that brought me straight back to King's Road.  I asked the photographer if I could use the piece for a drawing and got approval.  I put the image on my hard drive then life and other things happened and only now am I getting around to drawing it.

This is the start of the piece done in coloured pencil on Colourfix paper in pale blue. 


Srishti said...

I have just awarded you the Sunshine Award because I admire your art so is full of sunshine!
Please visit my blog when you can to see the list of the other recipients.

sharon said...

Cool portrait! I like the profile view showing off the hair cut. Nice work.

Lauren Maurer said...

Very clever, and I love the story to go along with it!

RHCarpenter said...

Love the story and I can almost hear the Irish accent as it's said :) hee hee But, to me, this is as exotically beautiful as the Avatar people with their blue and marked faces - or any exotic women found in other parts of the world, tattooed and painted in ways we don't know as ours but that still show a creativity and fierce beauty - I would call this Fierce Beauty!

vivien said...


does it need any more doing to it? I like it as it is

Julie Broom said...

really fantastic. I agree with Vivien's comment - I love it as it is with some areas just suggested.

I think this makes a really great subject matter. I'd quite liked the idea of creating some works based on the Emo culture but getting reference material is difficult, great that you were able to get permission to work from this.

Jeanette said...

Shristi, thank you! My second Sunshine award!

Sharon, I quite like profiles, its a shame they aren't used much anymore for portrait work.

Thanks Lauren, I remember the day well.

Yes, she has got that exotic look, doesn't she Rhonda?

Well I want to finish the hair and scalp, then that's about it Vivien. Its really a fairly simple portrait.

Thanks Julie, its interesting to draw this and I agree finding the references or people to pose is a challenge. I still haven't plucked up my courage to ask people I see to sit for me.

sue said...

Haaaa--fabulous! I love it!